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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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  1555 Hits
1555 Hits

Is it Better to Have a Blog or a News Section?

A blog can can be used for a wide range of information, including press releases, trade show schedules and feature articles about the company’s products and services.

There’s a question we’re regularly asked by our industrial and B2B website design clients when discussing content marketing opportunities: Should we add a blog or post news to a news releases section?  Which one is better for SEO?

My answer typically is to choose a blog as it’s more versatile than a news section, is easier for non-experienced website users to update and provides as much if not more SEO value.

When we review websites during our sales process, it’s not unusual to find that the news on an industrial website’s news section is dated.  Oftentimes, there are very few press releases posted and it’s common to see the latest one is a couple years old.

Most businesses, especially small to mid-sized manufacturers, don’t have regular events that they or we’d call news and don’t have a person whose main priority is content development and marketing for the website.  So, it can become a challenge to keep a news section fresh with regularly posted items.

By contrast, a blog offers the opportunity to post anything a business wants to, without specifically having to label it as news.  A blog can be used for a variety of announcements, topics and articles, including press releases with actual company news, trade show schedules and feature articles about the company’s products and services.

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1894 Hits

Content Marketing for Engineers: The Converging Needs of Buyers and Sellers

Marketing surveys of industrial buyers and sellers show that content marketing is the key to bringing them together online.

There’s good news for industrial companies using their websites to generate leads. Two recent marketing research reports of buyers and two surveying sellers show a convergence in what industrial sellers want to happen with their websites and what industrial buyers look for when using the web for business-related buying. The common thread: Content.

What Sellers Want

In an Engineering.com survey of more than 100 engineering marketers, 44.4% of the companies surveyed said the biggest marketing challenge of 2016 is “needing more leads.”  Other challenges cited included:

When asked what their top marketing priorities are for 2016, 61% of the industrial companies said “lead generation” and 55% said “branding/awareness.”

Similarly, the Ascend2 2016 State of Digital Marketing report found that for 58% of the company’s surveyed, the most important digital goal this year is “increased lead generation,” followed by 48% who said “increase conversion rate,” and 44% who said “improve brand awareness.”

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2490 Hits

SEO News: Google Mobile Algorithm Update coming in May, and More…

Sites that are not responsive (mobile friendly) will likely see a greater decline in mobile search rankings in spite of other SEO efforts.

Last Spring big news hit the SEO world of a mobile search algorithm update from Google tagged Mobilegeddon. We wrote about it here: “How Well Did Your Website Weather Google’s Stormy Spring?”

Well, Spring has sprung again, and we have new storms upon us. The mobile algorithm is expected to gain some strength come May. This means that sites that are not responsive (mobile friendly) will likely see a greater decline in mobile search rankings in spite of other SEO efforts.

So if you’re website hasn’t been updated to be mobile friendly, it may be time to start that project if you’re concerned about SEO performance. According to studies by comScore, desktop search queries peaked in 2013, and have been falling since as mobile use has climbed. A review of your site’s Google Analytics can help determine if your company should consider the move to responsive design to improve its mobile search results.

The landscape is changing too. Google continues to tweak how it displays paid ads and organic search results. Ads have been removed from the right-hand column of Google’s search results pages.  

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2037 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

Why Cheap Website Hosting Costs More than You Think

Companies that choose the cheapest hosting providers can expect to pay for those savings in the form of lost potential business.

As a company that provides full-service web site design, development and search engine optimization services, it’s not uncommon for industrial businesses that have asked for a quote to want proceed with the core services we offer but scoff at website hosting.

After all, a buck is a buck, and if a company can save $20 or $30 a month by hosting it with a cheap national provider, why wouldn’t they do that?

From our 20 years of experience of saving clients from themselves, here’s a few reasons why:

1. Site Security and Maintenance – Hosting your site with an inexpensive hosting provider really only works if you have your own experienced, internal technical staff to keep up with the regular requirements of site software updates, security patches and other maintenance issues.

Sites built with common open-source Content Management Systems like WordPress and Joomla, regularly need to be checked for updates that fix bugs and protect sites from newly discovered vulnerabilities. A cheap hosting provider won't track notices issued by trade publications or software companies warning of possible issues that could impact your website (like this: http://www.thesempost.com/wordpress-plugin-admin-backdoor/) or provide technical assistance to keep your site up-to-date with the latest versions of your website or blog software.

Additionally, site performance issues caused by incompatibilities between the site’s CMS and server software can become a big headache to troubleshoot and fix since you won’t have access to or knowledge of the exact setup of the server your site is on. This can lead to many hours of a valuable technician’s time, which eats up any expected cost savings.

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2110 Hits

Metalworking Survey Supports Need for SEO in Industrial Sectors

We last documented in November 2015 about the importance of search engines in the success of digital marketing efforts for industrial companies. A more recent study, titled Metalworking Trends Survey, published by LoSasso, provides additional support for the importance of search engine optimization, social media, and industry-focused portals when trying to reach prospects during their buying cycle.

According to the study, two-thirds of all buyers surveyed conduct product research online to narrow their choices before contacting a salesperson.  Demographics no longer matter: Respondents ages 55 and older answered the same way as younger, tech-savvy participants. 

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2265 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

20 Years of Internet Marketing Excellence Embodied in 1 Person: Angie Charles

You likely read Angela Charles’ June blog post about our parent company’s 20th anniversary. However, you may or may not have noticed Angie’s passing mention of being one of the founding members of our original portal, polysort.com.

… which means this year is also the 20th anniversary of Angie’s employment with our company. In fact, it was exactly 20 years ago today – September 18, 1995 – that Angie joined Polysort, more commonly called Pilot Fish now.

During most of that time, she’s served as our company president, keeping Pilot Fish on track as an ethical, highly regarded – and highly successful – provider of website design, search engine optimization and Internet marketing. You can read about Angie’s accomplishments in her Pilot Fish bio or on her LinkedIn account.

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1885 Hits

SEO Copywriting Tips Post Penguin, Hummingbird and Panda

If you’re not certain why an industrial SEO firm would write about Penguins, Pandas and Hummingbirds, then you don’t need to read any further.  Just pick up the phone and call us at 877-799-9994 ext. 2104 or fill out our contact form, because you need our help – STAT!

Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird refer to major changes to the way Google ranks websites, which could have impacted your site’s search engine performance if you haven’t been keeping up with this.  You can read more about these here, but the upshot is that Google prefers sites that have good, strong content.

It might not seem logical, but a website that's well-written for human consumption with a little SEO help usually also is well-received by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

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4579 Hits

The Difference Between Meta Keywords Tag and Keywords

We still talk to prospects who believe that search engine optimization is as simple as just “updating the meta keywords.” The truth is, the meta keywords tag has not been in use by Google for quite some time.

So, why the continued confusion about keywords if Google doesn’t recognize the meta keywords tag?

Google doesn’t use the meta keywords tag, but it does use keywords to help identify a web site’s relevance to a user’s search. The search engine looks for keywords in the page content, the URL, the title tag, and descriptions tag as it ranks your web site against those of competitors. How often and where you use keywords and the quality of the keywords is critical.  The best quality keywords are those that are most commonly used by Internet users searching for your products or services.

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21704 Hits

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Like other forms of promotion, search engine optimization, also called SEO marketing or organic SEO, is a way of getting your company to stand out from the crowd. No one knows the exact number, but there are billions of pages on the Web. That's a lot of competition when trying to get eyeballs to your web site.

As much as 95% of Internet users use search engines. So getting your site to perform on one of the top three U.S. search engines -- Google, Yahoo and Bing -- is pretty important.

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7290 Hits

How to Choose the Right SEO Firm for Your Industrial Business

Choosing the right SEO firm is more than a matter of price. It's important to choose an SEO firm that is qualified in all aspects of search engine optimization: keyword research, SEO copywriting, web design and coding and off-page SEO.

At the same time, you'll want to work with an SEO firm that sets reasonable expectations. Search engine optimization is not a quick fix. It can take several months for optimized content to earn top positioning on Google. If you are being told differently or are talking with someone who can guarantee top placement, then question the vendor about their methods; they could be doing something that actually could get your site penalized or banned.

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5415 Hits

SEO for Latin American countries requires a Spanish website

When Total Grinding Solutions Inc., a centerless grinder manufacturer in Warren, Mich., was launched in 2014, company executives knew that their well-built, handsomely priced centerless grinding machines would be ideal for foreign markets, especially Latin American companies.

The company has been committed to doing SEO the right way, so, upon Pilot Fish's recommendation, TGS agreed to have us build them a Spanish-language version of their website (Rectificadora sin Centros de TGS), hiring a professional translator to provide technically accurate translated content for its centerless grinder pages.

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1630 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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2196 Hits

Why the Keyword Meta Tag is Still Valuable for SEO

The best use of the keywords meta tag is as an organizational tool for each page of the website so one can easily see and keep track of which terms that page is intended to target.

In the early days of search engine optimization, the primary method of getting the search engines to rank your website for the right keywords was to add a keyword meta tag to each page of your site.

However, a number of years ago, Google stopped using the keyword meta tag field as the basis for any part of its algorithm, rendering this method obsolete.

But, that doesn’t mean that keywords are dead, or that the keyword meta tag is worthless.  In fact, Pilot Fish finds the keyword meta tag to be immensely useful in implementing and managing SEO projects.  Here’s why:

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1816 Hits

Does Google’s Panda update put your website on the endangered list?

For web sites that are long overdue for more fresh content, the dog days of summer are a perfect time to plan a big content picnic. 

In mid-July Google officially announced the release of Panda 4.2, which specifically targets sites with low quality or thin content. This update has been a long time coming, with the last Panda update taking place in September 2014. 

So is your content due for a refresh? Here are some questions to ask:

Keep your content relevant, be the expert, and a good user/search experience will follow.
  1. When was the last time you really read the content on your web site?  Does it accurately reflect what your company offers today? Or, has your business added new products or services that are missing, or discontinued activities that are still represented on the site?
  2. Does your site reflect what potential site visitors are looking for today? Is your content staying on top of industry trends?
  3. Would Google consider your company to be THE expert on your product or service by reading your copy? 
  4. Does your site contain enough depth to be considered an expert in your industry or is it thin in areas? 
  5. Are references, dates and links to additional resources still valid? 
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Don’t Let Spammers Hijack Your Website Traffic

If you’ve noticed a spike in website traffic but not a corresponding increase in the number of leads from your site, then your website could be the victim of spammy referral traffic in Google Analytics.

It’s important to filter out this spammy traffic to be able to view an accurate Google Analytics report, including a legitimate bounce rate for your site.

Unscrupulous companies have found ways to insert themselves into the “Referrals” report and “Hostname” report in Google Analytics to make it look like a site is getting a significant amount of traffic from these sites. 

So, why is your site being targeted? Actually, it’s not. The spammers are using random ranges of Google Analytics codes that they program into their automated spam-generating sites. They don’t even know they’re hitting your specific site or Google Analytics report. And, in most cases, this is phantom traffic – there is no true visitor associated with it at all. 

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1724 Hits