• 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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What is Internal Linking in Topic-Based SEO and Why is it Important?

One of the most important aspects of On-Page SEO is including internal links on every page you add to your website. Topic-based SEO can be summarized by linking two semantically relevant website pages together, however, as with everything related to SEO, there is much more involved than a one-sentence summary presents.

The role of internal links is even more important when executing a topic-based SEO strategy. In this post, we will answer:

  • What is internal linking?
  • Why are internal links important for SEO?
  • What are some internal link best practices for topic clusters?

What is Internal Linking?

An internal link is any hyperlink that connects one page on your website to another. Both your site users and search engine bots use links to find content on your website.

There are several types of internal links. The standard internal links are those on your menu bar, which allow users to quickly move through your most important pages, such as your home, about me, services, and contact pages.

In addition to the menu links, you can add links within your content. Those are often called contextual links. Contextual links connect your users to relevant content on your site that will give them additional context about a subject.

Additionally, contextual links tell search engines what content on your site is related and communicate its priority value. The more links a significant page receives, the more important it will seem to search engines. This is why having a good internal link strategy is crucial for your topic-cluster SEO strategy.

A local business that features multiple services likely wants to rank for each keyword in their industry. Creating individual service pages that focus on the keywords and then linking relevant blog articles with semantically related long-tailed keywords to each core service page will help search engines understand that the service page is the core page or the page that should rank first.

topic cluster internal linking example

Why are Links Important to Google?

Links are an essential factor for Google and other search engines because they allow the crawlers that read your website to contextualize and categorize your page or blog post.

Google explains, “We use software known as web crawlers to discover publicly available webpages. Crawlers look at webpages and follow links on those pages, much like you would if you were browsing content on the web. They go from link to link and bring data about those webpages back to Google’s servers.”

If a post or page receives a lot of referral links, this is a signal to Google that it’s a high-value piece of content. While we can’t always control how many external links a page receives, we can help Google understand how to prioritize the content on our site using a topic cluster strategy.

Read more about how to structure Topic Clusters on our post What are Topic Clusters in Topic-Based Search Marketing?

Internal Links vs. External Links

Every website, even an online store, should look for ways to include both internal and external links. Internal links connect pages and posts on your website, and external links connect your pages to other websites. External links sometimes referred to as outbound links, are one way that potential customers and search engines can discover and contextualize your content. External links are also important to include on your website pages and within blog articles because they can improve organic traffic, build trust, and even facilitate relationships with other businesses.

Internal Linking Best Practices

When it comes to best practices, many opinions and case studies attempt to prove the most effective ways to implement linking strategies. Here are some best practices for using links in topic clusters:

Link Placement

It is widely stated that link placement greatly impacts your opportunity to rank. However, John Mueller at Google directly addressed link placement for internal and external links. When directly asked if the placement of internal links matters, John responded, “Google uses internal links to understand context & for crawling. For those, it doesn’t matter where the link is. Location is more important for content where G (Google) wants to focus on the primary content.” Mueller also said that “we use it to understand the context better, so things like the anchor text helps us.”

To summarize, while the placement of the link may not matter, the words that support the link, known as the anchor text, are important. Moreover, they should be contextually relevant to help Google quickly categorize the content semantically.

SEO Roundtable points out link placement “may be different for external links, where Google may value external links differently based on where those external links are placed.”

Use Anchor Text Strategically

As mentioned above, anchor text matters. The words you connect your internal link to may help search engine crawlers to better understand your website, its structure, and the value you provide to users. The words should be relevant to the content you are linking.

Practice Keyword Mapping

Using a keyword map makes it easy to track your internal linking structure. A keyword map will help you quickly identify which long-tail keywords are linked to each core topic as well as each supporting page. This is especially important when you have multiple services or products with various keywords you are trying to rank for. Keyword maps ensure each page ranks for the correct terms you are targeting, and it will also help you avoid orphan content.

seo cluster example

Check for Orphan Content

Orphan content is the name for a web page without any links. The biggest issue with orphan content is that it is nearly impossible for search engines or users to reach the pages without links.

Use Natural Links

As we’ve noted, in addition to linking a web page to your core page, you will want to include additional links throughout the content. But how many links do you want to include? The only statement we’ve heard from Google on the matter is to “be reasonable.”

The definition of reasonableness will vary from person to person. It may be best to use different considerations when choosing whether to link content. Evaluate a link based on its relevance, what your anchor text is, and how old the content is before linking it.

Think about links that will be helpful to your reader. For example, link definitions, content that adds context to a difficult concept, or an article or video that builds on a skill you describe are all great options for natural links.

Use NoFollow and DoFollow Signals Correctly

Dofollow links tell a search engine to follow the link and the associated site. Nofollow links tell search crawlers not to follow a link. Your core page includes links with both types of links. It may confuse the crawlers if incorrect tags are used.

A nofollow attribution is usually added to an internal link to instruct search crawlers not to crawl that URL. When this is added, it is also intended to prevent link equity such as Google’s PageRank from passing to the linked URL. (Sitebulb)

A final application for a nofollow link is to prevent a penalty for using external links. This is a typical practice used by high authority sites that tend to have a lot of external links on their site.

Implementing internal links in topic clusters in strategic ways will improve your site user experience. Additionally, you should see an improvement in your search engine rankings and your domain authority because this strategy clarifies the context of your content. If you are interested in learning more about how this strategy will benefit your website, send us a message.

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