• 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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How to Recover from a Google Penalty

When it comes to ranking high in search results, having high-quality links pointing to your website is essential. But as we’ve mentioned many times, not all links are created equal. Low-quality links can harm your site and destroy your online credibility. If you’re not careful, your site could receive harsh consequences from Google. Keep reading to find out what a Google Penalty is and what to do if you get hit with one.

What is a Google Penalty?

According to HubSpot, a Google penalty is a punishment against a website whose content conflicts with the marketing practices enforced by Google. Penalties can come as a result of an update to Google’s ranking algorithm, or a manual review that suggests a web page used “black hat” SEO tactics.

The consequences of receiving a penalty can be devastating. They typically result in your rankings dropping in the SERPS, significantly less web traffic, or, in extreme cases, being completely de-indexed.

Types of Google Penalties

There are two general categories of penalties: Manual and Algorithmic. Within each category, there are a number of reasons why your site may have been penalized. We’ve included some of the most common ones below.

Manual Penalties

A manual penalty (or manual action) typically occurs when Google’s spam team flags your website. This usually means they believe your website is breaking one or more of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Manual penalties are most often due to your backlink profile. The three most common types of manual penalties are:

  • “Unnatural links to your site ~ impacts links”
  • “Unnatural links to your site”
  • “Unnatural links from your site”

Recovering from a Manual Penalty

To see if you’ve been manually penalized, log in to your Google Search Console and check to see if you have any new messages. If you don’t see any warnings or messages, it’s unlikely that there’s a manual penalty on your site.

If you find that you have been penalized, there are a few ways you can address this issue. The best place to start is by removing any unnatural or spammy links pointing to your website.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell which links you’re received a penalty for. If you’ve knowingly engaged in link buying, link trading, or some other Black Hat link building tactic, those are probably the links Google has flagged.

If you’re still not sure which links Google is deeming “unnatural,” you’ll need to do a bit more research. We recommend testing out SEMrush’s Backlink Audit tool. This will help you better understand your backlink profile and will identify any toxic or potentially harmful links that are associated with your site.

After you’ve identified the low-quality links, you’ll want to begin reaching out to the webmasters of the origin sites and ask for a link removal. If that doesn’t work, meaning, you don’t receive a response, or it’s taking too long, you can disavow these links yourself.

Disavowing backlinks tells Google’s crawlers to ignore those inbound links next time your site gets crawled. You can submit a disavow inside of Search Console or by using a tool like SEMrush.

Algorithmic Penalty

Algorithmic penalties occur automatically when one of Google’s search algorithms flags your website. This typically happens as a result of a new algorithm update or “data refreshes” from a previous algorithm update.

Similar to a Manual Penalty, any violation against the Google Webmaster Guidelines will help you earn an Algorithmic Penalty. Google uses a few filters to automatically detect if a website violates said guidelines. The most well-known and most common are the Panda Update and the Penguin Update. Google has also pushed two “mobile-friendliness” algorithm updates with the intention of only ranking websites that are more mobile-friendly in mobile search results.

Algorithmic penalties are often harder to detect than manual penalties because you won’t receive a Search Console message letting you know that your site has been penalized. Instead, you’re likely to see a massive drop in traffic with no explanation. So, if you notice an abnormal dip in your traffic, see if it lines up with any confirmed algorithm changes.

The best way to protect yourself from algorithmic penalties is to stay informed on all Google algorithm updates. There are many resources available to help you keep track of algorithm updates. We often refer to Google SearchLiaison’s Twitter to remain updated.

Recovering From an Algorithmic Penalty

If you happen to receive an algorithmic penalty, the best way to regain your rankings is to fix the issue as soon as possible and wait for Google to recognize your efforts. Google only runs data refreshes on these algorithms once every few months. If you’ve been penalized, your site won’t recover until a data refresh determines that your site no longer deserves a penalty. No one necessarily knows when the next data refresh of an algorithm takes place so it’s important to identify and fix any algorithmic penalties as soon as possible.


In order to be successful in SEO, it is important to do whatever you can to avoid search engine penalties. SEO can be a lengthy process, but staying within the White Hat lines is a sure way to rank.

Looking to improve your SEO strategy? At SMA, we specialize in White Hat SEO strategies guaranteed to help your ranking improve. Check out our On-Page SEO Guide where we detail ethical and effective SEO best practices. Click below to download our FREE On-Page SEO Guide!

On-Page SEO Guide

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