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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.

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.

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51 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)
     
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91 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.

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95 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.

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208 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.

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197 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:

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312 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:
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289 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. 

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446 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.

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626 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.

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665 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.

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640 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.

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675 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.

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738 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.

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910 Hits

6 technical SEO tips to get the most value out of your company’s blog

The critical first step is to make sure your blog is built with SEO in mind from the very start

From an SEO standpoint, blogs have been a “thing” for a while now. It seems like everybody talks about how great they are for easily creating new content for your website, generating good backlinks, drawing in more site visitors, improving search engine positioning.

Those are all important things, especially for B2B SEO. But most people only talk about content when they talk about companies starting their own blogs. Writing and promoting a blog post that’s equally attractive to site visitors and search engines alike is actually the last step in the process.

The critical first step is to make sure your blog is built with SEO in mind from the very start, and that requires a bit of technical savvy. To that end, here are a few tips to make sure your company’s website includes an SEO-friendly blog:

  1. The URL/website address should start with: https://www.yoursitehere.com/blog.

    Even though the search engines are getting better at recognizing when a blog is part of a larger website, the “.com/blog” construction is still best because it explicitly shows the blog is part of your site. Less-than-desirable options would be:
    • https://blog.yoursitehere.com (which can sometimes be mistaken for a separate website)
    • https://yourblog.somethirdpartywebsite.com (which is part of the host’s website instead of yours, substantially decreasing the SEO benefit of creating a blog)
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2452 Hits

What is https, and why should you care?

Whether or not you know what https is, an interesting piece of news floated down the SEO pipeline this week when Moz reported that half of Google’s Page 1 rankings begin with https.

Regardless of your level of awareness, you – or at least your company’s website and search engine rankings – could end up being affected by the move toward https.

So what is https? When you see those five little letters at the beginning of a web address instead of the plain “http,” that means the website is secured with extra coding. This additional level of security means that hackers can’t intercept the personal data entered by a visitor to that site.

Awareness of https began growing beyond typical online retailers like Amazon in late 2014 when Google announced that https would be included as a factor in its ranking algorithms.

We’ve been tracking the https development ever since. Our research shows that it’s basically a secondary factor, which is in line with the findings of other SEO experts. Https does not have the same influence as the content-related factors that help Pilot Fish clients rank so well on the search engines.

Our experience also is consistent with the Moz report. The growth in secure sites seems to be more of an issue of increased compliance on the part of website owners as opposed to increased enforcement on the part of Google.

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934 Hits

No Time to Stall When it Comes to B2B Web Redesign

You should feel a serious sense of urgency to get your website and your B2B SEO in shape

Despite continued uncertainty about industry-related federal policies, news out this month from the Institute for Supply Management indicates that manufacturing continues to grow.

In fact, the institute reported that U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at its fastest pace since August 2014. And it doesn’t look like a fluke. The February increase extends a six-month trend of improving numbers.

But what does this have to do with B2B SEO and website design? Plenty.

As the scene continues to heat up, manufacturers – including your customers and prospects – are going to be looking for the goods and services they need to keep up with the growing demand. Does your company have a website and internet marketing program set to capitalize on these trends?


This is a good time to take a long, hard look at your corporate website to find an answer to that question. For starters, does your site:

  • Provide the right message to prospects and clients?
  • Offer accurate, up-to-date information on products and services?
  • List your company’s address, phone number and email clearly and correctly?
  • Include contact forms that work – and go to the right people?

Lastly, would you want to do business with a company that has a website like this?

If you can answer yes to all of those questions, good for you. Your next step is to see if you’ve got the proper SEO in place to bring in new, qualified prospects. Again, a few simple questions will do the trick. Do you know:

  • The number of visitors that reach your website via the search engines?
  • The most important search terms (and phrases) that prospects use to find your products and services?
  •  Your current search engine ranking for each of those terms?

Is each page of your website optimized to rank well on one or more of those terms?

And, again, if the answer is yes to all of those questions, good for you.  Now, you can gear up your content marketing and link building to keep your website ranking well and pulling in new leads.

Ahhh, there’s the rub. Do you have a content marketing and link building program in place? Do you know the most effective strategies to successfully develop such a program?

Don’t feel bad if the answer is “no” to this or to any of the earlier questions. With company employees spread thin and wearing many hats, it’s easy to forget about SEO and internet marketing.

While you don’t need to feel bad, you do need to feel a serious sense of urgency to get your website and your B2B SEO in shape to take advantage of the potential for increased demand.

Not only is manufacturing growing, but so is the number of B2B marketers relying on the search engines as a source of new leads. According to the 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing Report, 63 percent of survey participants indicated that organic search topped their lists as a leading channel for revenue growth.

You can bet those respondents are getting their corporate websites and SEO plans in order. And your company will need to as well or get left in the dust by those better prepared to capitalize on improving manufacturing conditions.

The most effective way to not get left behind is to find a B2B SEO and website company that can help you create the right Internet marketing program to reach your prospects. You’ll want to look for a company that has a proven track record, experience in your industry and the knack for listening to and meeting your needs, not pigeon-holing you into a one-size-fits-all approach.

If you’re ready to build a website and B2B SEO program geared to your company’s success, contact Pilot Fish today by submitting this simple form or by calling 877-799-9994 ext. 2102.

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1138 Hits

A Better User Experience = Better B2B SEO

Pages with infinite scroll present a fatal flaw when it comes to B2B SEO.

As we’ve mentioned from time to time, this is not your father’s B2B SEO.

Search engine algorithms and SEO practices have changed dramatically over the years, and “just” having good content is no longer enough.

One of the major changes is the fact that the way people interact with your website now affects how the site itself is ranked by the search engines.

Search engines, Google in particular, have begun using “engagement” as a secondary factor that influences a page’s search engine ranking for any specific term.

Search engines usually measure engagement by how long a search engine user stays on a particular page. If someone clicks on a link and then clicks immediately back to the list of results, the search engines assume the page didn’t provide the required information and view that page as having lower engagement. If someone clicks on a link and stays on the page before returning to the search engine, that page is seen as being more useful and having better engagement.

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943 Hits

Getting Your 2017 B2B SEO Off on the Right Foot

We’re nearly a full month into the new year, but there’s still plenty of time to consider SEO goals for your B2B website, as well as the best ways to achieve those goals. To that end, here are some best practices to put into place to get the most out of your B2B SEO this year:

Take the time to learn what your audience wants & provide it in carefully optimized, well-crafted content.

Focus on Your Audience

In a 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey conducted by Demand Gen Report, 69 percent of B2B buyers said that content that speaks directly to their needs is the most influential aspect of a company website. To get the most value out of your SEO content, don’t just provide generalizations – learn the pain points of your intended audience and address those directly.

Prioritize Quality

In theory, every new web page is a chance to bring in new site visitors, but simply creating a lot of new pages doesn’t ensure your message will hit its target. One well-optimized, well-written page will do more to increase traffic and leads than a dozen poorly executed pages added to your B2B website just to increase page count.

Expand Your Research

B2B keyword research is about more than just individual words or short terms. Look for broader themes to create content around. Take the time to learn what information your target audience wants and provide that in carefully optimized, well-crafted content.  Google rewards this approach, and your site visitors will, too.


Answer the Question

More and more, Google is giving ranking preference to content that answers the questions that real people ask. Once you know the topics that interest your target audience, you can develop content that answers their most urgent questions.

Visualize Success

Words aren’t the only way to gain the attention of Google and potential customers – videos and infographics both have serious value as B2B SEO tools. Videos and infographics that provide useful, interesting information continue to rank well on Google and also provide another way to showcase your company’s strengths.

Stay Informed

You need to know the rules to play the game. Keeping up-to-date with current search engine practices and with the latest B2B SEO news will only enhance your ability to rank well and to attract additional qualified leads. Being uninformed = being benched. And you can’t score if you’re stuck on the bench.

Be Adaptable

Changes happen quickly, both in B2B SEO and in the business world at large. A certain amount of flexibility – and a willingness to try new tactics – will help your SEO, your website and your business stay on track.

Following B2B SEO best practices and keeping your website moving in the right direction can be a tall order. If you’d like some help staying on track, contact Pilot Fish today. We have the expertise to help you succeed.

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2750 Hits

“SEO Basics?” Video Helps Simplify Finding the Right B2B SEO for Your Company

B2B SEO, like all forms of search engine optimization, has become increasingly complex

We’re excited to unveil “SEO Basics?” – our newest video, which you can find at the top of our SEO Experts page.

The video lists a number of important questions to consider when a company is selecting a B2B SEO firm. These considerations include a wide range of topics, such as:

  • Project goals
  • Staff capabilities.
  • Budget


A key emphasis in the video is that B2B SEO, like all forms of search engine optimization, has become increasingly complex, requiring expert skills and up-to-the-minute knowledge of ever-changing search engine practices.

Not only does the video contain some great B2B SEO advice, but it’s also a live demonstration of one of the basic industrial marketing strategies that we recommend to all of our clients: Get the most use possible out of every content piece your team creates.

Our “SEO Basics?” video actually started life out in August as a blog post titled “SEO Basics for Finding the Best Web Design or SEO Company.”

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834 Hits