Proudly serving the industry for which it was named for more than 50 years, Outdoor Power Equipment provides dealers who sell and service outdoor power equipment with valuable information to succeed in a competitive market.
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28 APRIL 2017 OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT www.outdoorpowerequipment.com FEATURE STORY | Website Solutions Google puts a lot of stock in what shoppers have to say about your business. Finally, prove that you're well established in your community. One way you can do this is through link building. Link building is an older traditional SEO tactic, but it still carries some weight in today's SEO landscape. To show Google that you're a valuable member of your community, link to organizations and businesses that you work with in your area. Linking to your local chamber of commerce, charities or sports teams that you sponsor, as well as other businesses (e.g. local landscapers) you work with, on your "About Us" page can show Google (and potential customers) that you're a key part of your community and help you establish the local link that you need to be shown to local searchers. Black hat SEO strategies Black hat SEO tactics can do more harm than good to your search engine rank. These tactics try to trick Google into thinking that your website is packed full of relevant content. The problem is that Google is smart enough to know when it's being tricked. If its algorithms indicate that you're trying to artificially beef up your SEO with black hat tactics, your site may get penalized and pushed to the last page of search results — if it gets shown at all. One common black hat tactic is keyword stuffing, and Google can sniff it out easily. Keyword stuffing is when you insert keywords into your website's text in places that you wouldn't use them naturally. The thought behind it is that packing your website full of keywords will show Google that your website is a good match for searchers using those keywords. In reality, keyword stuffing provides a poor user experience, and Google is more likely to send searchers to your competitors' websites when you use this tactic. Instead of stuffing your website full of keywords, write quality website content geared toward answering the questions of searchers. This will help you provide a better user experience for your customers and help your SEO at the same time. IMAGE ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/RAWPIXEL ■ BY COLLEEN MALLOY Today's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices are much different than they were five years ago — or even last year! As Google and the other major search engines continue to alter their algorithms, the tactics that help you rank on the first page of search results are constantly shifting. If shoppers can't find you online, you will lose out on sales and leads. Staying on top of your SEO strategy can help ensure that you're reaching shoppers who are likely to buy from you. While some older tactics still have a place in today's SEO landscape, others can actually harm your search engine rank. Let's dig into the next generation strategies you should be focusing on and then take a look at a few of the black hat SEO strategies that can hurt your online presence. Next generation SEO strategies The future of SEO is local. More shoppers than ever are using search engines to find local products and businesses, and Google wants to provide them with the best possible answers for their searches. To do this, Google looks for the websites of businesses that are well established in the community, are well liked by shop- pers, and have accurate and consistent information online. To make sure that you're ranking highly for local searches, the first step you need to take is to claim your Google My Business listing. This listing can display a wealth of information about your dealership right on the search results page. Claiming it ensures the information is kept up-to-date and allows you to monitor any reviews that shoppers leave there. Next, focus on providing a great customer experience. Google looks at factors like the number of reviews that your business has and how long shoppers spend on your website when deciding your search rank. A user-friendly website that answers common customer questions and provides information about the products that you sell will engage shoppers and show Google that you're a good resource for searchers. Providing strong customer service in-store can lead to positive reviews. These are great tools for potential customers who are trying to choose a dealer, and Next Generation SEO Is your online presence optimized for local search?