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          Search engine optimization (SEO) helps businesses drive visits to their website through organic search traffic. Given that the top organic search results receive a third of the clicks, a decline in ranking could be detrimental for your business. Implementing SEO best practices on your website will help to ensure that your web content is seen by as many potential customers as possible. The more visitors you have, the better your chances are of converting those visits into sales!

          Local search engine optimization (SEO) helps local businesses gain visibility by optimizing their local business listings for local search. A business that leverages local SEO will include its address, phone number, local opening times, and exact location in the form of a local citation. The goal is to rank for local searches which are usually performed by people in a specific geographical region looking for a business near them.

          We typically see results within the first 30 to 60 days, but when it comes to SEO, there are many factors at play. It's important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and results may not come as fast at you wish.


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          Digital advertising uses the internet to send advertisements to customers who are online through different websites and social media platforms like Google, Bing, LinkedIn and Facebook.

          The price for Google Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

          The price for Social Media Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.


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          This depends on the complexity and size of a redesign and if eCommerce is needed. On average, it takes around 14-18 weeks from the web design intensive stage to launch.

          If your website experiences the following issues: it’s not responsive on all devices, has a slow loading speed, the design appears old and tired, users don’t spend long on the site, sales are stagnant, or your business is going through a rebranding - your website needs a redesign to boost your brand awareness and sales.

          Sometimes there’s no need to rebuild a website. Minor edits, refreshing page content and images, or restructuring page layout for SEO best practices can boost traffic and sales.


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          Semantic search launched in 2013 with the release of Google's Hummingbird update. Since then, Google's search engine has become more complex. The integration of machine learning, with RankBrain, and NLP, with BERT, has enabled the search engine to better understand the context of a query and deliver more personalized and targeted results. Semantic SEO is the process of creating machine-readable content using structured data and linked open data to help search engines better understand your content.

          On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page SEO refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. From meta tags to page content, website structure, and HTML, on-page optimization services are focused on making your website more visible to search engines.

          Structured data refers to any organized data that conforms to a certain format, such as information in a relational database. When information is highly structured and predictable, search engines can more easily organize and display it in creative ways. Structured data involves using a piece of code that is laid out in a specific format easily understood by search engines. The search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a more dynamic way.


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          An SEO agency has experts in different areas of search engine optimization that may be out of the realm of your marketing team's abilities. SEO can be very complex and time-consuming. Furthermore, as search engine algorithms change it can be difficult to stay current on the latest ranking factors and strategies for improving online visibility. You will likely see a greater return on investment and better results from using a professional SEO agency than you would from tackling this on your own.

          As a digital marketing agency, SMA Marketing provides products and services in four areas: SEO, Local SEO, Digital Advertising, and Web Design

          We focus on building authentic, long-lasting relationships with our clients. We’re goal oriented and results driven and believe in doing good and making a difference in the world.

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A Look at Google’s 2021 Link Spam Update

At the end of July 2021, Google began rolling out a hefty link spam update attempting to make its algorithms more effective at identifying and nullifying link spam. The update took about four weeks to roll out, fully completing at the end of August.

If you’ve noticed a recent shakeup in your site traffic or search rankings, it’s possible that this update may be the cause.

What does the latest update entail and how can you ensure your site is up to par with Google’s new link guidelines? Keep reading to find out.

What is Link Spam?

Link spamming is the practice of embedding links into your site to increase the number of backlinks to a specific page regardless of link or page quality or context. The goal, of course, is to give the page an extra SEO boost so it ranks better in the SERPs.

Some common forms of link spam include:

  • Spam Posting: When a black-hat link builder posts single links in public forums, comment sections, or guest books regardless of context.
  • Hidden Links: Placing hidden links in posts that only bots can see.
  • Link Farms: When a group of site owners agrees to continuously link to each other for the sole purpose of increasing their SEO rankings.
  • Single Post Blog: Adding multiple random links to one blog post in hopes of improving backlink profile.
  • Directory Spam: Registering your site across thousands of RDF Site Summary (RSS) pages or blog feed directories with link manipulation in mind.

An Overview of Google’s Link Spam Update

Though each of these practices has had little to no ROI all along, Google’s latest link spam update confirms all related tactics will be nullified moving forward.

Google made a formal update announcement on July 26, 2021, on its Search Central Blog. In it, Google states,

“In our continued efforts to improve the quality of the search results, we’re launching a new link spam-fighting change today ‚Äî which we call the ‚Äòlink spam update.’ This algorithm update, which will roll out across the next two weeks, is even more effective at identifying and nullifying link spam more broadly, across multiple languages. Sites taking part in link spam will see changes in search as those links are re-assessed by our algorithms.”

In other words, Google is going to turn a blind eye to spammy links. All incoming and outgoing links will be reviewed for spam, across multiple languages. Any link Google deems spam will simply be ignored.

Google’s Updated Link Best Practices

So, what can you do to ensure your links meet Google’s new guidelines?

First, review your backlink profile. There are a variety of free and paid SEO tools that will help analyze each of your backlinks and determine which are toxic. It’s best practice to disavow toxic links to ensure you maintain a clean, healthy backlink profile.

“What is the point of taking time to review my backlink profile if Google is just going to ignore spammy links?”

Though Google has suggested that it will be nullifying or ignoring spammy links, there’s still a possibility of receiving a manual Google Penalty. You can avoid potential link penalties by reviewing your backlink profile often and following Google’s best practices on links.

Next, if you’re linking out to other sites, Google recommends qualifying those links appropriately. Sites are now required to add tags to links where there’s a value exchange between the two domains.

Here’s what Google recommends for each type of link:

  • Affiliate links: Google asks sites participating in affiliate programs to qualify these links with rel=”sponsored”, regardless of whether these links were created manually or dynamically.
  • Links from sponsored posts: Links that are advertisements or paid placements (commonly called paid links) are to be marked up with the rel=”sponsored” value.
  • Links from guest posts: Links from guest posts are to be marked up with the rel=”nofollow” value.

The Time is Now to Avoid Link Spam

The time is now for site owners to ensure they are following best practices on links, both incoming and outgoing. Focusing on producing high-quality content and improving user experience is always a safe bet, especially when compared to manipulating links.

If you need any assistance supplementing your SEO strategy, contact us today!

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