What is Google Places?
Local business listings is very important in Google. If you do a local search which includes a place, town, city or local service, Google will display the local business box. That's how important Google thinks local search results are.
What determines your Google Places Rank?
Everyone is wondering what the ranking factors for local search engine optimization. Do you stuff your Google Places page with as many keywords as possible or what?
Here are the top 10 factors that determine your Google Places ranking – From Least important to most important –
10 – Add Coupons
Google wants to see more interactivity with their Google Places section to people keep coming back. By adding coupons, it adds value to the user experience and helps with your rankings.
9 – Proximity of business
This factor used to be very important but from my own experience, it is not as important as it used to be. You still need an address within the city that you want to optimize for.
8 – Add pictures
Add pictures of your business, products and staff. Make sure you name the files appropriately so Google knows what the titles are about.
7 – Add video
Google loves videos and they have made it very easy to add your own videos. If your profile does not include videos yet – what are you doing?
6 – Add reviews
Do not add fake reviews. Help the process of getting reviews by asking your happy customers to add reviews. Remind them to add the keywords you are targeting.
5 – Organic Ranking
Your ranking for your chosen words in the organic search results does have an indirect influence to your local business listing. Try and optimize your site for a good ranking in the search engine result pages.
4- Contact details on your own site
This is often an overlooked factor – make sure your website has your contact details including your business name, address and phone number. If you can, put it on every page.
3 – 100% completion
When you edit your profile page, Google will give you a completion rate. To get the best ranking, this needs to be 100%.
2 – Claiming your listing
You need to claim your listing. By claiming your listing, you can make edits to your profile page and add more information about your business. Google wants you to do this and make sure that it is up-to-date.
1 – The number 1 influence factor for Google business listings – Citations!
You want to add your business name and contact details to all the business directories and websites that you should be listed on. Any directory or website that is related to your location and industry must have your details listed on it. Many directories allow you to add your business by filling out a form. To get added to industry related websites, you may need to make some calls or send some emails. With a bit of effort, you will get a number of citations that will influence your business listings ranking.
When adding citations for your business, they do not need to include your website. The business name, address and phone number needs to be exactly the same everywhere. If you find a page on the Internet with inaccurate details, you must get the details corrected otherwise it will hurt your rankings.
Source by Nigel C Burke