877.799.9994   330.666.5164

Beth, a content marketing veteran, is responsible for client website strategies and overall project management.  Before joining Pilot Fish in 1999, she worked at Crain Communications' Rubber & Plastics News and Waste News.

Do You Have an ADA-Compliant Website?

Disabilities are far more common than most people realize.

When most people think of the Americans with Disability Act, they think of physical barriers, like buildings without ramps or elevators.

But the ADA applies to websites as well, and companies are being sued for having inaccessible websites.


Common Problems

You may want to say, “I don’t get any disabled website visitors,” but you have no way of knowing that, and disabilities are far more common than most people realize. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 56.7 million U.S. residents (18.7% of the population) have some sort of disability, and 38.3 million residents (12.6%) have a severe disability.

Continue reading
  149 Hits
149 Hits

A Website Audit Can Keep Your Site Front and Center for Search Engines and Prospective Clients

As the economy reopens across the country – and around the world – many companies are adjusting to a new reality. Doing business remotely is the norm now, and manufacturers need to learn to adapt.

With an emphasis on video conferencing and virtual meetings, it’s easy to overlook the basics. But your corporate website is an asset that deserves special attention. Now more than ever, a company’s website offers a vital first impression to people looking for your products and services online.

Continue reading
  233 Hits
233 Hits

Google Algorithm Change to Target User Experience

Google has announced that it’s preparing to add a new algorithm to its arsenal, this time based specifically on people’s experience with web pages.

The good news is that the algorithm won’t take effect until some point in 2021, so you have plenty of time to get ready.

The new algorithm is called the Google Page Experience update. It incorporates several ranking factors Google previously announced, with some new considerations thrown into the mix.

Continue reading
  291 Hits
291 Hits

Content Marketing in the Time of Coronavirus

Customers will remember who stepped up to help.

COVID-19 and its effect on everything from health to industry have everyone’s attention these days. It’s an undeniable fact of our times.

As a result, B2B content marketing strategies need to take this preoccupation into account – not to capitalize on it but to acknowledge customers’ very real and very immediate concerns.

Pushing ahead with your planned content marketing program without that acknowledgement can seem tone deaf if not downright insensitive. You need to adapt your strategies to today’s necessities. Businesses that can pivot to take their customers’ concerns into account will be the ones to succeed.

Continue reading
  333 Hits
333 Hits

Google Algorithm Change Shakes Things Up

Keep focused on great content.
- Google

Google routinely adjust its algorithm a couple times a week to no fanfare, but an update that rolled out in early November caught the attention of SEOs and website owners.

Some websites saw their traffic drop 30-50%. Some of our own clients were slightly affected, and we’ve already initiated activities to get them back on track.

In response to questions from SEOs, Google confirmed that an update had occurred but gave no indication of what website owners could do to combat the change, beyond its usual advice to provide “great content”:

Continue reading
  639 Hits
639 Hits

Chrome Security Hurdle May Affect Your Website’s Usability

50% of U.S. browser traffic comes from Chrome, which means many site visitors may not be able to view your site properly starting in March.

Google is set to throw a new wrench into how visitors view your company’s website. Starting in March, Google’s Chrome browser will start blocking “mixed content” on secure websites.

Which might sound like confusing jargon, so let’s have some definitions first:

A secure website is one whose address starts with https, rather than just plain http. The “s” means the site is secured by extra coding to deter hackers from intercepting the personal data entered by a visitor to that site. The extra coding also allows your browser to verify that it’s really displaying the website you want to view.

A nonsecure website doesn’t have that extra layer of protection. Google often labels these sites as “not secure” and can even block users from easily reaching the site.

Continue reading
  458 Hits
458 Hits

Newest Periodic Table of SEO Factors Outlines What It Takes to Get Good Search Engine Rankings

The basics are simple – good content, careful coding, no sneaky tricks.

Search Engine Land has released the 2019 version of its Periodic Table of SEO Factors, a handy chart of the activities that can positively – and negatively – affect your website’s search engine rankings.

With 200+ ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, Search Engine Land distills all the known information about Google’s methodology into 35 elements, which cover multiple ranking factors.


Positive Attention

Twenty-nine of those elements represent positive ranking factors, those activities you can undertake to help improve your website’s position on the search engines. Seven of the elements dealt directly with content.

Continue reading
  847 Hits
847 Hits

Does Your Website Connect with Customers?

We can’t just put up a generic website and expect people to get a good experience or expect it to help drive engagement for sales.

A B2B buyers survey by Demand Gen Report provided some interesting results that should have a direct impact on how you manage your company’s website and content marketing.

Among the findings, 45% of respondents said they’re using more sources to research and evaluate purchases. Is your corporate website visible enough to be one of those resources? Does it provide the information that your potential customers are looking for?


Information is King

The following variables were reported as very important when the respondents were ready to evaluate suppliers:

  • Features/functionality (72%)
  • Solved a pain point (72%)
  • Demonstrated experience with or knowledge of respondent’s industry (62%)
  • Case studies/testimonials (rated as very important by 47% of survey participants)
     
Continue reading
  469 Hits
469 Hits

The Once & Future Problem with Spam Contact Forms

We’re left to realize that some things never change.  

Once upon a time, sales seemed simple. You called, visited or mailed your prospects and clients directly. As technology progressed, you might have faxed them. If someone wanted to find you, they could visit your booth at a trade show or look up your phone number and address in a physical directory.

Then the Internet came along, and things got interesting. Now a lot more people could find you much more easily – and you could collect leads more easily, too, because your website had a nifty neato contact form for site visitors to submit.

Then hackers ruined everything by finding ways to automatically fill in and submit the contact forms on websites. Some of these submissions were cold calls, some were mere nuisances and some were actual hazards containing malicious code.

Continue reading
  441 Hits
441 Hits

Content Marketing After the Death of Google+

Corporations large and small use social media every day as a key component of their content marketing.

Google+, the tech giant’s foray into social media, is officially dead and no longer plays a role in content marketing. As of early February, people could no longer join Google+, and, as of April 2, the company will begin to shut down accounts and delete information.

The Birth of Google+

When it launched in June 2011, Google+ was like any typical social media platform: it allowed users to post and store images, provide status updates and share links to interesting stories on the web. Google+ offered “circles,” which allowed a user to slot what other social media sites called “friends” or “followers” into different groups with whom that user could share posts and updates.

Continue reading
  945 Hits
945 Hits

4 Simple Content Marketing Tips to Boost Your SEO

Produce fresh, useful content that appeals to customers and prospects.

With 2019 well under way, now is a great time to review your SEO practices and plan to take some new steps in the right direction when it comes to content marketing.

New, fresh content continues to remain a top priority when it comes to ranking well on the search engines. Google, in fact, rewards pages that display expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

Continue reading
  611 Hits
611 Hits

Review Your Website to Ensure SEO Success in the New Year

A poorly maintained site usually won’t rank well on Google.

2018 is nearly over, and we all have our own lists of things we’d like to complete before the end of the year.

One task that should definitely be on your list is a quick review of your website.

Let’s be clear: mistakes on your website matter. An old phone number or malfunctioning contact form could keep you from acquiring a new customer, while inaccurate information and broken links can lead new prospects to decide you’re not a vendor they feel comfortable with.

Broken links and inaccuracies matter to Google as well – a poorly maintained site usually won’t rank as well in Google’s search results.

So what’s a concerned site owner to do? Here’s a simple checklist of 10 items to review on your website to make sure your site is in good shape:

Continue reading
  806 Hits
806 Hits

6 Linking Tactics – and a Bonus Tip – for Better B2B SEO

Content marketing & link-building can provide a powerful one-two punch for your B2B SEO.

One easily forgotten element in the battle to improve search rankings is simple linking.

Here are some easy ways to increase the number of links to your website:

  1. Content marketing is the key here: Write new, useful content every month – no one will link to an old, outdated website that has nothing new to offer. This content can include:
Continue reading
  685 Hits
685 Hits

Google Algorithm Changes Stir Things Up

Remain focused on building great content.

Google is up to its old tricks, unleashing several algorithm changes since the beginning of the year.

One of the most important is also one of the ones we’ve known about the longest: Google’s move to a mobile-first index. Although it’s been talking about this change since 2016, Google only began testing mobile-first indexing on a few, select sites in October.

And then on March 26 Google announced that it was officially moving larger batches of websites to mobile-first indexing. Basically, if there’s a mobile version and a desktop version of a website, Google is going to display the mobile version in its search engine results, which is what people will see whether using their mobile devices or desktop computers. Eventually, Google will have one index that favors mobile-friendly websites.

If you have a well-optimized website that works on mobile devices, you should be in the clear. 

Continue reading
  730 Hits
730 Hits

Putting Your B2B SEO to Work on an International Stage

Clients who’ve implemented properly optimized foreign-language websites have received increased leads.

It’s great to have a well-designed website, properly optimized according to B2B SEO best practices. But, if your company targets markets outside of the U.S. and Canada, a well-designed, well-optimized English-language website might not be enough.

You’ll usually find the best success globally when you design your marketing efforts with your international audiences in mind. It might sound daunting, but the good news is that the basics of B2B SEO work well in any language, if you keep in mind the following tips:

Use the right domain name.

If you’ve got deep pockets, you can buy a language-specific domain name for each country you market to and host each website in that specific country. This requires a lot of resources – including hiring and maintaining a web-editing staff in each country – and demands an incredible amount of oversight to make sure that each website remains up-to-date.

An option that’s more time- and cost-efficient while still being highly effective, is to create separate sections within your own website to target each country. Each section should be labeled with the abbreviation for that country, such as yourdomain.com/mx for a website targeting Mexico or yourdomain.com/de for a website designed for prospective customers in Germany.

Continue reading
  1000 Hits
1000 Hits

B2B SEO Tips for Content Marketing

Any content marketing piece that is posted online should be optimized with a couple of your best search terms.

First of all, if you’re creating and posting new content anywhere online about your corporate website, let me extend to you an earnest, well-deserved congratulations on your content marketing efforts.

Whether you’re posting on sites like LinkedIn and YouTube or adding new content like case studies, news releases and blogs to your own website, every bit of content marketing will help your B2B SEO. We’ve found that our clients who regularly add content see the most improvements in their search engine rankings.

But …

You’re leaving a lot on the table if you’re not implementing basic B2B SEO tactics with each new piece of content to perform well on the search engines.

Why go to the trouble of creating content and then not giving it every chance to be found in online searches? It’s like creating a great radio commercial and never mentioning your company’s name – a lot of your hard work and your company’s resources spent without generating any new business.

Continue reading
  983 Hits
983 Hits

B2B SEO Expertise Required to Combat Google Analytics Woes

We've expanded the online tools we use to compile site statistics for our clients, no longer relying solely on the figures Google decides to present.

The SEO high jinx over at Google continue to mount, with our B2B SEO clients consistently reporting irregularities in their Google Analytics reports.

We documented last year how changes in Google’s methodology of tracking and reporting site statistics were leading some site owners to think their sites were losing traffic and SEO rankings – even though Google claimed the actual traffic was consistent and that the only change was in how the figures were reported.

Since then, some B2B website owners continue to report increases in the number of terms that Google ranks their sites for but a decrease in the traffic they receive from Google, which isn’t logical. Traditionally, a site that ranks more frequently on the first page of Google will see an increase in its search traffic.

In other instances, the web addresses for individual pages are recorded inaccurately in Google Analytics, with no indication if the accompanying statistics are for the real web page or if the figures are as wrong as the web addresses are.

Continue reading
  963 Hits
963 Hits

Start 2018 Off Strong with Keyword & Competitor Research Designed to Boost Your Website's B2B SEO

If you’re looking to take full advantage of every business opportunity that 2018 presents, you’ll need a website up to the task.

With 2017 quickly rolling to a close, it’s a good time to look ahead and think about how to start your 2018 B2B SEO program on the right foot.

One of the best things you can do, both from an SEO perspective and a business perspective, is to perform a complete keyword and competitor analysis for your website.

Keyword & Competitor Research is foundational to any SEO project. It provides you the information you need to determine the best universe of keywords for which you should optimize your site and how much work in off-page SEO and content marketing you’ll need to overtake your competitors on Page 1 of Google.

If you haven’t taken a good look at your search terms or your online competitors for a few years, this is a great time to do so. Newer software tools that provide access to more detailed keyword research data and updated analysis of how Google ranks sites, can change your B2B SEO approach in a way that increases site traffic and leads.

For example, for years, the search term “body bags” was my favorite example of why keyword research is so important. It’s a term that came up several years ago when we did some SEO for a police supply company that distributed body bags and very confidently used only that term to describe that specific line of products.

But a thorough keyword research project showed that the search engines thought “body bags” were only a style of women’s purse; it turned out that “cadaver bags” was the term that the search engine recognized as describing the client’s product – and was the term that many of their potential customers used in searching for that product.

Continue reading
  1013 Hits
1013 Hits

B2B SEO Goes Beyond Search Engines to Generate Sales Leads

Check your website against these questions, and you’ll find ways to improve your site’s usefulness, and, eventually, the number of qualified leads your site generates

 

When you’re working on SEO for your corporate website, it often feels like there’s only one goal: Getting that coveted #1 spot on Google’s search results.

But that’s just one goal (although an essential one) on the way to what’s generally the main motivation for most B2B websites: Increasing the number of qualified leads the site owner receives.

And the most thoroughly planned and carefully crafted B2B SEO won’t mean a darn thing if it lands search engine users on a website that’s poorly designed and executed.

To capitalize on your B2B SEO success, you need a website that captures the attention of your site visitors and gives them what they need. The best way to do this is to create a website that lets visitors quickly find what they want – not a website that looks glitzy or provides the latest gimmicks. At the end of the day, you’ll generate more qualified leads from site visitors who are wowed not by how fancy your website looks but by how easy your website is to use.

Heather Kyle’s recent blog post provided some great ideas about how content legibility can improve visitor experience and increase the likelihood of visitors contacting you for more information.

The following questions focus more broadly on your site visitors’ experience with your entire website and how that affects your ability to generate leads. It’s a handy list to use the next time you’re redesigning your corporate website.

Continue reading
  1110 Hits
1110 Hits

When a press release service is actually a dis-service

There is no backdoor channel

 

It’s a buyer beware world out there, and B2B SEO is no different.

One of the easiest traps to fall into relates directly to one of the oldest tools of corporate communication: press releases.

Despite having originated at the dawn of the last century, press releases remain a great way for companies to:

  • Provide important company updates
  • Increase name recognition
  • Establish brand leadership
  • Support their Internet marketing efforts

First of all, a press release properly optimized for the search engines is a great addition to the website of any company looking to promote itself. Useful, well-written copy crafted to appeal to your target audience and to the search engines will always enhance your corporate website’s SEO.

Continue reading
  1293 Hits
1293 Hits