Local Search Is All About Places!
Ranking in Google Places is NOT black magic. It is a combination of three components that can be managed - optimized local business listings, website local search optimization and reviews.
Keys to Ranking in Google My Business*
We all need a NAP:
- It is critical that every mention of your business, including your website (in particular, your homepage or whatever page you link to in your local business listings) include identical, crawl-able mentions of your Company Name, Address and Phone Number.
- If you're in business long enough, you will eventually have listings in most if not all of the top local search directories including Google Places. Typically, these listings are rather generic and certainly not keyword optimized.
- Owner-verified listings provide the ability to include additional optimization and RANK better.
- Citations consist of any reputable third-party local business listing referencing your business
- The number of citations is one of the biggest factors in ranking in Google Places.
- Many local search directories including Google Places and Yelp include the quantity of reviews in their ranking formula. In fact, businesses with at least 5 reviews on Google Places will have the 5 star rating show in the search results - and it stands out!
* A huge shout-out to David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors, an annual survey of local search trends culled from industry experts.