Understanding Offsite vs. Onsite SEO

You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO), and try to utilize it in order to build your business online. But did you know that there are two different types of SEO? It is important to understand the different types of SEO in order to determine the best strategies for growing your business online.

There is onsite SEO and offsite SEO. Utilizing the two different types of SEO is critical for developing and implementing a successful SEO strategy.

Properly utilizing both onsite and offsite SEO strategies will give your business an edge.
Properly utilizing both onsite and offsite SEO strategies will give your business an edge.

What is Onsite & Offsite SEO?

Onsite SEO: Onsite SEO refers to elements that are on your website. For example, your domain name, content, keywords, and geotargets are all elements of onsite SEO. Properly optimizing these elements helps web crawlers read your site and evaluate its relevance to certain search terms.

Offsite SEO: As the name suggests, offsite SEO involves enhancing elements outside your website. This includes your online identity across different directories, reviews, social media, and backlinks to your site from credible websites. These elements are just as important as onsite SEO and shouldn’t be forgotten.

Which Type of SEO is More Important?

Your business is made of up many moving parts, all working together for your benefit. Neglecting one element of your business can negatively affect the rest of it. Implementing an SEO strategy works much in the same way. In order to develop a successful SEO strategy, both onsite and offsite SEO need to be utilized. Focusing on only one or the other will be much less effective than implementing an all-encompassing SEO strategy.

MLT Group offers a variety of services to boost SEO, onsite and offsite, for your business, including search engine friendly website design,  backlinking, blog services, online identity services, and many more. To develop or improve your SEO strategy, contact MLT Group’s friendly professionals at 507.281.3490 or sales@mltgroup.com.

New Desks Have MLT Group Standing Tall

While we’re always working hard for our clients, most of our work leaves us sitting for the majority of the day. To combat this sedentary lifestyle that has become so commonplace in office environments, MLT Group has invested in standing desks.

MLT Group’s creative team is standing at the ready!

An increasing number of studies have all concluded that consistently sitting for long periods can contribute to poor physical and mental health. With our new adjustable desks, we hope to benefit from elevated moods and greater energy, while combating health risks, such as heart disease, high blood sugar, and chronic back pain.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to live a more active lifestyle. I’ve already been exercising, and the ability to stand up and move around will only help my health improve,” commented Project Manager, Ayo Awosika.

We’re excited, energized, and ready to support our clients while supporting our own health. If you’re looking for a creative team of professionals to help promote your business, contact MLT Group at 507.281.3490 or sales@mltgroup.com. We’re standing at the ready!








How Online Reviews Are Affecting Your Local Ranking

We all know that positive online reviews are important to your business; they build your reputation and are highly influential to consumers. But did you know that good reviews can also influence your local search ranking on Google?

Here is an example of Local Three Pack results for carpet cleaning in Rochester, MN.
Here is an example of Local Three Pack results for carpet cleaning in Rochester, MN. You can see the online reviews prominently displayed.

As far as local searches are concerned, every business wants to appear in Google’s Local Three Pack which shows the top three local search results. The Three Pack takes up prime real estate on Google’s search results, appearing before organic results and just below the paid ads. Having your business appear in Google’s Local Three Pack means that potential customers are more likely to find your services and click through to your website.

However, the Local Three Pack results are determined by more than content, relativity, and keywords. In a continuing effort to provide users with the best possible results, Google’s algorithm is rewarding businesses that have positive reviews, by helping them rank in the Local Three Pack.

How to Appear in the Local Three Pack

So how can you help your business receive positive reviews and boost your chances of appearing in the Local Three Pack?

First, make sure you’ve claimed your business on Google My Business. This way you can start directing customers to write reviews on Google.

Second, you will need to develop a strategy for encouraging your customers to write reviews of your business. Here are 3 tips for promoting positive reviews.

  1. Ask. It may sound obvious, but many businesses forget to ask their customers for reviews. Try including a prompt on receipts or in follow up emails.
  2. Learn from your existing online reviews. Learning from your existing reviews, both positive and negative is important for your business and will help promote positive reviews. Capitalizing on your businesses’ strengths while addressing its weaknesses will help you to provide a better experience for your customers, leaving them more likely to leave a positive review.
  3. Make leaving online reviews easy. Your customers aren’t likely to go out of their way to review you. Offering them a simple and direct option for leaving reviews will increase the likelihood that they will participate. Include direct links to your review profiles in emails, newsletters, and other communications to your customers.

There’s no time to lose! The experts at MLT Group can help set up and optimize your Google My Business profile and help you promote positive reviews for your business. For more information, please contact one of our professionals at 507.281.3490 or sales@mltgroup.com.

MLT Group CEO Helps to Honor Fallen Veterans With Holiday Wreaths

The holidays are a time for families to come together, but for many, it’s also a time for remembering fallen veterans. To honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial committee of Rochester, MN, has been tasked with distributing holiday wreaths to local cemeteries, veterans’ graves, and families of fallen veterans as a part of Wreaths Across America.

Mike Pruett and Terry Throndson stand with wreaths to be displayed outside local cemeteries to honor fallen veterans.
Mike Pruett and Terry Throndson stand with wreaths to be displayed outside local cemeteries to honor fallen veterans.

Over 500 wreaths, purchased from Tim Ahern of Evergreen Industries, were donated to the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial by Treasure Island Resort & Casino and the Prairie Island Indian Community. Committee members Mike Pruett, MLT Group CEO, and Terry Throndson of Throndson Oil traveled to Red Wing, MN, to pick up the wreaths and transport them back to Rochester.

Pruett and Throndson had to make two trips from Rochester to Red Wing in order to transport all 500 individually packaged wreaths.

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial has participated in Wreaths Across America in the past, purchasing the wreaths themselves. Having the wreaths donated this year was a welcomed sign of support from Treasure Island and Prairie Island Indian Communities.

“As a committee, we feel that this is a way that we can honor the veterans that have fallen and that they are not forgotten. We would like to thank Treasure Island for their continued support of our veterans,” stated Pruett and Throndson.

Pruett and Throndson also support Tee It Up for the Troops and Bells for Eternity, respectively. The men believe that showing support for area veterans contributes to strong community.

For many, the wreaths are a sign that their loved ones and their sacrifices are not forgotten.

Wreaths can be found at the entrances of Oakwood, Calvary, and Oakwood East cemeteries in Rochester, MN. They will also be distributed to veterans’ families through the VFW and American Legion of Rochester and Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Stewartville.





Why You Should Have Mobile-ized Your Site Yesterday

Having a mobile version of your businesses’ website may have been scribbled at the bottom of your to do list. Well it’s time that afterthought be UnsplashMobilePhonemoved to the top of the list. More and more, smartphones are becoming the main resource for consumers to find and purchase products and services. Mobile users have overtaken desktop users for the percentage of ecommerce traffic and mobile popularity is only growing. That means if your site isn’t optimized for mobile phones, you’re losing potential customers and sales.

Why Do I Need a Mobile Friendly Site?

Having a site that is mobile compatible isn’t just important because more users are turning to smartphones to do their shopping. Mobile friendly sites are also great for SEO. Search engines that are mobile compatible such as Google and Yahoo! reward mobile sites with better rankings. This is a benefit that spans across desktop and mobile platforms.

Sites that are optimized for mobile devices also provide more opportunities for customers to shop. One study found that consumers tend to use their desktops to search during the week and mobile devices on the weekend. Not optimizing your site for mobile use can cut off weekend mobile shoppers.

When people are searching for goods and services on the go, they use the GPS in their phones. This allows them to find businesses that are close to them. If your site isn’t mobile-ready, you’ll experience a high bounce rate from these almost-customers.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is the number of users who visit your site, only to leave shortly after. But why do they leave? Mobile users look for a quick and easy experience. Ask yourself, does your website take more than three seconds to load on a mobile phone? Do mobile users have to zoom in and out to view the content? If so, consumers will move along to a competitor who offers a better mobile experience.

Don’t wait to create or update your businesses’ mobile friendly website. Let the experts at MLT Group help! Our friendly professionals offer mobile website design, web design, ecommerce solutions, and other web services. Don’t get left in the dust and email us at sales@mltgroup.com or call 507.291.3490 to get started optimizing your website today!


Accounting Director Receives Toastmasters Award

Today we are celebrating our Accounting Director, Jean Pearson, who was recently honored and recognized by Toastmasters International as the 2015/2016 District Six Division Director of the Year.


Jean has been a member of Toastmasters International, an organization which helps members cultivate leadership and public speaking skills, for 24 years. She originally joined in order to build on her communication skills.

Jean and husband Dave with their Toastmasters awards.
Jean and husband Dave with their Toastmasters awards.

“I was working in a job where I had to explain W9 forms. Inevitably, I would be talking with someone, and as soon as I hung up, I thought ‘oh, I should have added this or added that’,” she explained. “I was always talking to people who had no idea what I was talking about.”


Jean attended her first Toastmasters meeting after seeing an ad in the Mayo Newspaper.


“I decided that the Table Topics portion of the Toastmasters meeting was the part that I wanted, because I really did not have any trepidation with speaking in front of groups, it’s just that I didn’t always think of everything at once.”


Instantly, Jean enjoyed Toastmasters, stepping into her first leadership role after only four months. She has maintained a leadership position within Toastmasters for 21 out of her 24 years as a member. Jean had often worked in individualized positions, and wasn’t always able to exercise her leadership skills, so she was excited to have an opportunity to build on these skills.


“That’s why I stay. I thoroughly enjoy it.”


This is not Jean’s first award from Toastmasters. She has also twice been honored with Toastmasters’ highest achievement, the Distinguished Toastmaster (DMT) award. In order to receive this recognition, a member must meet a set of ambitious criteria, including giving approximately 46 speeches, acting as a district officer for one year, acting as a club officer for at least six months, sponsor a new club or mentor a struggling club, and complete a special leadership project, which typically involves planning and managing an event.


After a previous tenure as a Division Governor (now referred to as Director), Jean was recognized as the 2012/2013 District Six Division Governor of the Year. Being recognized twice as a Division Governor/Director of the Year is a first in the history of District Six – a phenomenal achievement considering she has only held this particular office twice!


Jean is not the only Toastmaster in the family. Her husband, David Pearson, has been a member for three years and was recognized as the 2015/2016 District Six Toastmaster of the Year.


We want to congratulate Jean on her astounding achievements and wish her the best as she continues to participate in Toastmasters. We can’t wait to see what she does next!


For more information about Toastmasters, or to find a club near you, visit their website.


Why Looks Do Matter for Your Website- The Importance of Good Visuals

The visual elements are often forgotten during the arduous task of building a website, especially if you’ve tried to build it on your own. But not taking full advantage of the power of a strong visual design can be costly. The human brain is able to process images at amazing speeds, making visuals a powerful marketing too.

This visual is helping you retain the information in this blog!
This visual is helping you retain the information in this blog!


Why are Visuals So Important?

Strong visual content does more than make your website look good and professional. Visuals have a w犀利士
ay of hacking into the brain and doing amazing things.

In a world of instant answers, consumers have short attention spans. Visuals increase the likelihood of a custome犀利士
r viewing your content. But what’s the point of reading the content if you can’t remember it? Well visuals help with that too!  When information is accompanied by a relevant image, 65% of readers are able to retain the information versus 10% when there were no images.  Visuals instantly communicate what would take paragraphs of text.

Using visuals also helps tell your company’s story. It communicates what you stand for, allows consumers to relate, and can create an emotional response in your customers.

How Can I Boost the Visuals on my Website?

 MLT Group provides all of the services your business needs to boost its visual impact.

  • Custom web design for computer, tablet, and mobile platforms
  • Graphic design
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Logo and branding design

 Our experienced staff understands the importance of strong visuals and has a thorough understanding of SEO, web design, and branding. Check out examples of our custom web designs. To learn more about enhancing your web presence with a custom web design, please contact one of MLT Group’s versatile and dedicated staff members by calling 507.281.3490 or e-mailing us at sales@mltgroup.com.


The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Watch our latest Theo Talk about managing your online reputation.
Watch our latest Theo Talk about the basics of Search Engine Optimization

In an increasingly digital marketplace, business owners need to take advantage of the tools at their disposal. Everyone is using search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing to find goods and services. These search engines use algorithms that filter through websites to evaluate their relevance to the search terms input. If you want your website to rank favorably on search engines for terms relevant to your products and services, you need to employ search engine optimization (SEO). MLT Group’s Director of Operations, Theo St. Mane discusses the elements of SEO and its importance for your business in his latest Theo Talk video.

SEO is the use of strategies to help the search engines find your site and encourage them to rank it higher in organic and local search results. While SEO can be complex, even a basic understanding can improve your online visibility. Here are a few tips for enhancing your SEO.

Mobile Optimization

More searches are done on Google from mobile devices than from desk top computers, and Google has decreed that your site will not rank well in mobile search results if your site is not mobile optimized. This makes mobile optimization a ‘must have’ for every business website.

Image Descriptions

The search engine algorithm will only look for text, so it is important to include descriptions for the images on your website. Also, including descriptive words in the body text around the image can help boost your SEO.

Regularly Update Content

Bots look for websites that are up to date, so regularly performing site maintenance and updating its content keeps your site relevant. One way to keep your content fresh is to include a blog. Posting SEO’d blogs weekly can dramatically enhance your site’s attractiveness to search engines.


Search engines look for keywords in websites that relate to the searched terms. You need to make sure these keywords are strategically placed throughout your website. But how do you anticipate what keywords to use and where to put them? First, think of how someone would search for your services? For example, ‘carpet cleaning’, ‘tree removal’, or ‘teeth whitening’. But it’s a bit of a balancing act as including too many keywords could get your website flagged for spamming and harm your ranking. Keywords should be worked in naturally to appeal to human readers. The most important places to include keywords are in the page title and opening paragraph of each page.

Social Media

Being active on social media can help your SEO. Not surprisingly, having a well filled out Google+ page will help your rankings in Google searches. Sharing content from your website or blog on appropriate social media outlets helps direct traffic back to your website.

There’s no reason not to take advantage of SEO and develop a strategy that works best for your business. By implementing a few basic practices, you can enhance your rankings on search engines and drive more traffic to your website.

To take full advantage of what SEO can do for your business you need time and an intimate knowledge of SEO. Contact one of our professionals at sales@mltgroup.com or 507.281.3490 to see how we can develop and implement an SEO strategy for your business. Also, watch our latest Theo Talk video about SEO basics here.

Protect Your Business’ Online Reputation


Watch our latest Theo Talk about managing your online reputation.
Watch our latest Theo Talk about managing your online reputation.

You’ve worked hard to build your business and provide quality services. After all of the time and energy you’ve put into your business, it can be heartbreaking to see your business’ reputation under attack from online reviews. As our Director of Operations, Theo St. Mane, explains in our latest Theo Talk video, too many good businesses are marred by just a few negative reviews.

But how can just a few bad reviews have such a devastating impact? Imagine the last time you paid for a good or service and had a good experience. Did you feel compelled to write a positive review about it? Now imagine the last time you had a negative experience. You were probably more compelled to share the story. There is a psychological reason for this. Positive and negative experiences are processed differently in the brain. Negative experiences take more processing power, causing us to ruminate on them. This makes it more likely for consumers to share their negative experiences on review sites.

What Should You Do With Bad Reviews?

No matter how well your business operates, bad reviews happen, which is why it’s important to have a plan for how to handle them. First, deleting isn’t the answer. Most review sites such as Yelp and Google Business won’t allow businesses to delete reviews unless they can prove the review is false or attempting to inflict undue damages. If they did, these sites would lose all credibility. But if you can’t delete a bad review, what can you do?

  • Research the complaint– Who is the customer? Is their complaint valid? What were the circumstances surrounding their experience? This is information that will be helpful for understanding the complaint and how to respond.
  • Respond to the complaint– Sharing your side if the story can help repair your relationship with the dissatisfied customer and improve your image with potential customers reading the review. In responding make sure you sound reasonable and professional. The quality of your response can completely neutralize a negative review in the eyes of other consumers.

How to Receive Positive Reviews

If consumers are more likely to share negative reviews, how do you get consumers to share positive experiences about your business?

  • Make it easy – Include links to your business’ review profiles on your website, social media, emails, and newsletters. Customers aren’t going to spend time looking for your business on these sites, but if you make it easy for them they may take a few moments to leave a positive review.
  • Give incentives– Customers are more likely to leave reviews if they have some incentive. It is important, however, that you are not seen as paying for reviews or paying for good reviews. Monthly giveaways and other chances to win prizes are proven strategies for encouraging reviews.
  • Ask– It seems so obvious, but many businesses fail to ask their customers to write reviews. Make it part of your daily work practice for you and your employees to solicit reviews from customers.

Your business’ reputation is invaluable so make sure you protect it. To find out how MLT Group can help your business with its online reputation and SEO, contact one of our professionals at sales@mltgroup.com or 507.281.3490. Also, watch our latest Theo Talk video about managing your business’ online reputation here.

Are You Losing Customers? Claim Your Online Identity Now!


Watch the latest Theo Talk about online identity.
Watch the latest Theo Talk about online identity.

In his latest Theo Talk, our Director of Operations, Theo St. Mane asks a crucial question: are you in charge of your business’ online identity? There are dozens of online directories that scrape information from all corners of the internet in order to gather details on your business. However, this information isn’t always accurate, especially if your business has changed locations or phone numbers. If you don’t claim your business on each directory to ensure your information is accurate, customers may not be able to find your website.

Here are two different methods to effectively manage your business’ online identity.

Manually Claim your Business

Pick out some of the top directories that your customers may be using such as Google+, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yelp. Each of these directories has different processes for claiming your business or creating a listing for it. Once you have control of your business’ identity, you can edit the information at any time, which is helpful if your business changes locations or phone numbers. This option is free but can be time-consuming.

Directory Listing Tools

If you don’t want to manage your listings manually, there are tools that allow you to update your business’ information across multiple directories all from one platform. A few popular services such as Yext, Moz Local, and UBL are compared here. These tools allow you to control your business’ online identity all in one place. While convenient, these services are not free, ranging in price between a few dollars per citation to $500 a year.

Taking control of your business’ online identity is an important and often forgotten aspect in managing a business. Don’t wait! Make sure your customers can find your business today.

To learn more about online identity and  Theo Talks, visit MLT Group’s Youtube channel.

To find out how MLT Group can help your business with its online identity and SEO, contact one of our professionals at sales@mltgroup.com or 507.281.3490.