• 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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Local Business Marketing Strategies Your Business Needs

    The statistics supporting the importance of local search optimization are extremely compelling, with 46% of all searches on Google focusing on local, and 72% of people who do a local search when they visit a store within 5 miles.

    To reach potential customers, small businesses need to focus some of their marketing effort on local search engine optimization (SEO). In this article, we look at the highest-value activities which can help your business rank well locally in Google (and Bing).

    SEO Strategies for Marketing Local Businesses

    For small businesses, reaching your ideal customer online is a matter of following local SEO best practices. Below we list the top SEO strategies for effective local business marketing.

    Online listings

    Claiming the top online listings should be your first action, the most important being your Google Business Profile, and closely followed by Facebook Business Pages, then all other relevant industry-specific profiles, whether that be AirBnB, Checkatrade, or Vouchedfor.

    Local Keywords

    One of the top tasks is to ensure you identify your top local keywords (such as a plumber in Florida’) and then have individual pages targeting these specific search terms on your website. Tools like Keyword Keg will suggest keywords and give monthly search volumes for each keyword.

    Add Keywords to your Website

    Once you have identified your top keywords, the next step is to ensure they are included on your website. It is best practice to have each page on your website target closely related keywords, so if you were a plumber in Florida you could have the following separate pages targeting separate keywords:

    • Home Page: Plumber in Florida
    • Category Page 1: Commerical Plumbing Services Florida
    • Category Page 2: Residential Plumbing Services Florida
      • Areas page 1: plumber in Florida County
      • Areas page 2: plumber in Florida City

    Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP)

    The NAP is a key ranking factor locally, and Google likes to see consistency across all your various profiles, directory listings, and citations. You should also include these details placed in strategic locations on your website (footer, contact us page, etc).

    Registering with Online Directories

    There are many good quality online directories; these will give your website a link (with SEO value) plus increased exposure to a new audience. See this list of 25 places to list your business for free where you should register your business (with consistent name, address, and phone number).

    Customer Reviews

    People like to read about others’ experiences with a business, so positive reviews can greatly increase your online conversion rates, especially on trusted sites such as Google Maps, Trip Advisor, Checkatrade, and TrustPilot. Google recognizes this and good online reviews can boost your local search rankings.

    Don’t let negative reviews tarnish your reputation. Read our guide to handling negative reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

    The next step is to consider the factors that will improve your local reach.

    Faster Loading Website

    Load time is very important when it comes to improving your rankings online. Google places a lot of importance on your loading time, and with good reason. Most people tend to give a website around three seconds to load, and if yours is taking longer, then your bounce rates are going to rise steadily. You can make some basic changes to your website to improve your loading times. Consider the following:

    • A faster website host.
    • Ensure images are optimized to minimize file sizes and page load times.
    • Replacing customized fonts with more standard options.
    • Removing Excessive sliders and JavaScript effects.

    All of these items will speed up your website. Aim for a loading time of two seconds to watch your bounce rate analytics transform for the better. For more information, read How to Speed up Website without Changing Web Host.

    Going Mobile

    With Google’s mobile-first index, if you haven’t optimized your website for smartphone users, you are making a huge SEO mistake. According to Statista, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 58.99 percent of global website traffic in the second quarter of 2022. Local searches are primarily done using the smartphone and built-in assistant, and that means you need to focus on optimizing for mobile devices. To see how well your website works on different devices, check with the Google Webmaster tool; this will give you a breakdown of what you need to fix.

    Image Assessment

    The problem with having images on your website is that search engines don’t view them in the same way as humans do. Image alt-text is what people see when an image fails to load, but is most commonly used by those with vision issues. Alt-text is essential to optimizing the images on your website and in blog posts and will help your search engine rankings.

    Ensure your images are worth including on your website by:

    • Using your keywords as the file names for your pictures.
    • Use image alt-text that not only describes the image when a user hovers over it but also includes those all-important keywords too.

    Aim for images to have minimum impact on your page load times. This may involve compressing and resizing them so that they aren’t affecting your bounce rate.

    Link Building

    According to Moz, link signals are still the number one local organic ranking factor. Outreach to build links back to your website is a standard strategy for building website authority. However, you can take this one step further by using localized tactics for those links. The impact of linking to small local websites for your link building may be small initially; however, these websites will add layers of local location information for Google. This can provide your business with an additional localized impact, so don’t discount smaller publishers and partners that are geographically nearby. Incorporated with larger, well-known websites, you will have an effective strategy that works both ways.

    Leverage Social Platforms

    When it comes to social media, local businesses have a lot of opportunities to connect with customers and create relationships. Here are a few tips for using social media to connect with customers:

    1. Use social media to share information about the business. This can include hours of operation, new products or services, or special deals.

    2. Make use of social media platforms that are popular in the local area. This can help businesses connect with potential customers already using these platforms.

    3. Respond to comments and messages from customers. Show that you’re engaged with your customers and interested in building relationships.

    4. Promote events and special deals through social media. This can help draw attention to what your business has to offer.

    5. Monitor social media for feedback and complaints, and address any issues quickly. Handling social media complaints effectively can help protect your business’s reputation.

    Localized SEO is an important factor that needs to be part of marketing if you have customers looking for a local service. If your business does not appear in searches by local consumers, then you are missing out on sales. Take the time to develop your local SEO, and your digital footprint will be significantly stronger.

    At SMA Marketing, we understand the importance of local SEO as integral to small business digital marketing strategies. Our analytics-backed approach to local SEO incorporates multi-channel link building, content marketing, website optimization, and social media promotion focused on attracting your target customers.

    Download our free Local SEO Website Checklist to review key elements of creating a website that incorporates local SEO best practices.

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    Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated with fresh content.

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