Affordable SEO & Web Design | Brainerd, MN | Optimize Guyz Search Engine Consulting and Design Services 2011-10-27T21:34:28Z WordPress optimize <![CDATA[600 Footprints: Prospecting for Minnesota Back Links]]> 2011-10-27T21:34:28Z 2011-05-17T17:50:11Z Back linking is hard. Especially when you are looking for regional links. With the help of, we were able to generate a massive list of footprints that should make finding Minnesota-relevant back links just a little bit easier. Footprints are simply a pattern of text or characters left behind by certain site-types, page types, and platforms. Think of a blog looking for guest authors, this would most likely contain footprints which we could find by searching for “Submit a Post” in conjunction with our keyword.

For those of you located outside of Minnesota, can swap in your state of choice wherever applicable. The footprints will still work for any state in the US. These will include:

  • Article Directories
  • Web Directories
  • Guest Blog Posts
  • Donation Pages
  • Potential Link Partners (link exchange pages)
  • Coupons and Events
  • Business Profile Page Opportunities

We decided (after much debate) to only display 100 here, and include the full list as an attached .XLS file, making it easier for you to record your findings.


minnesota Directory “add OR submit OR suggest OR post”
minnesota intitle:”suggest site”
minnesota “suggest site”
minnesota intitle:”suggest * website”
minnesota “submit * website”
minnesota directory
minnesota intitle:”suggest * url”
minnesota “add * site”
minnesota “add * url”
minnesota intitle:”submit * website”
inurl:directory “minnesota
minnesota directory inurl:add
minnesota “add * website”
minnesota “submit * site”
directory * minnesota
minnesota intitle:”submit * url”
minnesota “suggest * url”
minnesota “* related urls”
intitle:directory “minnesota
minnesota “suggest * website”
minnesota “submit * url”
minnesota intitle:”submit *site”
minnesota * directory
minnesota donor
minnesota donor thank you
minnesota donation
in kind donations list
minnesota donate
minnesota donation
minnesota ratings
minnesota supporter thank you
minnesota grantor
minnesota reviews
in kind donations list minnesota
in kind donars list minnesota
minnesota donations
minnesota donation thank you
in kind donars list minnesota
minnesota donor
minnesota grantor
minnesota support* list
minnesota partner
minnesota thanks to our sponsors
minnesota get * reviewed
minnesota “in kind donor*”
minnesota inurl:donation
minnesota rating
minnesota reviews inurl:submit
minnesota donat* list
minnesota partner
minnesota inurl:testimonial
minnesota donation
minnesota intitle:testimonial
minnesota intitle:Reviews
inurl:”minnesota testimonial”
minnesota donor
get minnesota reviewed
minnesota inurl:donation
minnesota intitle:Reviewed
minnesota supporter
minnesota “thank you” sponsor*
minnesota donor* list
minnesota supporter
minnesota sponsor
minnesota spons* list
minnesota contributor
minnesota sponsor
minnesota grantor thank you
in kind donations list minnesota
minnesota testimonial
in kind donars list
in kind donars list minnesota
minnesota sponsor
minnesota grantor* list
minnesota contribut* list
minnesota supporter
inurl:”minnesota testimonials”
in kind donations list minnesota
intitle:”minnesota testimonial”
minnesota partner
minnesota partner* list
minnesota grantor list
minnesota grantor
minnesota contributor
minnesota submit * review
minnesota inurl:donars
in kind donations list
minnesota inurl:donars
minnesota contributor
minnesota “thank you” donor*
minnesota allintitle:get * reviewed
intitle:”minnesota testimonials”
get minnesota reviewed
minnesota scholarships
minnesota scholarship
minnesota scholarship
optimize <![CDATA[Twitter for Business Slideshow Uploaded!]]> 2011-04-26T22:05:20Z 2011-04-26T21:55:05Z Having trouble utilizing Twitter to the full potential?

No problem! Just tell us how we can help on Facebook, Twitter, or by email. We are here to help.

optimize <![CDATA[Social Media Mishaps: Twitter & Facebook Failures]]> 2011-04-27T15:40:07Z 2011-04-26T21:41:42Z The “Grow Your Business Using Social Media” half-day event was hosted by the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce and the Lodge. It was great to see the regional folks getting excited about social!

Enjoy the slide decks! Brent also wanted to share a few resources with you.
Social Media Policies
Social Media Management Tools
SMO for Business – A full-on book!!

After all, the biggest failure of all is not succeeding on social. Taking the time to outline a strategy is key. Define three month, six month, and one year goals in whatever metric’s are most important to you. These could be assigning a tangible figure to the following metrics:

@Mentions, Friends, Followers, Referral Traffic, Reviews, Uploads, Downloads, Tags, Check-ins and many more.

One last thought, before you jump right in — define your audience — and the best ways to reach them. Hesitating to move into your social real estate is no longer an option. For anyone still on the fence, check out Jessica’s post at Bruce Clay, Inc. for great resources on entering the Social Media landscape.

optimize <![CDATA[SEO vs Internet Marketing – Which Term Will Prevail?]]> 2011-03-24T18:09:24Z 2011-03-24T17:55:29Z The popularity of two terms are explored: “SEO” versus “Internet Marketing”

SEO is the science of search-engine-optimization, that is, the process of making your web properties more attractive to search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Ask, Tospy, and so forth.

Internet Marketing (IM) is broader than the term “SEO” but it is often used in the same fashion — promoting properties & sites for ultimate visibility.

(rather than focus on exact meanings, which happens very rarely in the real world, let’s look at what will accomplish the most when mentioned to those who are not in our industry)

the term internet marketing versus seo popularity compared

Here we can see the term Internet Marketing nipping at the heals of SEO. Search Engine Optimization is not in the mix.

The term I prefer is Internet Marketing. Let me explain why..

SEO has had a lot of bad publicity in the past. Two years ago it seemed like a good percentage of business owners had heard of SEO, but believed it was a) not worth the money or b) over-hyped. These days, we know the industry is growing extremely fast and advertising opportunities found exclusively on the web make the industry un-ignorable.

That being said, I still come across people who are completely unaware of the opportunities and potential the web beholds. SEO is a small piece of the bigger puzzle and when they hear the term Internet Marketing it is much more self-explanatory.

A few others that did not make the cut:

  • Digital Asset Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Reputation Management

What term makes the most sense to you?

optimize <![CDATA[Link Exchange Forums – Top Four Link Exchange Forums]]> 2011-01-08T17:52:46Z 2011-01-08T17:44:58Z Link Exchange Forum Guide

Just like LuckyCharmz336 asks on Warrior Forum,

“I still believe in link exchanges (to a certain extent), which I know most of you don’t. I was wondering if anyone out there knows of a good forum or website for exchanging links. I don’t like websites like Linkalizer, I am looking for higher quality links that are easier to obtain.”

  1. V7N Link Exchange Forum - This one seems to have a higher quality user than Digital Point.  Trustworthy community and very knowledgeable mods.
  2. Digital Point Link Exchange Forum – Too much of a good thing. 16-20 new threads per day is not uncommon here. Get ready to become acclimated with the advanced search tool friends. Need help? Tough. Mods aren’t there to help you, but “DP” or Digital Point has a large volume of folks looking to swap links with you. DP forum members, in large part, tend to be heavily black hat, scheming, and untrustworthy. The majority of the sites will have to be passed over. You can find a few good ones amidst the sea of spammers.
  3. Webmaster-Talk Link Exchange – A nice “Sort By” feature that can help find relevant link opportunities easily.
  4. UKWebmasterWorld Exchange – Exchange signature links, contextual links, and more.

Didn’t Make the Cut:

  1. Forum Link Exchange Reviews – Unfamiliar with the mods & users but it looks to be a good place to make friends.
  7. link: –  in need of a drastic face lift.
  8. – Must be approved.
optimize <![CDATA[SEO in 2010 – A Glance in the Rear View Shows Where We are Headed]]> 2010-12-24T21:28:54Z 2010-12-24T21:24:14Z Internet marketing is a hot ticket item. Nothing about this industry is slowing down. More searches each year, more ad spending, more social media users, and much more content throughout the web.

SEOmoz – Ten Things We Learned in 2010.

So what are some of the interesting things we saw in 2010?

  1. Yahoo & Bing MergeAdcenter is the new YSM for average users. We don’t have to include both Yahoo & Bing in the monthly ranking reports. Will Search Engine’s PPC programs be overshadowed by social media PPC, sponsored tweets, and other strategic placement methods?
  2. Many more Social Media management and monitoring tools come to lifeTrackur, Alterian, and others are going to define how to do business on social media.
  3. New back link softwareSoftware like Ontolo, Link Insight, and others will also change the way white hat SEO is done.
  4. Blekko goes liveOpen search engine. This new yet small search engine team makes a search engine that does not hide links, internal algorithm values, and showing us why they rank sites how they do.
  5. Marissa Mayer  goes loco local - Head of Search for Google moves to Google Local. Major changes on Local SERPs within Google, David Mihm heats up Local Search Optimization, and Google hires 100′s of more employees to sell local advertising.
optimize <![CDATA[Six Questions to Ask Before You Buy a New Web Site]]> 2010-12-24T21:29:36Z 2010-12-21T21:39:11Z A new web site has an amazing pull on sales today. Rather than get something just because it “looks good,” it is important to ponder a few other crucial points of condideration as well. Users need to be able to use it, not just you. Search Engine’s need to be able to access main categories, pages, and looking good is not a bad thing either!

Questions to Ask Web Developer, Designers, Agency before purchasing a new web site.If you are considering buying yourself a web site you should carefully examine this post. This post covers a few questions you should ask before you buy a  site. This can save you a lot of unnecessary effort and expenses.

A very common problem is when a company buys a web site and ends up with major disappointment. It does not meet the needs, users can not use it, or search engines can not properly categorize/crawl the site,  which will probably result in dire consequences for YOU or your business!

In order to avoid disaster, you’ll need to ask, ask and ask.

Inform yourself about the new web site you’re about to buy, don’t you inform yourself about a new game, book, or movie you are going to buy? The best way of informing yourself is to get the information from the seller by asking him a lot of questions, don’t worry he wants you to buy his web site, so he will gladly answer all your questions.

So what should you ask?

Here a quick list of important question that should be asked before you buy a new web site:

1) Do you keep server updated?

An old or outdated server can be a hacker’s haven. The more popular your site becomes, the bigger the risk is for hacker activity. We have seen businesses work very hard to build up a lot of authority to the domain and have it taken over just for links.

2) Do you use Flash or AJAX?

Flash, although it is pretty, it is not always good for search engines. Google announced the ability to crawl & index certain flash sites. If Flash is a requirement with your site, ensure the developers visit Adobe’s Flash Development Center and watch the .SWF-SEO videos. Typically, HTML and CSS are used on many sites today and search engines respond well to the code.

3) Does your coding allow Google to crawl entire site?

Good question. How do you know if Google can reach your entire site? View the previous sites in a browser in a text-based browser like Lynx. And for those who would rather not install anything, a Lynx web based viewer option is available. Ensure all categories and priority pages are viewable in Lynx. Typically if Lynx can view the site — search engine’s can too!

4) What if the site is infected by Malware?

-Do you charge extra to fix and if so how much per hour?

-Do you provide back ups? If so, how far back do the backups go?

Three related questions. Malware is an increasing threat on the web today. Google does have several tools to help spot Malware now, but it is still very much in the hand’s of your hosting provider, webmasters, and the site owner. For this reason, talking about possible scenarios ahead of time can save a lot of headaches. Many hosts don’t provide old backups. In those instances, you HAVE to catch infections early, or else, it could be big trouble. Knowing about it ahead of time would leave you with the option to run your own backups incrementally should an infection sneak past you.

5) Will you install Analytics & Webmaster tools for free?

Absolutely a MUST in today’s “new media” world that we live in. We are now a data-driven business world and not utilizing the data Analytics & Webmaster tools will give us for FREE is like turning customers away at the door.

6) How much do you charge per hour for updates?

This is something everyone should know. Updates are inevitable. Better to not be surprised by outrageous fees.

This list could be a lot longer, depending on what web site it is and the functions it is meant to serve. You will need to individually come up with questions and ask, ask, ask. You don’t want to end up wasting your time and money with a sloppy website that doesn’t fit your needs at all! Many businesses require increased scrutiny in spending. By asking the right questions straight away, you can minimize the potential risks, risks that many do not realize until it is too late!

optimize <![CDATA[Multi-Channel Advertising Campaign Case Study]]> 2010-12-03T23:22:19Z 2010-11-13T01:56:22Z Local Advertising Case Study Effectiveness

pitch man in black and white from a 1950's era TV commercial |Optimize Guyz


Over the next few months, we will be testing the effectiveness of various advertising channels on a local level. Follow along as we delve into offline marketing with several different advertising methods.

Method #1 will be radio syndication over 30 days – 3x per day -  thanks to 3Wi radio.

Normally, sharing the results of various advertising campaigns is not something we are able to do publicly so sharing the results of advertising methods with our readers should be a lot of fun! Not only that, sharing the results of our advertising methods across many platforms and have readers participate in our findings may give us even better ideas for the case study.

Tracking the effectiveness of advertising campaigns is extremely important for any business whether you are in a metro area or a smaller city like Brainerd, targeting regionally, nationally, or internationally. There is a reason “new media” is overtaking the industry and it is large part due to strategic placement and tracking technologies available today.

Main points:

  1. Ads will be targeted to the specific Central Minnesota region.
  2. The advertising will strictly be promoting search engine optimization and web design services.
  3. All calls, emails, and referral traffic will be monitored.

Method #1 – Radio Ad

Price: $
Effectiveness: To be determined

All calls will be tracked via Google voice call tracking technologies. Leads will count as one point and actual customers will count as two. We will be running a six month case study and other methods will include:

  • Local networking group (month #2)
  • Google Video (concurrent)
  • Local paper advertising (month #3)
  • Google Content Network (concurrent)
  • Mobile Advertising (month #4)

Listen to a sneak peak of our first radio ad airing throughout the Brainerd Minnesota area and surrounding cities.

optimize <![CDATA[Google Reader – Removed Track Changes Feature]]> 2010-10-27T20:58:05Z 2010-10-27T20:57:15Z Google Reader shuts off Track Changes FeatureGoogle Reader is not just another Google product. It is, but it isn’t.

Google changed the RSS game by not only creating an easy and fun to use RSS reader, they made it easy to track site updates even if the site did not have a standard RSS/Atom feed. Google also bought feedburner back in ’07.

“Screen Scraping” or the track changes feature was recently disabled. For those of you doing reputation management may have to venture out beyond Google reader. Sure, there is Google Alerts, but that is not always the most precise way to stay on top of brand activity. One would be wise to not rely on the Google index for reputation management.

optimize <![CDATA[Twitter Vulnerability – Direct Messages Compromised]]> 2010-10-06T19:36:30Z 2010-10-05T22:14:29Z For anyone that often allows oauth to authorize a site to access their Twitter profile, you might just want to stop doing that for now. That is until Twitter does a better job of locking down direct messages.

We became aware of the issue early this morning.

The scary thing is this could be happening to your account right now and all your DM’s could be emailed to the site owners for list building purposes.

Without a doubt, this will become even more of a widespread problem as it is becomes more of a public issue.