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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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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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Trust Experts for Your Industrial Marketing Strategy

According to Wikipedia, the term “expert” is defined as someone who “has a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field.”  That intense experience is what Pilot Fish brings to the table, having worked in the industrial sector dating back to 1995. 

Being able to identify and implement effective industrial marketing trends is essential to a successful strategy.

p> Our expertise with industrial companies didn’t happen overnight.   Our team has devoted time and energy to get to know many industries by attending industrial trade shows, conferences, plant tours, and more.   When working with industrial segments, we feel comfortable being able to talk the talk, translating technical detail into a cogent website that delivers an effective and clear message to your web site visitors.

 

Our industrial marketing teams are led by trained journalism professionals with experience at industrial publications.  We know how to work with your market and deliver an industrial marketing message that is appropriate to your target audience and that also works for search engines.  

Being able to identify and implement effective industrial marketing trends is essential to a successful strategy.  Online marketing channels that work for consumer sites don’t necessary equate to success for industrial businesses.  Marketing online via directories, social media and content marketing needs to be handled differently to effectively grow online traffic and deliver your message. 

We know square pegs don’t fit in round holes; working with a marketing partner that doesn’t understand your industry or your company’s needs doesn’t work either.  Making the decision to partner with an SEO firm that can develop an appropriate industrial marketing strategy for your company is the fastest route to a successful website.

Contact Pilot Fish or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2104 for assistance with your industrial marketing.

 

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2072 Hits

The Difference Between Industrial and Consumer SEO

We are a big believer that industrial SEO should be treated differently from a standard one-size-fits-all SEO approach.  For most industrial or B2B companies, a visitor to a website doesn’t result in an immediate sale.  It’s more of a nurturing process that involves educating the audience with technical content, managing how much information you provide, and getting the user to take action. 

Optimizing an industrial website, while employing some of the same techniques, is different enough from consumer SEO that if you can find an industrial SEO specialist (like Pilot Fish), you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to find out how they can help you. 

Here’s what differentiates industrial SEO specialists from consumer SEO companies:

Working with an SEO firm with industrial expertise enables you to jump-start a successful SEO program that appropriately leverages your company’s strengths to reach prospective customers.

Expertise in working with Industrial Content

Writing industrial copy tends to be more technically sophisticated, working with data sheets, machinery specs, or case studies.  The ability to supply high quality technical information to an engineer is much different than selling pizza to a consumer.  Poorly written content or inaccurate information can destroy a company’s ability to turn website visitors into off-line prospects.  Having a content writer that is familiar with your industrial audience ensures that the information you deliver satisfies those needs and delivers content with the right tone and context. 

Link building techniques tailored for industrial SEO

We all should know by now that back links send signals to search engines to help establish your online credibility.  The more quality sites that link back to your site, the easier it is for you to rank well.  Link building in 2014 is all about positioning great content to naturally build links.  Developing high quality content requires a skill set not often found at the average SEO firm.   Finding an SEO company that caters to industrial clients by employing skilled technical writers significantly improves your website’s chance of securing high quality back links for improved search engine performance.

A well-qualified industrial SEO firm can also help you identify high-quality link opportunities that exist within your industry.  Working with an SEO firm with industrial expertise enables you to jump-start a successful SEO program that appropriately leverages your company’s strengths to reach prospective customers. 

Pilot Fish’s skilled search engine team has worked with manufacturing companies for the past 19 years.  Our expertise with industrial companies sets us apart from other firms that make you pay for their learning curve.   

Contact Pilot Fish or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2104 for help with your industrial SEO efforts.

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1917 Hits

Elements of a Successful SEO strategy

Wondering what it really takes to execute a successful B2B SEO strategy?   Based on more than 20 years of experience in website development and SEO, here’s what the SEO experts at Pilot Fish recommend: 

1. Keyword Research and Competitor Analysis

Before you start redesigning or optimizing your website, it’s important to know what the target is. Keyword research helps determine not only the most popular terms used to find businesses like yours but also similar terms that can generate additional site traffic.  Reviewing what your competitors are doing from an SEO standpoint helps gauge how competitive the search environment is for your industry, thereby providing information on what effort will be needed for your site to earn higher placement on the search engines.

2. SEO Copywriting or Content Writing

Once you know which keywords your site must focus on to attract the most site visitors, it's time to put that information into action on your website pages. Pilot Fish employs skilled B2B SEO copywriting experts who, prior to working here, developed strong content writing skills as journalists at respected print trade publications.  Our SEO copywriting specialists will work with you to identify the most appropriate content for your site and then work their magic to develop content that addresses what search engines and your site visitors are looking for.

3. SEO Link Building or Off-page SEO

Because search engines evaluate the number and type of incoming links to your site as a way of determining your site's importance vs. your competitors', it's important to incorporate an incoming link strategy into your search engine optimization plans.  Pilot Fish SEO specialists will work with you to identify the best strategy for your business. 

4. Ongoing Maintenance and Measurement

Because search engines routinely alter the way they rank sites and your competitors are likely to revise and improve their own sites over time, it's critical that you or your SEO firm periodically review your search engine optimization to make sure your site's still performing.  Additionally, it's important to continue adding valuable content so that site visitors will return.  Pilot Fish can provide you an ongoing SEO strategy for maintaining your site's performance.

For a free site analysis or a customized quote for your B2B website, contact the SEO experts at Pilot Fish or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2104. 

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2218 Hits

B2B SEO Strategies That Work and Keep the Boss Happy

Sometimes the success of a project isn’t necessarily measured by the goals set so much as it is by satisfying the boss’ expectations.  The best way to develop a successful B2B SEO strategy is to do a good job of planning ahead of time, get your management team and SEO firm on the same page, and set realistic expections for your organic SEO marketing project.

It’s not uncommon for a company to tell its SEO firm that the goal is “to perform better on the search engines.” Unfortunately, without more clear definition of what better performance means, the project may head off in a direction different from what company management expected.

There are four key areas to define before beginning an SEO marketing program:

It’s important to understand how competitive your target terms are and what the likely outcome will be.
  1. Keywords:  Most businesses feel they understand their products, services and customers well enough to hand their B2B SEO firm a list of target keywords. The problem with this approach is that management may have an unrealistic expectation for how quickly or easily their company can begin performing on some of the most competitive keyword terms and also might overlook other similar terms that could generate as much or more quality traffic. Keyword research will help define the scope of your project  by identifying which terms must be viewed as long-term SEO marketing goals vs. terms for which your company can more easily attain success in the shorter term. Having strategies for a mix of long-term and short-term keyword goals will help satisfy your management that the SEO strategy is on track.
  2. Timeline: Is your boss on the same page as you and your SEO firm with regard to how long the project will take and how soon you might expect results? Long-term to you might mean a year or two, but could mean one month to your boss. There are no guarantees with regard to how long it will take to perform on a given term, but it’s important to understand how competitive your target terms are and what the likely outcome will be. Be sure you’re on the same page with regard to the effort that will be required to improve your site’s website rankings.
  3. Strategy: What plan has your B2B SEO firm put in place to achieve your SEO goals? Will your site require a significant amount of work on the website? If so, is your IT staff aware of the changes that will be needed? Many SEO marketing programs are unnecessarily disrupted by IT personnel who don’t appreciate other people in the company and, especially, outside parties, messing with their systems. It’s important that IT personnel hear from executive management at the outset of the project that this is a marketing activity and that they’ll be needed to support it in order for the company to reach its goals.
  4. Measurement: How will the project’s success be measured and on what timeline?  Is your boss looking for a specific increase in sales or is the measurement of the project’s success based on improved website rankings for specific keywords?  Google Analytics does a fine job of helping businesses track the improvement in their site’s SEO performance by showing the terms by which your site currently is performing and what average page position your website appears for that term on Google. Over time, you can use this to see changes in your site’s position for the keywords you are targeting. Make sure that you, your management team, IT staff and SEO firm are all in agreement with regard to how the SEO marketing program will be evaluated to ensure that the strategies you’ve developed support those goals.

Organic SEO is a highly effective B2B marketing strategy when businesses work together with their SEO firms to identify realistic goals and timelines and appropriate SEO marketing strategies that line up with those goals.

Contact Pilot Fish for assistance with your SEO marketing project or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2104.

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2671 Hits

Common SEO Mistakes

We’ve all heard the phrase “you get what you pay for,” and it’s probably one you’ve used in exasperation when pushed by a client to match the price of a competitor who’s offering an inferior product or service.

But, when it comes to website design and search engine optimization (SEO), sometimes you DON’T get what you pay for.  That is the most common SEO mistake.

The truth is, there are a lot of SEO-ignorant or just flat-out unscrupulous web design and SEO scammers that bank on the fact that you know very little about SEO. So when you ask for a new site that’s optimized for search engines or ask a provider to optimize an existing site, you take for granted that they will, regardless of whether the price they quoted is $5,000 or $500,000.

Reputable B2B SEO companies understand that it’s important to have good quality links from relevant sites.

This is the scenario from which we get most of our clients — hard-working businesses, most in the industrial or B2B space – who put their faith in some web design or “SEO company” and realize months later they’re left with bubkes for all the effort and dollars invested.

It’s not their fault. These industrial and B2B companies asked for the right thing.  They wanted a website that would perform on Google. The problem is, they don’t have the knowledge to determine whether the solution being proposed really is the right way to do SEO or potentially is an outdated version of SEO that no longer works or is no SEO solution at all.

Here are the most common mistakes a web design or supposed “SEO” company will make that cause your site not to perform well on search engines:

  • Offering to optimize just your meta tags. This is a way outdated tactic.  There are now hundreds of elements that go into Google’s algorithm.  Having good, unique page titles and meta descriptions are important, they’re just not the magic bullet that some companies want you to believe.
  • Equating a beautiful site with having a beautifully performing site. You’ve probably wondered how it’s possible that some po-dunk manufacturing business that built their crappy little website in 1999 is showing up on the first page of Google, ahead of your expensively and artfully redesigned site. The fact is, Google treats ugly and beautiful sites the same way, by ranking them based on the quality of their content and how well they match up to the keyword that the Internet user has just typed in.   But having a nice-looking site that also performs well on the search engines is important for another reason. Once site visitors click on your link in Google, you want to be sure they view your site as being an expert in your industry – credible and large enough to handle their business needs. The key is making sure that your web design firm understands that beautiful is important, but performance is more important.
  • Using “state-of-the-art” technology that’s not search engine-compatible. Boy, does it frost  our new customers when they find out the reason their website doesn’t show up well in the search engines is that their former web design firm built it using whiz-bang technology that the search engines don’t support.
  • Ignoring off-page SEO. Having a well-optimized website now is only about half of the equation for good performance on the search engines. If your SEO company hasn’t talked to you about off-page SEO and content marketing to develop high-quality back links to your site, then you need to run far away, very fast, and find a new SEO firm.
  • Failing to do research. SEO is keyword-driven and not all terms are alike. In order to have a website that can be seen by the broadest number of potential customers, your site needs to focus on the terms that searchers use to find companies like yours. If your SEO company hasn’t done keyword research it can show you, then you’re not with a credible company.  
  • Linking in bad neighborhoods.  For the last several years, there’s been a clamor about getting back links to your site for SEO.  Many businesses sprang up from the idea of developing automated link submission platforms or link-buying schemes.  Unfortunately for them and the clients they coaxed into going along with these strategies, thousands of links doesn’t necessarily equate to good SEO.   Reputable B2B SEO companies understand that it’s important to have good quality links from relevant sites.   And, supporting that premise, Google has begun penalizing websites that have an outrageous number of spammy or paid links.  

So, how can an industrial or B2B business needing a great-performing site avoid these common SEO mistakes?  The best way is to look for a credible web design or SEO company by doing the following:

  • Don’t tell them what you need, ask them what you need. If the SEO company can’t tell you what’s wrong with your site, how they will fix it and how the search engines work to rank websites, then they don’t know industrial or B2B SEO.
  • Ask if they do keyword research. You’ll need to pay your SEO company to do the keyword research as part of your SEO plan, but it’s very worth it. It helps guide strategy for button names, page names and topics you’ll need to cover on your website to ensure potential customers can find you and know what you do once they get to your site.
  • Ask for results and references. Any credible SEO company will be able to cite examples of their success and refer you to clients they helped.
  • Don’t base your decision on price. After 20 years of developing and optimizing industrial and B2B websites, we feel pretty comfortable with our quoting process. We’re not the highest priced company out there and we’re not the lowest. We tend to fall somewhere right in the middle. And, among the clients we work with, some spend way more money on their sites with other developers to have them fail, and others spent significantly less and got very little in return before coming to us. Either way, like Goldilocks and the three bears, once they’ve landed here, they find out we’re just right.

For a FREE assessment to determine how to improve your industrial or B2B website’s performance, contact us or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2104.

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4394 Hits