SEO in Mankato with PC Dudes

At PC Dudes in Mankato SEO is a passion. We are registered with Google Webmaster Tools and receive the latest developments as they are released. PC Dudes takes pride is offering the best SEO in Mankato and we are constantly trying to stay current with SEO best practices. All of our websites are created with search engine optimization in mind and the website design is compliant with search engine guidelines. It is a smart idea for your website to be re-evaluated periodically as over time the search engines do alter their algorithms and rules and you want to be confident that your website is kept up to date and complies with new rules and guidlines.

What is SEO?

Many web sites objective is to advertise a certain product to a targeted audience. SEO helps the search engines know what your site is about and how important it is. The most important pages are placed at the top of the search results. Sites can pay the search engines to be placed at the top, but most sites rely on SEO to fight for the top by working key terms (keywords) in the content and other techniques.

The search engines; Google, Bing, and MSN, (the 3 main search engines) are very secretive about how their algorithms determine page rank of a website. It is said there are over 250 determining factors.

Here is a list of facts the search engines let people know about the algorithms. We will explain some of these concepts in more detail further down the page.

Common Facts About SEO:

  • Google likes websites that provide content.
  • The content and links at the top of your web site is considered more relevant.
  • Google dislikes pages that take a long time to load.
  • How often page content is updated will affect your search engine ranking. The more frequent the better.
  • How long the domain (url) has been registered and how long the domain is registered will affect the search engine ranking (more is better).
  • Search engines can not read images but they read descriptions attached to the images called 'alt tags'.
  • Other sites linking to your site will boost your search engine ranking.
  • High ranking sites linking to your site will boost your search engine ranking more.
  • Linking to a page that has been removed and no longer exists (dead links) will hurt your page rank.
  • Linking to a page that Google has deemed "black hat' will hurt your page rank.
  • Effective use of 'keywords' will help Google know what your site is about.

SEO Best Practices:

  • Content is the most important thing, stay current, keep it relevant, make good content and people will link to your site.
  • If you try to trick the search engines you could be punished with a low rank or even banned.
  • When you get good content, share it via links on blogs, forums and social networks.
  • Make it easy for the search engines to find your site by submitting your site and a site-map to the search engines.
  • Use alt tags on your images and title attributes on your links.

SEO Terms and Concepts:


What is Content, a Technical Definition:

One term you will hear over and over in discussions about SEO is 'content'. So what is content? A technical definition of content is; text on your site that is produced by HTML.

Images, Flash files, Java applets, and other non-text content can not be read by the search engines. Just because a search engine can not read certain content does not mean it should be avoided. Remember, the object is to write content that people will share and link to. Links and sharing will ultimately boost your search engine ranking more than anything else. A well designed site with some visual stimulation can go a long way.

Images in gif, jpg, or png format can be assigned 'alt attributes'. Alt attributes are read by screen readers in place of images allowing the content and function of the image to be accessible to those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities. Alt attributes are written in HTML and provide search engines a text description of the visual content. Video & audio content can have an accompanying text similar to alt text. Content inside iframes is considered to be a separate web page and is missed altogether.

Writing good content is pretty straight forward: Write good content (informative, interesting or entertaining) that is accessible and doesn't try to mislead the search engines. How does Google know if your content is good? Google knows how may people link to your page and have shared your page with: Google Plus, Facebook likes, Facebook shares, Linked In shares, tweets, retweets, pintrest, reddit, the list goes on and on. The bottom line is; write informative, interesting, entertaining content.

What are Keywords?

Keywords are words or groups of words search engines use to classify your website for search results. Keywords are used in the HTML code that makes the web page content presented to the reader.

The search engines use algorithms to determine what a page is about, one variable used to determine this is the keywords. For example; if I want my page to be found with the search term 'SEO', I should use the term 'SEO' in the content of the website. Keyword Phrases (or 'Long-tail' keywords) are multiple words in a specified order; such as 'SEO Mankato'. Keyword phrase are more descriptive and set you apart from your competition.

If a web page has 100 words in the body of text and the keyword is used four times, the keyword density is 4%. If the keyword density is too high the ranking is penalized. A "Keyword Density Analyzer Tool" can be found at:

http://tools.seobook.com/

In the infancy of the web, people used a technique that has come to be known as 'keyword stuffing', or repeating keywords using text the same color as the background so they were only visible to search engines. As a result, Google started penalizing sites that were too excessive with keywords. Your content should incorporate terms that you wish to target, but as stated before; write accessible content that doesn't try to mislead the search engines. Good content is informative, interesting or entertaining.

Keywords in Copy Writing:

At PC Dudes we help you select keywords that we feel would be effective marketing for your business. Once these keyword terms are determined they need to be used in the text of the page.
Example: this page targets 'Mankato SEO', so our target keywords have a mash-up of all combinations we feel people may use to search for SEO in Mankato: 'Mankato SEO, SEO in Mankato, search engine optimization in Mankato, best SEO's in Mankato, Mankato website search engine optimization'. Our description meta tag is:'PC Dudes web sites rank high in website search engine optimization in Mankato and SEO in Mankato Minnesota.' Now that we have determined our keywords we try to use them in the text (content) of our page about SEO in Mankato. (Did you catch that? pretty slick right!) You may see more examples of keyword use throughout this page about PC Dudes of Mankato SEO copy writing techniques.

Google Analytics and SEO:

The search engines spider (analyze) you site every few months. You have to adjust your keywords/content and wait for the search engines to re-rank your site. You can use Google Analytics tools to determine the success of your keywords. Google Analytics will track all the traffic coming to your site. Analytics will tell you what words the visitors searched for, where the visitors were located geographically, how long they were on the site and much more. Google Analytics is the most valuable tool for monitoring SEO. There are many articles and tutorials on the web about using analytics, SEO and keywords. The basics can be picked-up very easily. Analytics is free but you must have the HTML code installed on your web page, PC Dudes of Mankato SEO package includes installing Google Analytics code.

How to Choose Effective Keywords:

You can tell how many results your keywords return by typing the word into Google and looking at the number of results that Google returns. A search for 'SEO' returns 230,000,000 results. While a search for 'SEO Mankato' returns 156,000 results. This is an example of using Google to test a keyword.

The trick to good keywords is to realize what your customers would search for while keeping in mind what sets you apart from the rest of the market. You need to think in laymen terms. For example: If a landscaping company specialized in 'horticulture propagation'. People in the landscaping industry may use the terms 'horticulture propagation' is but not many customers will search for 'horticulture propagation', instead they may search for 'lawn care' or 'landscaping'. To be able to see your product or service as the general public sees it is critical.

Keyword Selection Steps:

  1. Determine what keywords your customer would search for.
  2. Test how many search results your keywords return by searching for these words using Google.
  3. See if you can improve the keywords to return fewer results (lowering the number of your competitors).
  4. Add these keywords to your site title and content.
  5. Go to: http://tools.seobook.com/
  6. Test to see what keywords your content has. A safe and effective density is 3 to 5%.
  7. Wait for the search engines to spider your site.
  8. Using Google Analytics Tools, determine if the keywords you have selected are bringing in traffic or if they could be improved. If they could be improved; repeat steps 1-7.

Title Tags:

Page titles should be a concise description of the page's content. Second only to the url, page titles are the most important content on a page. The closer to the start of the title tag your keywords are, the more helpful they'll be for ranking.

Links and SEO:

Links can have a 'title attribute' which is alternative text describing a link. We know that the more websites that link to your site, the more relevant Google and other search engines consider your site to be. The sites that your site is linking to will affect your SEO placement too. The page level (home page being top) of the referring link is a factored as well as how close to the top of the page your link is located. Some sites, known as link farms, will link to your site for a fee or trade your link for theirs. These sites have no relevance to your site and often have been penalized or blackballed by Google for using unethical SEO practices. Linking to these sites will do you more harm than good.

Relevant Links and SEO:

A link to or from relevant sources helps Google categorize your site. If example_company.com produces aftermarket parts for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and example_company.com linked to the Harley-Davidson website, Google could assume that example_company.com has something to do with Harley-Davidson. If the Harley-Davidson website was to link to example_company.com, this would be even better because the Harley-Davidson website is well established and reputable.

Blogs, Social Media and SEO:

Blogs and social media present opportunity for SEO. When you post on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, or a blog, you have an opportunity to provide a link to pages in your site. If the content is good, people will link and share.

Validation and SEO:

Google will boost the rank of a site that loads fast. If the web page produces fatal errors and the page can't be read by a web browser Google will penalize the rank.

Keyword Meta Tag:

A keyword meta tag is HTML code used to describe a web page to the search engines. The keyword meta tag was so badly abused in the early days of SEO that the search engines no longer use them.

Alt Text and SEO:

Search engines can not read text inside images but they can read alt tags. 'Alt tags' or 'alternative text' (alt="example") is a short html description or label that identifies an image, Java applet, video file, audio file, link, or plug-in. Search engines promote a site that includes alt tags more because the alt tags are used by screen reader programs that read web pages to those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities, therefore, alt tags make a site more accessible to the public. (Flash files can not be read by any tablet or mobile device made by Apple.)

White Hat and Black Hat SEO:

In the beginning days of search engine optimization some sites would use unethical techniques to drive visitors to sites, these practices have come to be known as 'black hat'. Two examples would be: using your competition's name in your keywords to steal their traffic, one famous example involved Coke and Pepsi. Another black hat practice was repeating keywords using text the same color as the background so they were only visible to search engines. A site using black hat techniques has the potential to be penalized or even blacklisted from the search engine.