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  • "ShipServ is a vital tool for us as a leading European ship chandler and we need to be highly visible in the ports we serve as it is used by all the leading shipping companies."

    George Saris, President
    Atlas Ship Chandlers

  • "We started to use TradeNet just to save time and stop manual typing of orders, but now we get other substantial benefits including vital benchmark data on suppliers’ response times that help us in all our negotiations."

    Knut Ove Thuland Hansen, Purchasing Manager
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  • "Time is the biggest saving through ShipServ. We have detailed data that tells us that the amount of time we spend per vessel each week has dropped from 9.2 hours to 7.9 hours."

    Richard O'Malley, Purchasing Supervisor
    Crowley Maritime

  • "Encouraging our suppliers to adopt the e-commerce platform has been well worth the effort. We have reaped significant cost savings from streamlining our purchasing processes."

    Charles Ong, Purchasing Manager
    Keppel Shipyard

  • "Since joining ShipServ in 2012, we have gained 7 new clients in 18 months. It has helped our company be seen in the international shipping market as both ShipServ Pages and TradeNet are used by many different shipping companies and it also speeds up the process between buyer and supplier."

    Valeria Assandri,Machinery & Replacement Parts S.r.l

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19 February 2009

Suppliers – watch your words!

Online marketing tip #1: Search marketing and keyword planning

Tough times mean the requirement for smart marketing has never been higher. Online is the smartest marketing of all, because it’s low cost, measurable, instant.

ShipServ is committed to helping you exploit the power of the Internet to improve business performance. So, from now on, we’re going to be sharing our hints and tips for online marketing success.

This first one shows you how to use keywords to improve your search marketing.

When somebody uses a search engine they type words into the search box to find what they are looking for, such as ‘BMW Diesel Parts’ or ‘anchor chains’. The terms they type are called keywords. Combinations of keywords are called keyphrases.

You may not know it, but 84% of people who use Google, the top search engine, to search for something online never make it past the bottom of page two of search engine results.

Being outside of the top 20 like this is the equivalent of having your store in the backstreets, deep in the suburbs and in a hidden basement. Only really determined shoppers will ever find it. It’s clearly much better to be on the main shopping street in the town. Being in the top 20 listings on Google is like being on Main Street.

The closer you are to a #1 search listing, the greater your chances of converting visitors into sales. The process of getting to the top of the search results is called, in the jargon, Search Engine Optimization or SEO and it’s all about making it easy for searchers to find your website by boosting your position in the listings.

Most companies, however, don’t have the resources or scale to boost themselves up the Google listings. So what to do?

Step 1: Get a  ShipServ Pages listing

With over 27,000 listings, ShipServ Pages is especially good for small companies that want a cost effective way to start marketing themselves on Google. With our significant investments in SEO we make sure your listing is more easily found on search engines, generating further opportunity for you as a Pages customer. In fact, over 80% of Pages visitors come from search engines.

We do all the work of editing and organizing how your webpage is stored. This includes increasing its potential relevance to specific search terms on Google as well as ensuring that external links to the site are correctly titled and in abundance. All of this means you stand a better chance of coming high up in Google search results. So for example if you’re a Chandler based in Dubai, there’s every chance your Pages details will come at the top of list when someone searches for “Chandlers Dubai” in Google.

Step 2: Keywords are vital

Identifying the keywords and phrases that potential customers are using to find you is absolutely central to getting a high listing – in both Pages and in Google. It goes without saying that if you don’t describe what you provide in terms that buyers are searching for, then you stand less chance of being found.

The first step is to identify who your customers are and what do they want. The goal here is to identify the words and phrases they are using to find what you offer online. If you are a ship’s chandler in Hong Kong specialising in the LNG market, your keywords and key phrases are obviously going to be very different than those for a diesel engine parts dealer in Southampton. Try doing some sample searches in Pages and see what comes up. Are your competitors in the results? And if so, how are they describing their business? And what can you do to beat them?

Step 3: Update your Pages profile

Spend time on filling out all the possible information you can – locations, brands, ports, categories. The more information you record the more you’ll get found. If you have a listing on Pages already, but don’t know how to update it, email our Pages Support team.

So, all in all, terms like SEO and keyword planning may seen like rocket science, but its amazing how much of a difference a few words can make to your business.

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