Posted on March 3, 2012 by Kevin Getch These days, search engines are really catering to local search results. Besides the fact that, according to Google, 20 percent of all search is location-driven, Google’s local search gets first dibs on your page when users are signed in. This underscores the importance of optimizing your Google Places page (assuming you have one, of course!). To ensure a spot in local search results, let’s take a look at what you should do. For the sake of argument, let’s assume you haven’t done a Google Places page for your business. Let’s start from the beginning. It’s really important to not only complete all the information that Google asks for, but go above and beyond a little. Remember, Google is all about promoting a positive user experience, which means when users get listings for local businesses, Google wants to provide information that is complete. There are required fields that you can’t get away with avoiding. Beyond those, you should be sure to include things like an email address, description, photos, hours of operation, and more. As is the case in your other SEO efforts, optimize your Google Places page with a judicious use of pertinent keywords and phrases. Just as in other keyword uses, don’t overdo it or you just might be delisted! Citations, or mentions of your business information on other websites, need to be consistent in your SEO efforts. make sure your Google Places information is consistent with other websites that display it. Also consider ways to encourage good reviews on your Google Places page. How you do so is up to you, but this can definitely help in your ranking.