• 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.

        • FAQs

          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.

  • Contact

How Buyer Personas Shape the Way Your Business Connects

Do you really know your audience? Understanding who you are trying to reach is key in creating value added marketing solutions for your business. Each business and industry is unique and so are the people searching for the products and services from those businesses. Defining your buyer persona will help you target your audience with the right message at the right time.

So you may be thinking, “Alright I get it, I need to know who my audience is, but what the heck is a buyer persona?”

Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are semi-fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Creating buyer personas helps you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. In order to create content, messaging, products and services to meet the specific needs of your audience, you first have to understand who they are. So often we focus more on delivering our products and services without stepping back to ask ourselves, “Is this the best solution for my customer?”  Creating personas will not only help you create better messaging, but also help you create solutions that your customers and prospects will enjoy. As Seth Godin so eloquently says, “Build something that people will look for, something that people will talk about, something we would miss if it were gone.”

Creating personas is so much bigger than just your marketing strategy. Truly understanding your buyers will shape every part of your business. It will help you create a sales process tailored to meet the specific needs of your prospects. It will also help you create products and services that meet the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of your current clients and potential customers.

When creating your buyer personas, research is key. The internet is a great place to find marketing research information, but there is no substitute for the insights you can collect from your actual customer base. To get started, ask a few of your clients if they would do an interview or create a simple survey for them to fill out on your website. You may have a very broad customer base, but start small. Focus on your main persona and add more later as needed.

How Buyer Personas Help Build an Effective Marketing Strategy

The success of any marketing campaign or strategy begins with the message. Developing personas will help make sure that you create content that appeals to your target audience. Creating personalized marketing helps to build a better connection with your audience. When you get right down to it, people want to do business with people who get them. They don’t just want products and services, they want products and services that meet their needs on a number of levels. Marketing that adds value is one way to cut through all of the noise and build trust with your audience.

Building personas also helps you to map out your content to make sure that you have a clear path to conversion. By understanding the specific needs of your audience you can create messaging that encourages your prospects to continue in the buyer’s journey.

Taking the time to create negative personas can save you a ton of headaches. Not every lead or prospect is a good fit for your business. By understanding who your prospects are before you get too far into the process can save you a lot of your precious time. It also helps to refine your marketing to target your good personas. This lowers the cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer as well as increases sales productivity.

Creating Your Buyer Personas

Ok, so at this point you get it. Buyer personas are important, but how do you actually create one? While there are many ways to do this, we always find it easier to start with a road map.

Download your buyer persona template here

You can create buyer personas using a mixture of research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. This should include your current customers, prospects, and even those who are not in your contact data base, but align with your target audience.

Here are some practical ways to gather information you need to develop personas:

  • Look at your contacts database to find trends about how certain leads or customers find and use your content.
  • Use form fields to capture important persona information on your website.
  • Interview customers and prospects, either in person or over the phone, to discover what they like about your product or service

Like I stated before, research is key to developing quality buyer personas. Thankfully our friends at Hubspot have helped us out by creating a list of 20 questions to ask in a persona interview. These questions are organized into specific categories to make sure that you create well rounded personas for your business. It’s important to note that you don’t need to answer all of these questions. Some may not be appropriate for your target audience so add to the list or remove questions as needed. Think of them more as guidelines than a set of rules.


1) What is your job role? Your title?

2) How is your job measured?

3) What does a typical day look like?

4) What skills are required to do your job?

5) What knowledge and tools do you use in your job?

6) Who do you report to? Who reports to you?


7) In which industry or industries does your company work?

8) What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?


9) What are you responsible for?

10) What does it mean to be successful in your role?


11) What are your biggest challenges?

Watering Holes

12) How do you learn about new information for your job?

13) What publications or blogs do you read?

14) What associations and social networks do you participate in?

Personal Background

15) Describe your personal demographics (if appropriate, ask their age, whether they’re married, if they have children).

16) Describe your educational background. What level of education did you complete, which schools did you attend, and what did you study?

17) Describe your career path. How did you end up where you are today?

Shopping Preferences

18) How do you prefer to interact with vendors (e.g. email, phone, in person)?

19) Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information?

20) Describe a recent purchase. Why did you consider a purchase, what was the evaluation process, and how did you decide to purchase that product or service?

Turning the Research Into Your Persona

So you’ve done your research and collected a ton of really awesome data. But what do you do with it now? How can you break all of this data down to create a well rounded buyer persona for your business. This next step it critical in understanding your audience. Data is great and all, but unless we can digest it and make sense out of it, it really has no purpose. <– (Tweet This)

To help make your life easier, use our free buyer persona template to organize all of your research you’ve gathered about your personas. Many businesses and industries have many personas, but just start with one. Focus on the main persona for your business and take your time. No need to rush the process. This will become the base for your messaging and content, so doing a thorough job is essential.

Start with filling in the basic demographic information. While you may not have every piece of this information, you should have enough data to make educated assumptions. When you are finished, you will have a great looking power point presentation that you can share with your team. Go over all of your findings together and rework some of the areas as needed. Buyer personas are never finished. Because your persona is representing a real person, it needs to be able to change and adapt just like we do every day.

Lastly, make sure you name your persona (like Local Linda, Small Business Bob or Creative Carl), and always include a real-life image of your persona. This helps you and your team to truly envision your persona and connects your research to real life.  If you need an image, Hubspot has some great free ones you can download on their site (Hubspot Royalty-free images) or you could always get a stock photo from another site. While this process can seem a little silly, it helps make your persona come to life. So have fun, let your inner creative loose and go create an awesome buyer persona. Your business will thank you!

New Call-to-action

Search by Topic

  • All Resources
  • SEO
  • Digital Advertising
  • Content Marketing
  • Web Development

Get Up-To-Date Digital Marketing Tips and Tricks Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!

SMA Marketing Digital Marketing Agency Giving Back to Kiva Making Loans