Google Places is a great listing for local businesses and getting to the first indexed page is of huge benefit to any business as it will bring in more customers and clients. When you apply for a page in these Google Places, you should make sure that you provide as much information as possible about your business, which means filling in all the optional text fields. You should also upload pictures and videos of your business as the more information you have on your pages, it would appear that the higher you will be ranked in the Place index.

Google Places is rather like a Yellow Pages directory where people look to find products and services that they need and which are specific to a local area. Because of the growth of mobile marketing, the number of mobile devices and an ever-increasing desire on the part of the consumer for a more personalized customer interaction with a business and advertiser, the more important Google Places becomes for a local business owner.

A growing number of searches now concentrate on finding local businesses and services, so your business needs to be in those Google Places so that you have as much Internet exposure to your potential client or customer-base as possible. Because Places listings are increasingly finding their way onto the first pages of a Google search, your business needs to be prominent in order for it to beat the competition.

Looking at businesses that have been highly ranked on Places pages, you can’t help but notice that they have been reviewed by customers. The more and better the reviews, it appears that the higher the business is ranked. This has not been stated by Google, but is simply the information for which there is clear evidence in the Places rankings.

As a local business owner you have a client/customer base and you need to ask these people to review your products, business or services. You could have flyers made and give these out at the cash register, requesting satisfied customers to write a review for you.

However the business of getting a review can be problematic, as by their very nature, not all reviews are positive. This then brings online reputation management into play and gives small businesses a need to hire a good SEO company to see that the business has a good online reputation. Any unfounded negative reviews can be negated, refuted or removed from the Net eventually by a professional SEO person who knows how to do these things.

In 2010 local businesses could choose to ignore Google places, but it would be folly to neglect to use them now. As more searches online are to find local providers of whatever the customer/client wants, it is important for local businesses to have a profile on the Places pages so that prospective customers know where to find what they are looking for. A profile which includes visual images be they photos or videos, will have a higher place on the index pages for that category of service or sales. More than ever before a small local business needs help and advice on how to rise in the index rankings and so achieve a high visibility in the Places pages and by extension in Google’s Search Engine Rankings Pages (SERPS). God SEO companies are also waking up to this new business opportunity for them and now have a good idea of what is required to get highly places on the Places index. However because Google does not say explicitly what makes for a top position on these index pages, SEO companies can only make recommendations based on their own research and that of others. No company can promise you a first page position. Bear this in mind when you see ads for Places SEO. You don’t want to be a victim of a fly-by-night SEO company.