We’re not using the “royal we” over here. This About Us page is really about US: you and me. About your business and Flagstone Search Marketing. We share great relationships with our clients, and if you see yourself in this picture, it’s likely we’ll share a great relationship, too.

Maximize new leads
Maximize new customers
Maximize new business

Are we a good fit?

  • Your business has a long-term view on search marketing.
  • You know that results from SEO can be tremendous, but take a while to build up.
  • You know that results from PPC can be immediate, but the greatest ROI comes after you’ve been running and
  • adjusting your campaigns for a few months.
  • You know that all search marketing is a process of refinement, and not a one-and-done proposition.
  • Your business has high-value leads and clients. Flagstone specializes in law firms and other local service-based businesses with an average value-per-lead of at least $500.
  • High-quality SEO and PPC are an investment, and you’ll see the return sooner when your return per client is higher.

Are you a marketing agency?

A good percentage of our clients are agencies who come to us for specialized help in PPC, SEO and Local SEO. We’re happy to take our years of experience in running SEO and PPC campaigns and put it to use delivering ROI for your clients.


About Me

Hey, I’m Carlton. I’m on a mission to help companies like you get maximum ROI out of your online marketing budget.

I started my quest 20+ years ago, at the dawn of the internet (back when it was called ‘The Information Superhighway’ and Netscape was the web browser of choice). As a nascent journalist, I found myself increasingly drawn to the world of words on the web. My last official journalism stint crossed the lines as Time, Inc.’s senior manager of Search Engine Optimization. When I saw what I could do for Time’s publicity with SEO, I decided to use it to help other businesses as well. Flagstone Search Marketing was born in 2011. I’ve helped dozens of clients from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies maximize what they get out of the web. (If you want to see who they are, scroll down to the bottom of the page.) Now, instead of writing in the media, I’m featured in the media, in places like the Huffington Post, Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, Business.com, and Inc.com.


Carlton R. Smith


There’s a full range of tools in my toolbelt:

  • SEO
  • PPC (Bing Certification and Google Advanced Certification)
  • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)
  • Inbound marketing (Hubspot certification)
  • Email marketing
  • Website development
  • Analytics reporting (Google Advanced Certification)

Book a Meeting With Me →

I’m a big believer in getting maximum ROI out of EVERYTHING – including life. I love spending time with my wife and two beautiful daughters, ages 16 and 10. If you think you’d like us to maximize YOUR ROI, discover what kind of clients we get the best results for – and see some infographic case studies. Flagstone’s past and current clients include:

• Valvoline® (Lexington, KY) • Logan’s Roadhouse (Nashville, TN) • Milo’s Tea (Bessemer, AL) • Stratix Corp. (Atlanta, GA) • BIG Communications (Birmingham, AL) • Induron Coatings, Inc. (Birmingham, AL) • Lid Logic (Cupertino, CA) • New South Mortgage (Huntsville, AL) • Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC (Birmingham, AL) • Parkman White, LLP (Birmingham, AL) • DataPerk (Birmingham, AL) • Curt Landry Ministries (Grove, OK) • French Broad Crossing (Asheville, NC) • H2 Real Estate (Birmingham, AL) • Cove Dental (Huntsville, AL) • Directorpoint (Birmingham, AL) • Oakstone Publishing (Birmingham, AL) • Senator Cam Ward (Alabaster, AL) • Bella Web Design (Atlanta, GA) • Longleaf Strategies (Montgomery, AL) • MainNerve (Colorado Springs, CO) • Choice Chiropractic (Huntsville, AL) • ALG Energy Services (Decatur, AL) • Senator David Faulkner (Birmingham, AL) • Voices for Alabama’s Children (Montgomery, AL) • Mowery Consulting (Montgomery, AL) • Princeton Prosthodontics (Princeton, NJ) • Better Hire (Birmingham, AL) • S. Clements Homes (Dallas, TX) • Master Custom Home Builders of Middle TN (Nashville, TN) • Better Business Bureau (Central Alabama) • Amazon Cleaning (Atlanta, GA) • Burke Harvey, LLC (Birmingham, AL) • Factory Buys Direct (Canton, GA) • Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris (Birmingham, AL) • Watley Kallas (New York, NY) • LawFit™ (Birmingham, AL) • John Hall & Co. (Montgomery, AL) • Nomberg Law Firm (Birmingham, AL) • Harbor Financial Services (Mobile, AL) • Alabama Black Belt Adventures (Montgomery, AL) • Jeffrey Dungan Architects (Birmingham, AL) • Imms Industrial (Pelham, AL) • Post Office Pies (Birmingham, AL) • SAW’s BBQ (Birmingham, AL)

Although I began my career as a journalist, I have been focused solely on digital media since 2000, and have specialized in search marketing since 2007. Google and Bing have recognized me as a certified professional, meaning that I’ve passed multiple exams assessing my online marketing expertise. I’m qualified to help you grow your business on the web using a variety of SEM & PPC methodologies — Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, as well as some very proprietary retargeting and geo-fencing display ad techniques.


Digital media


Search marketing




WordPress development


Marketing automation


Client success