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    New Google Search Changes Enables Small Biz Owners to Boost Ranking

    Google this week completed a worldwide update of its search application so it will display local search results even when a user doesn’t type in a location -- giving grocers an opportunity to increase their ranking in search results.

    Google this week completed a worldwide update of its search application so it will display local search results even when a user doesn’t type in a location -- giving grocers an opportunity to increase their ranking in search results.

    The new search determines the user’s location based on his or her IP address, and displays related businesses within that address’ geographic area. “Up until last month, people became frustrated when typing in ‘pizza’ or any other search term, when it wouldn’t get them the local results they were looking for,” said Scott Wilson, a search engine optimization expert and CEO of RankHigher.ca, which is headquartered in Burlington, Ontario (www.rankhigher.ca). “They were either being forced to refine their search by typing in an exact city or abandon Google altogether to search the Yellow Pages.”

    Wilson suggests the following tips to help businesses top their local search results:

    Add or Claim Your Business Listing.
    Visit www.google.com/local/add to enter the Google Local Business Center Web site to add your business. Businesses may find that they already exist in the database and must claim the listing by following the steps on the page.

    Keep Consistent. Make sure the company address and phone number for your Google business profile is written in the exact same format as your company’s “Contact Us” Web page. This helps Google recognize that this is the same company.

    Maximize Your Listing. Use all of the Google options available, including adding videos from YouTube, photos, and even coupons. This will help to supercharge a retailer’s listing and get it to the top.

    Provide Keywords. Be sure to think of keywords that customers would use to search for your business. You are allowed to enter five categories, so it’s important to think about all of the products and services you offer. For example, a pizza place that also sells chicken wings should enter “pizza” and “chicken wings” as two of its categories, ensuring results in both searches.

    “Maximizing the Google local business listing is an easy and free way for small businesses to stand out in a search,” said Wilson. “It presents an opportunity to gain new customers and grow your business.”

    RankHigher helps international companies like Apple, Gerber, Pepsi, 3M, Bell Canada and Home Depot to boost their sales and success through search engine optimization techniques.

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