• FAQs

          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.

        • FAQs

          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.

        • FAQs

          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.

        • FAQs

          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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Growth Doesn’t Happen By Accident: 4 Business Growth Principles

Growth doesn’t happen by accident. Last year I began a journey. A journey to transform my side business into an agency. While I have been in the online marketing sphere since 2009, I never really gave it my all and just let business happen. 2015 brought a lot of change for me both personally and professionally. These changes forced a new level of potential out of me and as a result, we more than doubled. This year, well, that’s a whole new story.

While we saw over 100% growth in 2015, there was one big thing we did not accomplish – landing a Hubspot Inbound retainer. I had put in the hard work, created persona-focused content, and promoted the heck out of it. To be honest, I was frustrated. To make things worse I had 3 “sure thing deals” slip away at the end. This year, I was determined to change that stat. The groundwork had been laid and the time for action was now.

I began 2016 by emerging myself in Seth Godin’s altMBA. This 4-week intensive program was life-changing, to say the least. Having to juggle a growing agency and growing family was already a lot and when it came time to begin altMBA I was unsure if I could handle it. Instead of crushing me, the added commitment helped me to prioritize my time and only focus on things that actually mattered. It’s so easy to get caught up in daily tasks that seem important but really are just time suckers. I also learned not only how to write down my goals, but how to achieve them. I learned how to leverage constraints, let others speak into my work, challenge my lizard brain, and the power of finding my “why.” Coming out of this experience I had a plan to improve upon what I had already started building just 12 months before.

1. Define Your “Why”

  • Why do people do business with me in the first place?
  • What areas of my work am I passionate about and what drives that passion?
  • If someone were to ask one of my clients a question about me or my agency, what would they say?

While these questions alone wouldn’t give me the answer, they did steer me in the right direction. So are you wondering what my “why” is? We exist to connect people with businesses in a more personal, human, and authentic way. Everything we do, from web design to SEO, is driven by this why. We are driven by why we do it and not what we do. This makes work feel like, well not work.

2. Sell Like A Human

When it comes to generating traffic and leads I feel like I have a good idea of what I am doing. Sales, on the other hand, scared the junk out of me. I think the root of it comes from the fear of “no.” When I talk to other agency owners I get the feeling that many of them struggle with this as well. Inbound is great and the process works, but in order to sell you have to eventually pick up the phone and ask. For months I was sitting back, driving leads and hoping they would call and beg for my services. Guess what, this never happened. Never.

Since January we have generated an average of 60 leads a month. Here’s the kicker though, what good are these leads if they just come once, get some free content and never return? If we exist to connect in a more personal way, we need to be developing relationships and trust. This can only be done authentically through human interaction.

“To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources‚ not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”

If I was going to be able to turn some of these leads into partnerships I had to push past my fear of no. I had to pick up the phone or send a personal email to encourage the next step. Without having a conversation, I would never be able to share my why and sell my solutions. This wasn’t something that just clicked. It is still very much in the works, but I can say that we have closed 4 inbound retainers and have 2 more in the works. Not to mention the more than 15 websites and new SEO clients. Learning to sell is a process. It takes patience, consistency, and perseverance. One day I hope to be decent at it.

3. You Can’t Scale Alone

As a long-time solopreneur I had become accustomed to doing everything on my own. I was suffering from what Chris Ducker calls “Superhero Syndrome.” I believed I had to do it all – the books, the websites, the SEO, all the inbound‚ everything. What I hadn’t realized was that trying to do it all was bottle-necking my growth.

During the altMBA, I set a goal to build and empower a team around me to take my agency to the next level. Since I had never really “hired” anyone, this was terrifying. Thankfully I was exposed to two great companies to help me get started. The first was eaHelp. This company helps you find and hire the right US-based virtual assistant. Not only did they find me a great assistant, but Rhonda has also now become a very important piece to the growth of our agency.

The second position I needed was a developer. For years I was designing, building, launching, and marketing sites all on my own. I needed help. To find a good developer, that I could afford, I used Virtual Staff Finder. Their team interviewed multiple candidates and narrowed it down to the top 3 for me to do a final round of interviews with. While this process was a little more work for me, I was able to hire I very good developer that fit my budget.

By handing off things others can do for me, I was now free to do the things no one else could. I can now focus on marketing our “why” and prospecting for new clients.

4. Defining Processes

By handing off things others can do for me, I was now free to do the things no one else could. I can now focus on marketing our “why” and prospecting for new clients.

Without clear processes, you are just finding things to do that make you feel productive. The key to actually achieving your why is a clear plan that everyone on your team understands. Now, I am not even going to try to claim that I have this down pat because I don’t. But I am learning and willing to put in the work to get it right.

When developing your processes, don’t do it alone. You will end up creating them for you and will have to go back and explain yourself to your team. This defeats the whole purpose of planning it out. Having your processes laid out will give your team members a game plan to carry out the work they are assigned to do. So make sure they get it. Involve them in the process, let them ask questions, and challenge you when something seems off. This helps make your processes more accurate and helps build your team’s trust in you and your vision.

What’s Next

I have some lofty goals. I want to grow but not just for the money. I truly believe that we can and do help people and businesses connect in a more personal, authentic, and human way online. The internet was created to build community, not to spam and create noise. I believe the more we can create genuine connections the better chance we have to expand our views and learn to live in peace with each other.

The good news is when you work out your why, people want to do business with you. At this time last year, we had already beaten our previous year’s revenue. Well, as I finish writing this post, we have not only beaten last year’s revenue, we have already seen 70% growth and are projected to grow revenue by 257% this year.

The numbers do make me smile, but what makes me happy is that I am building a business I am proud of and people love to work for and with. I have more time with my family and I truly believe we are making an impact. This didn’t happen by accident. It took hard work, partners like Hubspot and BrightInfo, some amazing team members, and businesses that share the same “why” as us. The first half of this year has been a blast and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

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