• 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.

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Inbound Etiquette 101: Engaging vs Interrupting

Traditional forms of marketing like TV commercials, direct mail, and print advertising have been losing their effectiveness for years. Our culture has become so accustomed to being marketed, that we have learned to just ignore it. What makes matters worse is these forms of outreach are extremely expensive, making the risk even greater for smaller businesses trying to get their name out.

After decades of doing the same thing with diminishing results, something had to change. Inbound Marketing was born out of this need for something different. Instead of interrupting people’s lives with unwanted messages, the goal of inbound is to engage and attract people by offering answers to their questions. But what happens when we lose focus on our primary goal as inbound marketers? In order to make sure we maintain our focus, let’s take a crash course in inbound marketing etiquette.

A Brief History of Inbound

The term “Inbound Marketing” was made popular with the release of “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs” by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah in 2010. But the practice of inbound dates is much earlier. Seth Godin is widely known for his blog, books, and speaking appearances, but before that, he ran an internet-based direct marketing agency called Yoyodyne. It was during his time at Yoyodyne that Seth Godin developed the idea of “permission marketing.” Permission marketing aims to sell goods and services only when the prospect gives consent in advance to receive the marketing information. In 1999 Godin released a book titled “Permission Marketing” that made the case for a new way of reaching consumers. While he doesn’t go into tactics as much as Halligan and Shah do in their book, Godin’s new concept of marketing was the foundation for the rise of inbound as we know it today.

Inbound Basics

The goal of inbound is to attract people to your brand. It’s about fostering a connection and building trust. It’s about educating your prospects instead of pushing more products at them. 

“Before a marketer can build trust, it must breed familiarity. But there’s no familiarity without awareness. And awareness‚ the science of letting people know you exist and getting them to understand your message can’t happen effectively in today’s environment without advertising.” 

Seth GodinPermission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

Inbound marketing is not about forcing yourself in front of potential buyers. Instead, the goal is to build awareness via content cross-marketed through email, blogging, social media, and search.

Inbound Etiquette

While inbound marketing has gained a ton of momentum over the past few years, some in the industry seem to have lost the focus. Inbound works well because it is focused on serving before selling. But, if we fall back into traditional marketing behavior we can ruin the effectiveness. Just because you blog, use email, and post to social doesn’t mean you are “doing inbound.” All of these tactics can be manipulated and abused to only benefit the marketer and not those they come in contact with. The world we live in is already noisy enough, so adding more junk to the web doesn’t help anyone. So, let’s review 8 Inbound Etiquette rules we all need to apply to our process.

1. The user should be in charge of their journey.

People hate being told what to do, but they do like help with making decisions. When we continue to force our products and services on them, the result is most will back away. However, if we allow the user to feel in charge of their journey and position our brand as a helpful advocate, working to help them make the right decision, we will build trust. It’s about educating them and assisting them in making an educated decision.

2. Never send unsolicited emails.

Inbound Marketing starts with permission. We have no right to blast unsolicited messaging at people. When we do this, we are no longer using inbound. While this rule seems like a no-brainer, sadly many businesses and agencies still buy lists of email addresses and interrupt their way into people’s lives. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is, if you burst your way into someone’s world without permission, they feel violated.

3. Keep the content options balanced for your users.

Balance is the key. If all you ever deliver to your users is offer after offer, you could end up pushing them away. By giving them a balance of free content through your blog and site pages, as well as offers, you show your users that you are not just interested in marketing to them but also are looking to solve their problems.

4. Know the tools and how to use them.

There are a number of tools available to inbound marketers today. Having these tools is great, but unless you know how to use them effectively they are useless. Knowing how to blog, how to use social media to attract prospects, and how frequently to send emails can be the difference between being successful and falling short.

5. Always “check one more time” before your post.

Rushing and multi-tasking aren’t scalable. Focusing on the task at hand is the best way to ensure that you produce your best work. Before sending a tweet, posting a blog, or sending an email, always check one more time. Look for spelling and grammatical errors as well as sentence structure. Posting something that has a ton of mistakes can lessen your credibility.

6. Know the balance between engaging & interrupting.

Overloading your audience is never a good thing. We live in a 24-hour content and news-filled world. People are constantly being flooded with information, so adding too much more will result in it getting lost in the noise. The goal is to give them the right content at the right time. Now, there is no “one size fits all” solution to this. Every audience is different so finding balance will take time and patience. A good rule of thumb is to start with less and work your way up. It’s much easier to ramp up than scale back.

7. The user should never pay.

While the end goal of marketing is to deliver a positive ROI, inbound is about educating and engaging at its core. We must treat those we engage with as our guests. You would never ask a guest in your office to pay for a cup of coffee or for the opportunity to meet with you. The same goes for our marketing efforts. By giving away knowledge, for free, we position ourselves not just as experts but as trusted advisors. In the end, this will lead to better ROI and long-term success.

8. Always say “please” and “thank you.”

Whether someone engages or chooses to opt out, being polite is a must. When asking for information, do so in a non-intrusive manner. Whether someone gives you their information or refuses, make sure that you thank them. “Please” and “Thank You” when used with authenticity are still some of the most powerful words we can say.

Inbound Marketing has shifted the way many businesses reach new prospects and delight their current customers. While it can be tempting to use the tools available to mass-market, resisting this temptation and focusing on serving our audience is what will lead to our ultimate success. Whether you are new to inbound or have been using it for quite a while, remembering these 8 simple Inbound Etiquette rules will help ensure that you add value to the lives of those you come in contact with.

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