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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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The Impact of Growth-Driven Design on your SEO Strategy [Case Study]

Peanut Butter and Jelly. Starsky and Hutch. Bacon and Eggs. Batman and Robin. All of these duos have something in common. Together, they are awesome, but apart from one another, they’re just ok (Aside from Batman. I’m pretty sure he can hold his own). The power of a perfect combination can take something pretty good and make it incredible. The same is true when talking about your online marketing strategy. So let’s take a look at how growth-driven design impacts your SEO strategy to determine if they’ll be another classic pair or just awkward acquaintances.

If you want to increase the traffic, interactions and the visibility of your business, organization or personal website, you are going to have to use a number of different strategies. Just having a website isn’t enough and trying to optimize and promote a bad website using SEO will just help you fail faster. Merging strategies and allowing them to work together results in a more effective online marketing plan that produces real business results.

As far as website design and redesigns go, I am totally sold on the growth-driven design method, see my other posts here, but as someone who has been in the SEO world for quite a while, I wanted to see the full effects of GDD on my on-going SEO strategy. Was is helping? Was it hurting? Did it have no effect at all?

A Quick Rant on SEO

So I hear and read a lot about what SEO is and is not. Needless to say, the search world has changed a ton over the pass few years, but good SEO agencies have been doing it right for years. SEO is not all about rankings and it’s not just about diving organic traffic either. An effective SEO strategy is focused on driving targeted leads to your site and then helping to convert them using compelling content. SEO is not a one-time solution. SEO is important in every phase of the marketing funnel. SEO must be user focused first, search engines second. Ok, rant over.

The Impact of GDD on SEO

We launched our growth-driven design site in August of this year. The purpose was to create a better experience for our users with the end goal of creating more connections and leads for the agency. Notice, the main focus of GDD is user experience. For years the people over at the Big ‚ÄòG’ have been telling SEO’s to do the same. Here is an older, but still relevant video from Matt Cutts. Over the past 3 months of growth-driven design, our traffic has grown exponentially. But was there a correlation between my new, living and evolving website, and my search strategy?

Let’s take a look at the data.

The first graph is focused on all of the site traffic from July 2015 to October 2015. The second is on organic search only. I added the month prior to starting our GDD build to get a better picture of where we were before we implemented our new site.

Note: While SEO impacts more than organic search, I am using organic as my based line for this study because organic is directly impacted by SEO.

All Site Traffic:

SEO and Growth Driven Design

Organic Search Traffic:

SEO and Growth Driven Design

In the “All Site Traffic” graph you can see a large spike in September’s traffic. This is primarily due to an increase in our paid search. (Full disclosure, it was not very effective in bringing in quality traffic. What a waste.) As you can clearly see, our organic search has grown each month. But, also note our organic was going up before we launched our GDD site. Now, we are an inbound marketing agency and SEO and growth-driven design are just a part of what we do. So this data alone was not answering my question. What I wanted to know is, does GDD improve your SEO. Looks like we are going to need more data.

Organic Search for the Year 2015:

2015 SEO and Growth-Driven Design

Ok, now that’s more like it. This data starts to tell a better story. You can see the impacts of blogging and other inbound traffic methods start to really takeoff in June. July you see a slight drop in organic, which is totally normal when you do a redesign, but my new site didn’t launch until August 1!

Many times during a website redesign, you see the organic traffic drop because the crawlers are having to go through your new site and re-index the content. But for our new GDD site, we didn’t see a drop in traffic at all, in fact we saw our organic traffic start to grow faster. This was the correlation I was hoping to see. But now I had to come up with a reason why was GDD improving my SEO strategy?

I believe it’s because growth-driven sites are “living”, the content and site elements are always being adjusted to meet the needs of the users. Growth-driven sites are built using a comprehensive and thoughtful planning process and each phase is done with a lot of intentionality. This minimizes mistakes that often take place in a traditional website redesign. Not to mention, GDD sites are hyper user focused and Google wants you to think user first. Couple this with a solid, white-hat SEO strategy built around great content and link earning and you have a recipe for success!

New Keyword Opportunities

So ranking isn’t everything, but it is important for obvious reasons. 60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results. ~ Business2Community With so many people searching online, finding the most productive long tailed keyword phrases to target can be an overwhelming process. But, with more traffic, comes more data. Using Google Search Console, you can see the search queries for your site and how people are interacting with them. (Read here why rank checking tools are useless and why GA and Search Console are better.)

By merging the Growth-Driven Design process with your SEO strategy you will have a better understanding of the keywords your users are actually searching for and interacting with. Then you can use that data to better hone in your site. You may even get some new ideas that you didn’t find in your initial keyword research. Each month I find new terms that I can use and implement into my SEO strategy to continue to grow my sites organic reach. If done right, your site can naturally and organically become a trusted source in your niche. This means better and more qualified traffic that converts.

In Conclusion:

While I can’t give growth-driven design all of the credit, there clearly is a direct correlation between creating and adapting your website around your users and having success in your SEO strategy.  No matter what type of marketing you do, users have to be the focus. After all, they are the one who experience our sites, products and services.

Another conclusion from this case study is the importance of integrating your marketing efforts. There is no “one strategy solution” to generating more targeted traffic. You have to look at your buyer personas and determine what is the best way for your company or organization to reach them. There is no way these result happen by just focusing on one thing and forgetting the others.

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