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Maintaining Brand Consistency Across Social Media

You want each of your social media sites to look like they are all from the same company so you can create a strong connection with visitors.

From your website, to your marketing materials, to each of your social media accounts, brand consistency is essential in building trust with new or existing customers. But, since just about anyone can create and populate a social media site for their business, sometimes this attention to consistency can get lost or overlooked.

So, how does your social media presence hold up when it comes to brand consistency? To get a sense, compare the following design basics of your website and marketing materials to your social media sites:  

Logo
Instead of just typing in your company name, your logo should be included as part of your cover image or avatar. In most cases, the same version of your logo should be used across all platforms. The more often your logo is seen from site to site, the better.

Photos
Assign a cover photo. Choose one of your images that is already recognizable to your customers, or, select one that has a similar visual treatment as your main website photos. The photos in your posts should also resemble images from your website. Shadowing, borders, filters, colors and other treatments should be the same or very similar.

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GDPR, Your Website & Your Company

The penalty for violations is just over $23 million or 4 percent of your global revenue for the year, whichever is higher.

You’ve surely seen a lot more emails coming into both your work and personal email accounts from companies providing you with their updated privacy policies or asking for permission to continue contacting you.

That increase isn’t a fluke or a coincidence – it’s a direct result of the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, which was passed by the European Union in 2016 and goes into effect May 25, 2018.

And, yes, the regulation likely pertains to your company.

And, yes, this is serious business. The penalty for violations is 20 million euros (just over $23 million, based on exchange rates earlier this week) or 4 percent of your global revenue for the year, whichever is higher.

A GDPR Primer

The regulation’s goal is straightforward – to give individuals living with the EU full control over how any of their information is used by any company.

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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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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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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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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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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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Why Buy American Makes Sense for U.S. Websites and SEO

A big disadvantage to working with foreign developers is the inability to easily communicate your objectives for the site so that you’re assured of receiving what you want.

We’ve come across several situations recently where we’ve been asked to host, edit or optimize foreign-built websites and have gained enough experience from these situations to advise our clients, “Just say NO, when it comes to having your website built overseas.”

In some cases, the clients have yielded to corporate pressure to find the cheapest web developer, and ended up working with a U.S.-based firm whose developers reside in India, Malaysia, Poland or Ukraine.

At other times, we’re working with the U.S. affiliate of a foreign conglomerate, oftentimes a German, French, Italian or Japanese company, that insisted that the U.S. division have their website built in the motherland.

Either way, in each case, the resulting headaches were enough that we and our clients agreed that when it comes to website development and SEO, it’s always best to buy American. Here are the most common issues we’ve seen:

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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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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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More B2B SEO Tips to Give Your Website a Competitive Edge

SEO is one of the most cost-effective tools in industrial marketing.

Our previous blog post outlined 7 B2B SEO tips for 2017, and we thought we’d take this week to provide some additional ideas on how your company can hone its search engine optimization to increase rankings, boost site traffic and increase qualified leads.

SEO is one of the most cost-effective tools in industrial marketing, and the following tips can help you get the best return possible on your internet marketing investment.

Be Friendly and Responsive

Google’s decision to give ranking priority to websites that show up well on mobile devices is a curse – and a blessing. Making sure your site is responsive and that it operates properly on all types of devices is just one more task added to the ever-growing list of demands for companies. But it also can be a great way to differentiate your website from your competitors’ and gain an edge over those companies that haven’t yet gone mobile-friendly with their websites.

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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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“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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Google’s Move to Mobile-First Rankings Affects 2017 SEO Strategy

Mobile-friendliness is now part of Google’s complex SEO algorithm

It’s a mobile-first world now – whether you actually use your own phone for web searches or not – and your B2B website needs to adjust to today’s reality if you hope for SEO success in 2017.

When the Internet was new, there were only desktop computers, and so all the search engines viewed and ranked websites based on how they looked and operated on a desktop computer.

But now, with most Google searches being performed on mobile devices, Google has decided to begin viewing websites from a mobile perspective, meaning all searches, even those performed on desktop computers, will return results that prioritize sites built in responsive design. 

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10 Tips to Ensure the Proper Care & Feeding of Your Corporate Website

Using the wrong terms for SEO is like throwing a blanket over your website

In many ways, a corporate website is just like a copier, a delivery truck, machinery or any other corporate asset.

A major difference, however, is that those physical assets often are on a regular maintenance schedule, while companies rarely think about routine maintenance for their websites. Unfortunately, these often overlooked tasks can be crucial to a site owner’s corporate reputation and lead generation.

Good website maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. In fact, you can begin with a simple check of your site to make sure these key areas are still accurate:


  1. Your corporate address, email address and phone number
  2. Your product information and list of services
  3.  Any references to staff members or email addresses
  4. Facilities and equipment lists
  5. Images – look for old facilities, discontinued products and former employees
  6. Tagline or motto
  7. Maps/directions to your facility
  8. Your contact form – are the qualifying questions still pertinent?
  9. Submit the form. Does it go to the right person?
  10. Search terms – is your site targeting the right keywords?

Especially if it’s been years since your last reviewed your search terms, keyword research can be useful to discover whether search engine users are still searching for the terms your site was originally optimized for. Using the wrong terms for search engine optimization is essentially the same as throwing a blanket over your website: Qualified prospects aren’t going to be able to find it.

Another issue that requires serious consideration: Is your website mobile-friendly? With Google's announcement that it will begin giving priority to pages that display well on cell phones and tablets, this has become a major concern for any company that wants its website found in Google search results.

The final question can be the most interesting: What’s missing from your site?

Search engines and site visitors have become more sophisticated over time and often expect more than just the brochure-style website that once was the industry standard.

Something as simple as a site map or as useful as a resource section providing tips, documentation and pertinent information can make a big difference in how your site is ranked on the search engines – and how your company is perceived by potential customers.

An annual site review is sufficient – and the end of the year is a great time for a review. Anything that’s inaccurate should be easily fixed by a qualified website developer, who also should be able to help add new sections to your website.

Once you’ve completed this internal clean-up, take the opportunity to turn your attention to the external elements that can affect your website’s search engine positioning and overall availability to prospective clients.

Press releases, social media posts and links from reputable websites within your market are other great ways to gain favorable attention from the search engines and from qualified site visitors. These often can be relatively low-effort and low-cost methods of increasing links and interest in your site.

A reputable optimization companycan help lay out the best plan to keep your company’s external web marketing efforts in tune with your needs and the needs of Internet users.

In the end, the same basic tenet covers websites that covers your company’s other important assets: Be kind to your website, and it will be kind to you.

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Which Google Stats Should You Track to Boost Your Website’s Performance?

The stat many people focus on – average Google rank – doesn’t tell you if your website is actually delivering results.

Our clients ask a lot of good questions, but one question that isn’t asked often enough is which Google stats should be tracked.

This question is really the key to understanding Google Analytics, and it’s particularly timely, considering that the long-awaited Penguin 4.0 – the Google update that works to cut down on spammy websites in the search results – arrived right at the end of September.

Now that the update is here, how do you know if it affected your site? Really, how do you even know if your site is performing as it should? The answers to both of these questions can be found in your Google Analytics reports.

Understanding Google Analytics can seem daunting because this powerful tool provides nearly unending amounts of data.  Complicating matters is that the stat many people focus on – average Google rank – doesn’t tell you if your website is actually delivering results. Site owners who truly care about generating qualified leads and sales through their websites know the number of site visitors and the number of click-throughs from Google to specific pages are better indicators of a website’s true performance.

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9 Blogging Tips for B2B SEO Success

A good source of topics is your customer service or sales staff.

We’re always encouraging our clients to create and regularly post to blogs for their B2B websites. Blogs are a great way to keep a site updated and fresh, which is an important factor in how the search engines rank websites.

But just because it’s a great idea, that doesn’t mean that it’s also easy to implement. One of the biggest obstacles our clients cite is not having anything to write about.

Good topics for corporate blogs are actually everywhere – you just need to know where to find them. Here are some suggestions to get the ball rolling:

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How to Understand What’s Truly New in SEO

No good industrial marketer would ever guarantee Page 1 rankings or specific increases in traffic or leads.

If you’re a company owner or marketing director who cares about online sales leads, you’re probably past the “what is search engine optimization” phase and well into a “what’s new in SEO” mode.

And what’s new in SEO seems to be an unending plethora of updates and hints and guesses (especially about Google), as illustrated by some recent headlines:

Google drops mobile-friendly label, keeps mobile-friendly ranking algorithm

Google testing new sitelink format in its carousel

Google tries dropping the estimated number of results from its search results pages

Html5 not a Google ranking factor

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Industrial Marketing Just Got More Complex

The best industrial marketing plans incorporate social media outreach in support of SEO.

Social media is no longer the darling of just teenagers and celebrities. Industrial buyers – of all ages – are actually putting LinkedIn and its ilk to good use in their professional lives, giving B2B marketers another tool and another challenge to reach their target audiences.

Social media’s increased popularity among industrial buyers is one of many findings in a report recently released by IEEE Engineering360. “2016 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector” is based on answers from 850 survey respondents who work in the industrial and research fields.

A good majority of the survey participants began their professional lives before the dawn of the Internet: 68% of the respondents said they were over age 49, 18% were 35-49 and 10% were 18-35 (4% chose not to give their age).

Regardless of age, 82% of all respondents reported using social media for up to two hours per week for work purposes, without a material difference in responses from the different age groups.

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In B2B SEO, Any Backlink Isn’t Necessarily a Good Backlink

Backlinks are the dinner bell that draws site visitors in.

If you read any SEO websites on a regular basis (not that you have to, that’s one of the things we do for you), but, if you do read any SEO sites or newsletters, you’ll notice that there are often two camps – “Content is what counts!” vs. “Backlinks are obligatory!”

In the end, really, both camps are correct: Good, strong content, properly optimized for both search engines and site visitors, sets the table for a successful website.

But you’re not going to get the gang around the table, gobbling all the good things you’ve set out for them, without backlinks.

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1218 Hits