• 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 SEO Content? Hint: It’s Not Just for Search Engines

For a long time, all most businesses needed was a simple website that proved their company existed. A simple place to connect with potential prospects. While these “brochure sites” did serve a purpose, they weren’t created to drive new business. Today’s consumer begins their buyer’s journey before they even start searching the internet. That means many of your potential customers are searching and investigating solutions well before they come in contact with you and your site.

The term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has a variety of meanings and is often misunderstood. In this post, my goal is to shed some light on what SEO is and is not, as well as make the argument that search engine optimization is essential to any business looking to grow by increasing its online visibility and website traffic from organic search results.

What SEO is Not

When someone asks me what I do, and I share that I work in search engine optimization, it amazes me what the most common responses are:

  • That’s like Facebook and Social Media, Right?
  • I need some of that, but the ads are so expensive.
  • So you try to trick Google into giving you higher search rankings, huh?

If you weren’t aware, none of the above are SEO. For those of you who may still be confused, let me help you understand how SEO works.

Social is NOT SEO

Social media marketing (SMM) is a very focused discipline that falls under the umbrella of digital marketing. The goal of SMM is to build and nurture a following on social media platforms. While SMM can help grow your brand, and having links on major social media sites is a plus, the impact social has on SEO is minimal in most cases.

This is not to say that social media should not play a role. In his article for Convince and Convert, SEO Expert Eric Enge shares how social can play a role. Building a digital marketing campaign that has synergy is where the real power lies. Using social media alongside your SEO efforts can increase your visibility and generate more traffic.

Paid Search is NOT SEO

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. Whereas, SEO is focused on driving organic or “free” traffic from search engines to a website. While many people believe that Google favors sites that also pay for ads, that is not true. That’s not to say that PPC can’t help. Rand Fiskin did a great whiteboard Friday that detailed how PPC can help. Here is a brief overview of his video.

  • Searchers who see an ad may be more likely to click an organic listing.
  • Searchers who’ve been previously exposed to a site/brand via ads may be more likely to click > engage > convert.
  • Paid results do strongly impact organic click-through rate, especially in certain queries.
  • Paid ad clicks may lead to increased links, mentions, coverage, sharing, etc. that can boost organic rankings.
  • Bidding on search queries can affect the broader market around those searches by shifting searcher demand, incentivizing (or de-incentivizing) content creation, etc.

You can watch the whole video here.

SEO is NOT Tricking Google

Google’s goal is to deliver the best possible results in the fewest amount of searches. This means they want to help people get the right answers to their search query. Their brand’s identity and reputation are directly attached to the results they deliver. So, they are very careful and do their best to NOT be tricked.

Google has a team solely devoted to ensuring they don’t get tricked by black hat SEO tactics. Its Web Spam team is devoted to making sure that junk doesn’t rank. This doesn’t mean that bad results don’t get through from time to time, but in the end, when they do find out you’ve been naughty, you’re toast. Good SEO plays by the rules and is interested in providing value to those who are searching for the answer for which we want to rank.

So What is SEO?

What does SEO mean? SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of optimizing a website so it earns traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial,” or “natural” search results on search engines. In other words, all the links on the search engines that don’t have the word “ad” next to the link. While the term SEO seems very technical, not every aspect is so. In fact, much of today’s SEO work is very creative and must be approached from many angles.

Since the term itself seems so technical in nature, many companies have delegated the task of search engine optimization to their IT or Web Development teams. While these team members may be able to handle technical SEO, there are other aspects of SEO that often get overlooked. Let’s dive a little deeper into what SEO is.

SEO is Technical

To say there are no benefits to technical SEO would be absurd. In fact, in a recent article on technical SEO, I argued the need for better technical SEO. While most IT or Dev teams have a basic understanding of tags and meta information, they often don’t understand the importance of schema and structured data and how they impact search engine rankings and a website’s visibility in search results.

Google is also placing a higher emphasis on user experience once a visitor reaches your website. Technical SEO is also involved in tracking and making adjustments to improve a website’s core web vitals. Core web vitals measure a web page’s page load time which has an effect on user experience and bounce rate.

A good SEO will understand technical SEO and shifts in search engine algorithms. They will also utilize all of the tools at their fingertips to implement sound best practices. This means adding structured data where needed and ensuring that all pages are optimized properly.

SEO is an Art

Before an artist can paint a masterpiece, they first must strengthen the canvas and apply a layer of gesso. Once dried, the canvas is firm and ready for paint. In the same manner, Technical SEO lays the foundation for everything else you do. Once you have a canvas to work with, it’s time to get creative.

SEO is an art. It’s a combination of high-quality content optimized for visitor search intent and relevant keywords, website experience, internal links and external links, and more. Each of the tactics must have a focus and synergy if they are going to deliver results. Knowing what both a search engine and a user want and need in a page is not an easy task. Finding that balance takes research, trial and error, and a whole lot of patience.

Just like creating a painting, there will be times when you want to throw the whole thing away. But if you continue to work at it, you’ll eventually find the work of art underneath the layers and layers of dried paint.

SEO is On-going

If you work out for a week at the beginning of the year and then stop, will that week of working out sustain you the rest of the year? My guess is not. In order to maintain the results, you have to continue to put in the work. The same goes for reaping the benefits of SEO.

There are many people who believe that just because they have installed a plugin and optimized a few pages for target keywords that their site will be good to go. Then they sit and wait for people to rush to their site. Sadly, it never comes and then they think SEO is fake. The issue wasn’t SEO, it was their approach.

In order to get results, you have to put in the work. As users’ behaviors change and Google tweaks its algorithm and ranking factors, it’s the job of the SEO to ensure that a site is headed in the right direction. By tracking, testing, and tweaking, we help ensure that a site is able to grow its visibility through most circumstances.

SEO is Necessary

SEO strategies are a key part of content marketing. Both on-page SEO and technical optimization strategies will ensure your website pages and blog posts are found organically by your target audience. 


While there are many opinions about SEO, there is only one truth. At its core, SEO is the art of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial,” or “natural” search results on the major search engines. No matter what industry you are in or how big your site is now if you want to be found in the search results and grow your organic traffic, executing a well-rounded SEO strategy is key.

This means combining technical and creative search engine optimization with relevant content on an ongoing basis. Recently I created a course full of great content to help anyone learn SEO.

If you’re ready to learn more about SEO and how it can help you expand your customer base, check out Simplified Search here.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated with fresh content.

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