Not surprisingly, one of the main areas to improve your ranking on Google Places is what you have put up on your actual Google Place page.   Do you know the other two main local optimization areas?  Click here.

A new study written by Bizable and promoted by one of our favorite local SEO bloggers, Andrew Shotland,  looks at several Place page factors for ranking.  Some of it is relatively intuitive.

Here is an excerpt:

Top 3 Factors To Improve Ranking For Pages In Integrated Results

  1. Places page category matches a broader category than that of the search (search for “pizza”, Places category = restaurant). This only applies of course if there is a broader category. This applies for both primary and secondary Places page categories.
  2. The search category appears in the business name (“Rocky’s Pizza” for a “Seattle pizza” search).
  3. The search category appears in the “at a glance” section.

Top 5 Factors To Improve Ranking For Pages Not In Integrated Results

  1. Having 5 or more Google reviews.
  2. Location term in “at a glance” section. (Seattle in “Seattle pizza”)
  3. Category term in Google review content. (pizza in “Seattle pizza” is in the contents of the Google reviews)
  4. Category term in business description.
  5. Category term in “at a glance.”
If this sounds complicated, well, it is.   It’s Google.  It’s a complex algorithm.  And even worse it’s changing constantly.  The threshold for 5 reviews is going to go up when people rapidly adopt Google Places and realize its power.
Are you doing the right things?  We can do a free evaluation of your Google Place page and mobile local directory presences across 100+ sites, so consumers can find you when they look for a business like yours.   You’ll probably find a lot of things you should do.  After all, 64% of Foursquare listings are incorrect.  There’s probably a lot of cleaning up you should do.
As a side note, we will be hosting an SEO and Google Places workshop this month.   Sign up at our Local Online Marketing Meetup.