Local results are viewed millions of times a day. In fact, 20% of searches on Google are local in nature and having a Google Places page saves an average of 2 second per search for the user. Also, 64% of the searchers on the net are looking for results within 15 miles.
These facts clearly indicate how important Local search is, and the first step in making the local search work for you is getting your Google places listing up and running. Verifying and optimizing your places account is even more important today because local is getting a lot of quality traffic because it reflects true organic results.
This leads us to the next question about what factors affect your listing placement.
First and foremost, claim the listing; second, put accurate profile information and ensure consistency of listings – especially the phone number; third, and most importantly, encourage more third party reviews because 61% of local searches consider ratings and reviews to be important and utilize reviews. Reviews are one of the most important optimization techniques when it comes to local listing and position rankings.
All in all, the three key takeaways to rank in Google places/search are:
Contributed by: Bhawna Sharma, eStrategist, Milestone Internet Marketing