• 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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Top Blog Posts your Blog Needs Now

Whether you have been blogging for years or are just getting started, it’s a good idea to take time to make sure you have developed a content strategy that offers your readers helpful content at every stage of their journey with you. If you haven’t taken the time to map out your ideal reader’s or buyer’s journey yet, I hope by the end of this post you will see how valuable it can be to do so.

Expanding your audience will always include gaining new readers who are beginning to explore the services or products you provide. While you are an industry expert, not all your readers will be ready to consume advanced information. Whether readers are a month behind your educational pursuits or decades, if you only provide content currently relevant to you, you miss out on building relationships with new readers.

If you are a blogger and/or writer you might be less familiar with the inbound methodology or maybe you know what a buyer’s journey is, but you don’t think the strategies translate to your niche readers. I suggest you consider the possibility that by limiting your content writing to inform your audience in their current stage, you limit your opportunities to connect with new readers and increase your audience.

For example, if you started your blog several years ago when you were learning how to ride a bike your content is likely still relevant to those beginning the journey of learning to ride a bike. If your current content only focuses on life after you have learned to ride a bike those beginning their journey may not find your website, or if they do they may determine your site is too advanced for their current stage.  

It’s important to always consider the four stages of inbound marketing when developing your content calendar. While you may still focus most of your content on one stage, you should still review your archives and touch on subjects you’ve previously featured or update concepts as your industry changes.

Inbound marketing utilizes a buyer’s journey to help you develop content for each stage of your readers’ needs. There are four inbound stages: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. The goal of this journey is for a buyer to move from seeking information to buying your product or service. We identify the buyer stages as Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

Once a reader finds your website, if you’ve done your part, the one who was attracted to your website will convert into a reader. If they find your content helpful they will download a free offer or seek to learn more about buying from you in the close stage. Finally, in the delight stage, your buyer will solidify themselves as part of your community and hopefully will also tell others how great your products and services are as well as how they have helped them. One thing to remember, it’s possible for someone to stay in one stage for weeks or to move back and forth between stages.

Check out this video: Inbound Marketing 101 for more information about inbound methods.

For a blogger, the stages of your reader’s journey are similar to that of a business. Here’s an example. Let’s say you have an informational blog dedicated to buying your first home. Your initial articles will focus on the process of building your credit, securing a loan, and house hunting. As you continue blogging you may write about renovations or refinancing or what to do when something in your home breaks.

All the content will be helpful to new homeowners at some point, but if you haven’t written about the loan process in a while, your article may not be as relevant as it once was. Additionally, just because you aren’t in the stage of currently house hunting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still write content on that specific subject because every homeowner begins their journey by looking for a place to buy. It’s also an experience that people often walk through more than once in their lives.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind. You may be ahead of the curve in your experiences and your ideal audience may not search for you yet. Ryan pointed out that when he first started blogging he wrote for months before he saw consistent traffic coming to the SMA website. The great thing about writing consistently is that when readers do find you, they have a lot of content to read.

While your blog content is important, you must focus on context to build your audience.

The context of your content needs to highlight various subjects, whether you are writing an informative blog, a personal blog, or a business blog. By writing blog posts for each of the three stages in your audience’s journey you will solidify yourself as a valuable resource your audience will share with their groups of influence.

Here are the top blog posts your blog needs now:

Explain the How (Awareness)

In the awareness stage, buyers and readers are still figuring out what they can take care of themselves and what they need a partner to accomplish. By providing educational content that answers common questions you will attract readers seeking answers to those questions.

By developing informative blog articles, white paper offers, videos, and social media posts around keywords and phrases internet searchers use, you help the right people begin to answer their questions by reading your content. It’s likely your blog is one of many writing on the same subject, so SEO is important for every article.

Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes. Experts are humble enough to admit when they have made mistakes. Leaders are willing to share what they’ve learned to help others avoid the same problems. Spotlighting mistakes you’ve made is another great way to personalize your writing and build trust.

You don’t have to make a mistake to know how detrimental some things will be to someone building a business. If you have information about decisions your reader will encounter and can offer pros and cons about the different choices go ahead and write those posts. By empathizing with your reader and remembering how stressful the beginning of your journey was, you can write blog articles to help your readers avoid mistakes.

Explain the Why (Awareness)

Your awareness stage posts address pain points for your ideal reader or buyer. This content isn’t for everyone, so talk specifically about your industry or product. Your writing should establish you as an industry expert whether your blog is about parenting, building homes, plumbing, or essential oils.

  •  If you are a pool maintenance company, you want your primary audience to consist of people who already own pools.
  • If you are a pool installation company, you do want your primary audience to consist of people who don’t own pools.
  • If you both install and maintain pools your primary audience will hopefully include both current and potential pool owners.

Choosing keywords and content that puts your services in the correct context and answers the why will help Google send you the right searchers.

  • A pool maintenance content blog title might be: How to Best Maintain Your Pool in Three Easy Steps.
  • A pool Installation content blog title might be:  Choose the Best Pool to Install in Your Backyard.
  • A company that both maintains and installs pools can include both of these articles.

For bloggers, awareness posts focus on why you chose the subject matter you feature. What drives you to write about your experiences? Are you an educator at heart or do you just love to write? Are you inspired by those who cheered you along in life and want to do the same? Perhaps you have a specialized degree and the intent of your blog posts is to support students in your same field of study.

An important part of building trust with your awareness stage audience is social media interaction. You won’t build an audience by ignoring those reaching out with questions and comments. It’s important to be social on social media.

Best Practices (Consideration)

As an expert in your niche, it’s important to set the standard. Best practices often vary even within the same industry. Regardless, you have a set of best practices you believe in, so share what they are and why you believe they are important to you. Not only do you need to practice what you preach, but you should continue learning about your field. If something changes within your industry you should be aware of the change as well as resources that teach and explain the new best practices.

In the sales process, when your buyer enters the consideration stage of their journey they will look to have bigger questions answered. They now trust you as a resource and are looking to partner with you or utilize the products and services you provide.  Using our pool example, while some pool maintenance is easily accomplished by the owner, more challenging aspects should include a professional. Explaining why a pro will benefit the pool owner helps them make a decision for themselves.

Your best practices posts may include terminology definitions, specific laws to be mindful of, or post highlighting your processes. Blog titles such as “A Behind the Scenes Look at our Schedule” or “Our Favorite Tools and Why They are Important” will allow you to feature why your product or service is valuable. Additionally, your reader will be able to picture themselves in your shoes.

Value and Community (Decision)

In the decision stage, your client has had their pain point addressed and determined you are a valuable asset. For a business, this is the stage where you are moving forward with purchased services or products and continuing to offer helpful content. This might include an informational webinar demonstrating how to use the purchased items.

Free offers are great for offering in-depth content, but they only go so far. When your audience has read your content for a while they will be ready for more. An eBook or web course that goes more in-depth than a blog article will be of interest. More than that, someone in the decision stage also tells others about you and promotes your blog articles because they believe in you.

In addition to the content you create, you can add value to your readers’ experiences by building a community where followers can support each other. Consider the new homeowner example above. A group is a valuable resource where new homeowners can find recommendations on everything from paint colors to hardwood floors vs. carpeting. By engaging in conversations, you will also learn which subjects your readers are seeking more information about and you can create the resources they need.

Getting Started

As I said at the beginning of this article, I hope you now see how developing well-rounded buyer’s journey will help you create a better content calendar to serve a wider audience. If you need help shaping your buyer’s journey or content calendar our team is available to partner with you. We’ve also created a great guide to help you get started. Download our buyer’s journey template below.

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