Search engine optimization is certainly a key to leap ahead of the online crowd and survive successfully. In the recent years, SEO has become essential not only for big brands but for also for small businesses wishing to grow extensively.

With people turning online to grab everything and anything, business are realizing the great potential of internet in bridging the gap between customers and suppliers. This has led to increase in demand of professional SEO services among the businesses wishing to grow and succeed online. Search engine optimization firms help online businesses to secure better rankings and revenues.

Search engine optimization firms offer a whole bunch of professional SEO services to help businesses to grow and expand. But, it is essential for businesses as well to stay updated with knowledge and information on search engine optimization strategies to stay competitive.

If you want to increase brand awareness of your local business, Google places, a business directory within Google Maps, is one of the best tools that can be utilized to get more traffic to your site.

Generally, people looking for local businesses usually come across a map plotting businesses listed with Google Places. Your SEO plans should not neglect it to get better rankings. Here are a couple of tips to help you in this regard:

• First of all, it is important to visit Google places and claim your business. Your business might be appearing in local search results, but it will be favored by Google only if it has claimed an appropriate place by providing sufficient information. It will help your business to appear on the top results of local searches.

• Make sure to choose the proper business categories. You should avoid choosing too many categories with a wish to be shown up in more searches. You will be penalized if you will stuff too many categories in your profile and also if you are in the wrong category. You should be careful to choose a category relevant to your business only.

• While submitting your business to the Google places, you are supposed to provide lots of information. You should make sure to provide all information in order to get the desired response.

• It is also important to submit photos of your business apart from filling complete information in your business profile. The customers will rely more on your business if you will let them know more about your business. It will be great if you can also add photos, videos and customer reviews in your profile.

• It has been noticed that Google favors proximity to city center in Google places rankings. Though, it is something that you cannot control, but if your business has multiple locations, you should prefer to show up those located nearest to the heart of the city.