Google+ Badge

Monday, October 24, 2016

U.S. companies making manufacturing more productive, efficient

In all the discussion during this tumultuous political campaign about how many jobs were shipped overseas as the result of "bad" trade deals, one important factor has been ignored: the ability of U.S. companies to raise productivity through more sophisticated automation and improve efficiency with data collection and monitoring systems.

Before NAFTA, CAFTA and any other trade deals began to impact U.S. manufacturing, domestic businesses were already being squeezed by their customers to reduce costs and improve productivity. Certainly, shipping jobs overseas could take care of reducing labor costs, but increased lead times weren't going to satisfy many OEMs that wanted just-in-time manufacturing.

That's where manufacturing automation and production monitoring came in. Adding automation systems, especially in assembly line operations, reduced labor costs and improved productivity.

Production monitoring systems, like the production tracking software offered by ShopFloorConnect, reduce machine downtime and enable businesses to deploy their equipment more efficiently. The company's system works by monitoring and calculating overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). The OEE calculations provided by ShopFloorConnect track the actual number of parts produced by a machine against the total number of parts that could have been produced. Part quality also is factored into the OEE equation. The resulting information assists manufacturers in identifying opportunities to increase production.  

As a result of increased automation and improved efficiency, U.S. manufacturers produce twice as many goods as in 1984, but with one-third fewer workers.




Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Custom Website Designs vs. CMS Design Templates

When the time comes to redesign your company's website, there are a lot of decisions to be made about content, message, lead generation, etc.

But one of the first and most important decisions comes before you even get to that point: The decision on how to actually build and design the site itself.

In these days of economic uncertainty, it's easy to go for the (initially) least expensive option: a templated site you develop yourself via one of the many online services that now offer DIY web design.

If your only concern is get something -- anything -- about your company online at the very lowest entry cost, then you've made the right choice.

However, if you're also concerned about SEO, lead generation, customer perception and branding, you've most likely made a very wrong choice.

Read our most recent blog post to learn why custom website design is often the best choice for corporate websites. If you'd like to skip a step and go directly to the help you need, contact us now via our web form or by phone at 877-799-994.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Understanding the 5 Google Analytics Reports that Can Boost your Search Engine Performance

When you’re in charge of your company’s,website, it can be hard to explain to coworkers and supervisors how well the site is performing - and it can be even harder to try to figure out to judge your company’s website performance even before you get to that point.
Average rank in search results is a favorite Google stat that many people like to pull out. But if your ultimate goals are to increase qualified leads and covert them into sales, your average Google rank isn’t going to provide many actionable insights.
However, there are five other basic Google Analytics reports that can shed light not only on your corporate website’s performance but also on ways to improve that performance. Read our latest blog post for the full skinny on finding and understanding the Google Analytics stats you need.

Friday, September 23, 2016

SEO Blogging Tips to Beat Back Writer's Block

Corporate blogging is the double-edged sword of industrial marketing. It's great for B2B SEO, client outreach, branding and so much more. But it also seems to induce an incredible amount of stress, especially when it comes to finding topics to write about.

A lack of ideas is actually the main objection most of our clients make when we recommend that they create a blog and publish regular posts. ... "What would I write about?" ... "Nothing ever happens." ... "We don't have any new products to unveil."

To help lessen the anxiety and spark a little creativity, we've come with nine blogging tips that any business can write about.

Bonus Tip (not included in this week's regular blog post): nearly all of the ideas are repeatable, some once a month, others once a quarter, certain topics just twice a year. Taken together, the nine post topics represent 36 weeks of blogging, all of which can be mapped out ahead of time.

Furthermore ... figure in one trade show a year (easily worth three posts - one promoting the event, one providing a "live" update from the show floor and a third wrapping up your experience) plus at least one standard news event (new hire, product launch, company milestone, etc), and that leaves you with 12 posts (about one a month) that you would need to find topics for.

Coming up with one idea a month is much less daunting than having to wrestle 52 ideas into existence. Which makes a corporate blog seem at least a little more do-able.

If you'd like help coming up with ideas - or even with writing your company's blog - give us a call at 877-799-994 ext. 2104 or submit our contact form.




SEO Blogging Tips to Beat Back Writer's Block

Corporate blogging is the double-edged sword of industrial marketing. It's great for B2B SEO, client outreach, branding and so much more. But it also seems to induce an incredible amount of stress, especially when it comes to finding topics to write about.

A lack of ideas is actually the main objection most of our clients make when we recommend that they create a blog and publish regular posts. ... "What would I write about?" ... "Nothing ever happens." ... "We don't have any new products to unveil."

To help lessen the anxiety and spark a little creativity, we've come with nine blogging tips that any business can write about.

Bonus Tip (not included in this week's regular blog post): nearly all of the ideas are repeatable, some once a month, others once a quarter, certain topics just twice a year. Taken together, the nine post topics represent 36 weeks of blogging, all of which can be mapped out ahead of time.

Furthermore ... figuring in one trade show a year (easily worth three posts - one promoting the event, one providing a "live" update from the show floor and a third wrapping up your experience) plus at least one standard news event (new hire, product launch, company milestone, etc) a year, and that leaves you with 12 posts (about one a month) that you would need to find topics for.

Coming up with one idea a month is much less daunting than having to wrestle 52 ideas into existence. Which makes a corporate blog seem at least a little more do-able.

If you'd like help coming up with ideas - or even with writing your company's blog - give us a call at 877-799-994 ext. 2104 or submit our contact form.




Monday, September 19, 2016

How to Learn What's Real, What's Important & What's Useful in B2B SEO

Last week, our blog featured news on the latest Google algorithm, along with some analysis of what that might mean for owners of B2B websites.

But it's not always that easy to tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to Google algorithm updates. There are a lot of rumors, misconceptions and outright untruths floating around out there.

It can be hard to figure out what’s real, what’s important and what’s useful to your company. A good way to minimize confusion and maximize your benefits is to find an Internet marketing agency you can trust and with which you can develop a long-time relationship.

Read our current post for a checklist to help you identify the right agency for your needs.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Another Google Algorithm Update?

The word on the street is that there's been another Google algorithm update, this time concerning its core algorithm - the underpinnings of how it ranks websites in its search engine results.

Such an update is different from Google's infrequent updates to Panda, Penguin and other measures it uses to ensure its search engine returns the best results possible (click here for a rundown on the different types of Google algorithm updates).

Of course, Google maintains that it constantly tweaks its core algorithm, which reportedly comprises 200+ ranking factors. And, of course, it's typically closed-mouthed on what SEO observers are reporting as a major new algorithm update.

For the skinny on what all this means for your B2B website and what steps you should take next, read our most recent blog post - or just give us a call at 877.799.9994. We're always happy to work with site owners who take a real interest in their Internet marketing.

Another Google Algorithm Update?

The word on the street is that there's been another Google algorithm update, this time concerning its core algorithm - the underpinnings of how it ranks websites in its search engine results.

Such an update is different from Google's infrequent updates to Panda, Penguin and other measures it uses to ensure its search engine returns the best results possible (click here for a rundown on the different types of Google algorithm updates).

Of course, Google maintains that it constantly tweaks its core algorithm, which reportedly comprises 200+ ranking factors. And, of course, it's typically closed-mouthed on what SEO observers are reporting as a major new algorithm update.

For the skinny on what all this means for your B2B website and what steps you should take next, read our most recent blog post - or just give us a call at 877.799.9994. We're always happy to work with site owners who take real interest in their Internet marketing.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Can You Picture a Smooth Website Redesign?

At Pilot Fish, we can so completely picture that.In fact, it's one of our most important goals - quickly and efficiently creating and launching the websites that best meets our clients' needs.

The greatest impediment to reaching that goal is miscommunication. So much time can be lost in trying to figure out what the other person meant and then double-checking to see what they actually did mean.

In the hopes of helping you avoid similar missteps in your next website redesign, our creative director, Heather Kyle, shares six useful, time-saving tips in her most recent Pilot Fish blog post. Click here to get the whole skinny - and make sure to contact Pilot Fish for your next industrial website redesign.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Remembering a Few SEO Basics Can Help You Find the Internet Marketing Help You Need

Committing oneself to optimizing a website – REALLY optimizing each web page for the search terms that meet your needs and your clients' needs – is hard work, and requires doing a lot of things – big and small – right some big things and many more little things right.

And the search engines aren't making it any easier. Google keeps making it more difficult to earn and maintain top rankings on its search engine; Bing and Yahoo constantly fiddle with their engines, as well. That's why it's important to find a partner you can trust to be able to navigate choppy SEO waters.

Of course, finding the right SEO and web design partner isn't easy, either. To help you along the path, we lay out six SEO basics to keep in mind during your search in our most recent blog post. Click the link to learn more or contact us for the B2B SEO and web design information you need.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Intersection of Internet Marketing & Trade Publications

Several of our clients have had great luck lately in getting their news published in industry publications.
Their strategy was simple - no, they didn’t threaten to pull their subscription nor did they offer to (wink wink nudge nudge) purchase additional advertising (which is a huge line that reputable publications never cross).
Instead, they presented their information honestly in a clear, concise manner and made sure they submitted their news via the publications’ preferred method.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Blogging: It’s not just for Moms, Sports Fans and Geeks



When we mention the word “blog,” as in “your website should have a blog” to our industrial SEO clients, in many cases, their eyes start to glaze over.

People working for manufacturing companies or other industrial businesses don’t see the connection between a blog and good PR for their company.  But, a blog provides an easy passage to ongoing communications with a company’s customers and prospects in an easy-to-use format.

Consider that most companies use their websites to communicate about their products and services and, that in most cases, companies face lots of competition for delivering those products and services to their intended clients.

A blog is a tool that can be used to add context to what your company says it offers. Not only does your company sell “Product X,” but we’ll tell you the best way to maintain Product X, find accessories for Product X, the history of Product X, the next trade show where we’ll be exhibiting Product X and tips for getting the best ROI from Product X. 

Each of those topics can be a blog article that not only promotes Product X, but also builds credibility for your company as an expert on the topic.  That’s a really important SEO concept as Google ranks sites based on their authority in a particular industry, using the company’s own web pages to determine how important that company is within its industry (compared to competitors) and how well the company knows its industry based on in-depth content.

A blog enables a company to easily continue building on the theme of authority within its industry; unlike websites, you don’t have to worry about where to shoehorn in additional pages on the site.

Additionally, blog articles enable your company to speak to customers in multiple voices – you can ask employees representing different departments to contribute articles that address issues of concern to your audience.  That helps spread around the workload and enables the employees who are front-facing in your business to build on their business relationships in a more public forum.

Pilot Fish SEO clients have begun to see the light, particularly once they see the number of page views that certain blog article topics have generated. 

For example, item Southeast, which designs and builds custom machines, lean production systems, ergonomic workbenches and factory stairs and platforms, recently found that two of its blog articles were among the top 10 pages viewed on its site.   

Highlighting projects, such as this one on a custom work stairs and platform system for a U.S. manufacturing plant, not only helps the company promote its products and services, but also enables them to detail why businesses come to them.   

Tips articles further solidify your company’s knowledge in a specific arena.  For instance, Total Grinding Solutions’ expertise in centerless grinding.

The manufacturer of new centerless grinders regularly posts usage and maintenance tips, like these:


The Internet provides an unprecedented amount of control for companies to create and deliver their message. Blogs are one great tool for mastering your communication with customers and building good SEO content in the process.

 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Mix and Match Existing Content & New Backlinks for Maximum SEO Effect

Our current blog post on link-building touches on how creating website content and adding new backlinks have to work hand in hand to keep a site performing well on the search engines and generating high-quality leads. 
Custom replacement window and door manufacturer ProVia, a long-time Pilot Fish client, puts this strategy to work on a regular basis, mining existing content to create new pieces and to find new ways to link back to its corporate website.
ProVia has an absolute treasure trove of product images that are available for use not only on provia.com but also on a wide range of social media and industry resource websites.
A case in point is the company’s latest ideabook on houzz.com - a well-established, well-regarded site focused specifically on ProVia’s own target audiences.
While the ideabook is new, the content itself is not - all of the images already existed, as did the descriptions. ProVia simply combined them together in a different way to create a unique piece of content.
In the process, ProVia also added nearly 30 links back to pages deep within its website, a number of which had never been linked to before. 
The company already has its eye on its next content-and-backlinks masterpiece, which we’ll be sure to highlight in a future post.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Leveraging Corporate News for Fun & Profit

With staff at so many companies stretched so thin, it's hard for most manufacturers to find the time or staff to promote the sort of interesting and important developments that occur on a regular basis at every company in the U.S.
But promoting corporate news doesn't necessarily require a big investment of resources. In fact, eight simple steps can get any company, no matter how understaffed, into a regular routine of promoting itself online.
Most importantly this isn't promotion for the sake of promotion. Properly promoting corporate news – say participation in a trade show, a new product launch, a company milestone or employee achievement – provides an amazing opportunity to:
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Improve search engine rankings
  • Increase qualified sales leads
  • Strengthen the bottom line
All of which means greater profitability for your company. And what could be more fun than that?

Monday, April 18, 2016

B2B company quandary: Blog or post news?



“Should we create a blog or a news releases section for our website?” is a question we typically hear from our website and SEO clients as they ponder the most effective way to conduct their content marketing.

I generally will recommend a blog for content marketing because 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. 

Most of the companies we work with can’t say they have news often enough to keep a news section from getting stale.  However, there are plenty of ways to update a blog because it can be used for any type of announcement, topic or article, including press releases, trade show schedules and feature articles about the company’s products and services.

At Pilot Fish, we help our clients get into the routine of blog posting and other forms of content marketing, and provide support in multiple areas, including idea development, content writing, optimization and posting, if necessary.

Blog article topics can come from a number of different sources, both internal and external. 

Current events, for example, might spark an idea for an article related to your business. item North America, a distributor of extruded t-slot aluminum framing systems, oftentimes uses current events as the news peg for its blog articles. One example is the company’s most recent blog tying in this week’s National Environmental Education Week with the reusability and recyclability of their extruded t-slot aluminum framing products

Technical tips are a handy source of blog material for many industrial SEO clients, including GCH Tool, a manufacturer of grinder parts and components.  The company frequently develops blog articles focused on technical and maintenance tips for centerless grinder parts and components, surface grinder parts, ID grinder parts, OD grinder parts and double disc grinder parts.  

Fujitsu Glovia, a manufacturing ERP software company, uses its blog to share trade show plans, like its recent exhibit at the AeroDef trade show, where it highlighted the advanced aerospace and defense ERP features of its GLOVIA G2 software.

Contact Pilot Fish to for assistance building and managing a blog for your company site or implementing other content marketing initiatives.