• 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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The Basics of Images for Blogs

If you’ve been blogging for a while you’ve probably heard a good amount of discussion surrounding images. Still, I think it’s worth it to make sure the basics of images are reviewed. Using the wrong image could result in receiving a lawsuit costing thousands of dollars in lawyer and licensing fees.

That may sound dramatic, but just last week a long-time blogger acquaintance of mine was sent a large bill with a cease and desist for using an image on her blog that another blogger had given her. To make a long story short she posted the image as part of a requirement for a link-up she participated in and several months later she found herself facing thousands of dollars in fees because she didn’t take the time to track down the origin of an image.

Do I Really Need an Image?

Considering the hassle, you might feel that an image is a waste of time, but the answer is yes you really need an image. Consider the blog posts that catch your attention on social media. Our eye is drawn to images in the middle of rows and rows of words. Pictures can give your reader an idea of what the blog post is about as well as help it to stand out in a crowd. A quote that is pulled out and placed on a colorful background does the same.

An image highlighting the blog title or subject should be thought of as a necessary step when posting on a blog on a website as well as on social media.  Adding pictures or images throughout the blog post will also add interest.

Besides drawing attention to a blog or making it more eye appealing, adding an image is a key step in the process of optimizing your blog content. Setting an image in a post and taking steps to optimize it for web crawlers will help search engines like Google decide if your content will answer the query a searcher entered.

For more information on image as well as page optimization download our free Ebook.

Free Images

Many people take their own photos to use on their blogs. Although this is perfectly acceptable, it can be a hindrance to those of us without high-quality cameras. Thankfully, several websites offer amazing images for free. When seeking out a free photo you will need to confirm that it is either a Public Domain classified photo or part of the Creative Commons.

Pexels, Pixabay, and Canva are my favorite sites for finding free pictures. The great thing is that these images are able to be used at any time. I love this explanation from Pexels:

It’s hard to understand complex licenses which is why all photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.

  • The pictures are free for personal and even commercial use.
  • You can modify, copy and distribute the photos.
  • All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So, attribution is not required.

Essentially, using an image from a site that is part of the Creative Commons or Public Domain protects you from the risk of being sued for copyright infringement.

Proper Citing

Sometimes you just can’t find the photo you are looking for on the free sites. This can happen if you are writing on a specific subject. There are several websites that offer an expanded catalog of images. Some are sold individually, some sites you need to pay a membership fee to use. These websites will also highlight how they expect their images to be cited.

Taking the time to properly cite your image is a key aspect of ethical blogging. If you are using an image that is copyrighted you will need written permission from the owner of the image. You will also need to keep that permission on file for the extent of time that you are choosing to host the image on your website.  A copyrighted image will need a proper citation on your blog as well. This doesn’t have to be done in a way that takes away from your content, but it is necessary.

For more information on when and how to cite an image in a blog post, as well as other resources read this post from the Chicago Manual of Style.

Tools to Create Images

As you are aware, there is more to using an image than simply downloading it and posting it to your blog. Creating an image for social media or your blog may require specific dimensions. Using a tool like Canva will make your job a thousand times easier. Pre-sized templates as well as dozens of shapes, colors, and pictures can all be utilized in Canva for free. This will allow you to not only resize an image but to layer words or other features on the picture. If you can’t find something you like within Canva there is no need to panic, you also have the ability to upload any jpg file you desire as well as create a template with the specific dimensions you desire.

PicMonkey and Pablo are two additional options to consider for image creation. Many programs are available for purchase that will also allow you to create images of different sizes and dimensions.

One thing to remember when creating any image, whether with a picture or words, you don’t want your file size to be too large. Having a large file will result in slower website downloading for the viewer.

As you continue to grow your blog following you will find that your readers will want to promote the content they resonate with. Taking steps to create an image that will help identify your content more quickly on social as well as draw readers’ eyes to your words will help your audience grow while telling website crawlers how to read your content more easily. It may take some time to create a great, properly cited image, but it’s worth it in the long run as you strive to develop excellent blog content.

Do you have a favorite image site that wasn’t mentioned? Let us know, we are always looking for the best tools to use!

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