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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.

Avoid These 12 Mistakes to Ensure B2B SEO Success for Your Company

All too often, web site owners are their own worst enemies when it comes to SEO

Last week’s blog post related an incident when a client pointed out a minor fluctuation in its rankings for a specific search term and asked “Who’s beating us?”

In that instance, the answer was “Nobody’s beating you.”

But … honestly … sometimes the answer is “You’re beating you.”

All too often, web site owners are their own worst enemies when it comes to SEO and lead generation.  A site owner’s inaction and poor decisions can hurt search rankings much more than any competitor’s aggressive SEO plan.

Here are the top mistakes to avoid so you can become your company’s SEO hero – not its downfall.

Discounting the importance of a corporate web site or Internet marketing in general. Gone, gone, gone are the days when a good print ad and a hearty handshake would gain your company new customers. As documented in previous blog posts, today’s industrial buyers rely on vendors’ web sites to provide the information they need to make critical purchase decisions.

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1409 Hits

4 questions that will show whether your B2B SEO is doomed to fail

Trying to get a site to move one or two positions up in the search results for a specific term can be a daunting task.

Recently, a B2B SEO client wrote us with this concern: “I just saw that we’re now at No. 2 on Google for [a specific keyword] instead of our usual No. 1 position. Who’s beating us?”

The answer, very simply, is: “There might not be anybody beating you.”

A recent change of one or two positions likely doesn’t signify any serious flaw in a comprehensive B2B SEO program. Fluctuations – big or small – frequently aren’t a sign of imminent doom. They’re the result of any number of experiments the search engines run on a regular basis. Movements up or down one morning could easily be reversed the next day or even that afternoon.

It’s easiest to assess changes in search engine rankings if you have a historical record to compare the changes against. A good analytics package (like those offered for free by Google and Bing) and a good B2B SEO company to help analyze the data are the strongest foundation for creating that record.

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1394 Hits

Optimize Your News for Maximum Effect

Blogs provide a great opportunity to share information about your company and drive qualified traffic to your website.

So, there’s something different happening at your company – maybe you’re exhibiting at a specific trade show or launching a new product.

Your company has already expended significant resources to get to this point, possibly a new booth for the trade show or definitely a lot of research and product development for the launch.

It only makes sense to wring the greatest possible value from those expenditures by promoting these events on your website and through social media and news sites.

 Effective promotion of news like trade show exhibits and product launches allows your company to:

  • Increase the return on its expenditures
  •  Improve your website’s performance on the search engines
  •  Drive additional qualified traffic to your website
  • Generate high-quality leads for your sales staff

News promotion can seem like a daunting task to companies that don’t have marketing departments or advertising agencies. But here’s a simple list to follow to get the job done in a way that's both efficient and beneficial on several different levels.

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1554 Hits

Play the Percentages to Improve SEO & Digital Marketing Effectiveness

 

Hiring the right provider is just the first step in the right direction.

Hot off the presses this month is a new study of digital marketing trends across a wide range of sectors.

The results are telling:

  • Nearly half (41%) of the 275 respondents characterized the state of their organization’s digital marketing as below average compared to their competitors
  • 71% said their digital marketing effectiveness was either increasing only marginally or actually decreasing
  • 40% and 35%, respectively, cited the lack of skills/training and the lack of an effective strategy as major obstacles to their digital marketing efforts
  • 45% reported SEO was one of the most difficult digital marketing strategies to execute

Those figures all point to one fact: there are a lot of companies out there in need of digital marketing assistance.

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2257 Hits

SEO Planning Saves Your Company Time and Money

Let me give you a good piece of SEO advice: learn from other peoples’ mistakes.

Yes, I do sound more like my mother every day. But that’s not the point.

The point is that Pilot Fish has been spending a good bit of time lately – and, even more to the point, our clients have been paying a good bit of their hard-earned cash lately – to fix problems that could have easily been avoided.

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2164 Hits

Good SEO can help you find the products – and prospects – your business needs

More than half of survey participatns spend six or more hours per week on the Internet for work-related purposes

In case there are still any doubters, let’s make two things clear:

  • The Internet is real
  • Your prospects are using it to look for the goods and services you provide

Even today, 20+ years after the start of the Internet, there are still industrial naysayers who maintain that the Internet is solely for teeny-boppers and consumer shoppers while only phone calls, personal visits and trade publication ads can reach their highly selective, non-Internety prospects.

But a new report by IHS Engineering360 shows just how antiquated that philosophy is. The report details the results of a survey of 1,403 industrial professionals, and the findings are unequivocal:

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2491 Hits

Navigating the wild world of SEO

Search engine optimization just keeps getting more interesting – and more complicated.

A new report by Moz, a Seattle-based SEO tools provider, highlights this current state of affairs all too well: the report documents more than 35 different ways a web page could be displayed on page 1 of Google – not including paid advertising or market-specific features like menus, lyrics or sports scores.

These organic displays range from a simple, old-school listing, like this:

basic listing example - industrial seo specialists

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2426 Hits

B2B SEO Done Right – Linking Ranks #1

Quality content and links are the focus of everything we do for our clients.

Moz, a Seattle-based SEO tools provider, has released its biannual report on search engine ranking factors, and the results aren’t surprising.

The top three SEO factors cited by Internet marketing professionals from across the country are:

#1 -- The number and quality of links across an entire website

#2 -- The number and quality of links to specific pages on that site

#3 -- The quality of the content and optimization techniques on those individual pages

Of course, that might be surprising news to some site owners and SEO professionals who still believe that out-of-date tactics like keyword stuffing or even the amount of money spent on Google Adwords has a major effect on search engine rankings.

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2195 Hits

4 Tips for Industrial Marketing on Pinterest

Pinterest. It’s not just for crafters anymore.

Manufacturers – including major corporations like GE and IBM – are incorporating the photo-curating website into their Internet marketing to improve their branding, funnel more traffic to their websites and boost their search engine optimization efforts.

A little planning and forethought can go a long way toward creating a successful corporate Pinterest account. Keep these tips in mind to get the most out of your efforts on Pinterest:

Sharing insights from other industry leaders is one of the best ways to build your audience’s trust

1. Showcase your products, first and foremost. Post as many product images as you can, but don’t just throw everything up there – cherry-pick the very best images that truly illustrate your products at their best. And remember to link each image to the corresponding product page on your website.

Example: Provia Products’ doors, windows, siding and manufactured stone

2. Offer business resources. Like any good marketing channel, Pinterest works best when it provides a tangible benefit to your target audience. White papers and how-to guides can be promoted via Pinterest, simply by uploading a cover image of the paper or guide and then linking to the appropriate file.

Example: Machine specs for centerless grinders from Total Grinding Solutions

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1877 Hits

A Website Redesign for All the Right Reasons

Done right, a website redesign can accomplish a wide range of important goals:

  • Make it easier for site visitors to find the information they need
  • Illustrate more clearly the web site owner’s strengths and mission
  • Provide an opportunity to update information, ranging from product offerings to company history and contact details
  • Offer new features/online services for customers and prospects
  • Take advantage of the latest advances in website technology

ATL, a longtime Pilot Fish client, achieved many of those goals and more with today’s launch of its redesigned website.

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1783 Hits

Get Double the Bang for your Slideshow Buck

Everybody knows about PowerPoint, but not everybody knows about one of the best kept secrets concerning PowerPoint or other slideshow presentations:

They can be great online tools for marketing your company and your website.

Slideshows, posted to your own website and to sharing websites like http://www.slideshare.net (which averages 60 million visitors a month), offer the opportunity to:

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2384 Hits

SEO Boosts B2B Website Success in non-U.S. Markets

Because search engine users are self-selecting prospects, SEO is the most cost-effective way to reach prospective customers (you already know that they're looking for your product). For companies that have global business markets, optimizing web sites for customers in their native language is a no-brainer.

The site's Spanish-speaking audience has grown considerably. In the website’s first month, more than 10% of site visitors were from countries where Spanish is the dominant language.

Speaking to a prospect in his or her native tongue is a sign of respect and indicates competence in being able to do business in other countries.

The foreign search engine landscape is similar to what we see here in the United States. Google now offers search engines covering more than 100 languages or dialects. In addition, most languages also are served by a number of local search engines.

For companies seeking to reach prospects in foreign markets via foreign search engines, the SEO requirements are the same as what one would do to optimize an English-language site:

  • Develop optimized content in that language
  • Optimize meta tags
  • Build incoming links to the foreign language pages

Bonus points in prospect outreach for ensuring that the names of folders, pages and images are written in the appropriate language – nothing says “we cut corners and ignore details” like a website address that reads http://www.yourdomain.com/spanish/about-us.html instead of http://www.yourdomain.com/es/quienes-somos.html.

Pilot Fish recently completed a project to develop and optimize a Spanish-language site for a long-time client. Within one month of launching the new site, the client had earned first page placement on multiple Spanish-language search engines, including:

  • Google Mexico
  • Google Bolivia
  • Google Chile
  • Google Costa Rica
  • Google Argentina
  • Google Belize
  • Google Colombia
  • Google Nicaragua

Additionally, the site's Spanish-speaking audience has grown considerably. In the website’s first month, more than 10% of site visitors were from countries where Spanish is the dominant language. That compares to an average of 1.8% for sites that do not have Spanish-language pages.

With just one investment in a professionally optimized Spanish-language site, this client expanded its visibility and marketing capability globally.

And a word to the wise: many content management systems now offer built-in translation capabilities, which can be great for plain-vanilla, consumer-oriented sites. But manufacturers need to ensure their success by following these recommendations:

  1. Have someone who speaks the language and is familiar with your industry review the translation to make sure your industry’s terminology is properly rendered.
  2. Seek an Internet marketing professional’s assessment of the CMS’s translation function to make sure that all of the most important SEO and user-friendly components will be translated.

Fill out this form for SEO assistance for websites in any language, or call 877-799-9994. 

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1987 Hits

YouTube? Maybe You Should, for Better SEO and Marketing Results

Internet videos.

Those two words together conjure images of crazy teens failing at dumb stunts, goofy loners hamming it up and just plain nonsense.

But while the rest of the world squanders its time on silliness, a growing number of manufacturers are taking advantage of the amazing SEO power that online videos provide.

Here's a quick snapshot of industry-related action on YouTube.com, the ubiquitous video-sharing website:

GE has 300+ videos posted on the site; IBM has more than 1,800 clips there; Siemens AG, 4,600 and counting.

As with any SEO element, it's important to follow the right steps to achieve the best results.

Looking for an easy visual on quality improvement techniques? YouTube offers 18,700 videos to meet your needs. Process control and automation? 63,300 clips. Even the National Association of Manufacturers posts videos on YouTube.

And it’s not just associations and huge corporations posting those videos. Smaller companies also are reaping the SEO and marketing benefits of online videos, including:

  • A greatly increased chance of generating a first-page Google ranking on search terms important to your company.
  • The ability to see search engine results within days of posting.
  • The capacity to reach potential customers who are visually oriented rather than text-oriented.
  • The opportunity to visually demonstrate your expertise to prospects.

As with any SEO element, it's important to follow the right steps to achieve the best results:

  • Demonstrate something - how a machine works, how you handle quality control, how an end product meets certain requirements.
  • Post the video on your site, not just on YouTube.
  • Create a channel – a YouTube home page of sorts – for your company, where all of your videos can be listed.
  • Optimize each video posting and your channel by including search terms important to your customers and prospects, along with links back to your company’s website.

And don't feel that you have to have a professionally created video to rank well on the search engines. A carefully thought-out, "home-made" video can perform just as well. Plus, it often provides a greater sense of authenticity for viewers than a slick, professional video can.

Pilot Fish has helped a number of clients with their video SEO efforts. For more information on how your company can harness the power of online videos, contact Pilot Fishat 877-799-9994 ext. 2104.

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1992 Hits

Make Your Website Useful to Search Engines and Prospects

There's been an exciting trend among our website design clients: More and more of them want to include features that site visitors – customers and prospects alike – can actually use.

It's heartening to see companies moving away from static websites that mirror their sales brochures and creating online knowledge centers that provide distinct advantages, like a product selector, an equipment inventory, a service shop locator or installation videos.

I. Stern & Co., a plastic resin distributor and long-time Pilot Fish client, is the latest to join this trend. When I. Stern management decided they were ready to redesign their 13-year-old website, they took some time to consider what their customers and prospects wanted the most.

As a result, when it launched earlier this month, the new website included an extensive resin cross-reference chart, allowing site visitors to easily find which I. Stern resins meet their needs.

The new site also features a handy locator that quickly identifies which I. Stern sales office and warehouse are best suited to assist a site visitor, along with a blog to keep customers and prospects informed of new developments.

At the same time they were looking for new features, I. Stern executives were also smart enough to cast a keen eye over their old website and keep useful functions like product data sheets and a simple resume uploader for job applicants.

Overlaying all of I. Stern's great new content are the standards of any Pilot Fish web development project: carefully implemented search engine optimization and a user-friendly design that clearly illustrates just what sort of company I. Stern is.

I. Stern took its time and made sure the company was ready to move forward with a new site. If your business has had the same website for a number of years, it's probably time for you to begin the same process. Contact Pilot Fish or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2104 to create a website that your clients and prospects can actually use.

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3243 Hits