Local search is fiercely becoming an integral component of the major search engines algorithms. As stated by Google “More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, so it’s important to make sure your local business listing can be easily found on Google.com and Google Maps. 73% of activity online is in one way or another “related to local content” Not only can you optimize your own website for local search, there is much you can do from an off-page optimization to support your local listing campaign to ensure that you are found.
Ensure that you have specific pages for each of your local businesses. They should be optimized with local meta-tags utilizing geo-information as well. Make sure to link to your google Places Pages as well from each of these specific geo-centric pages. Not only use geo- but list specific products or services you offer so this location is tied with the specific services or products offered at this location. Remember the more specific information the better. For example on my website I would not only state Daniel Kamen, but I would list all my services, products, solutions tailored for that specific location (and make sure it is the same on every off-page site I am working with).
Google gives every business owner to manually verify ownership of their company. If you own multiple stores then you would complete this Google local listing process for each store or entity. Thereafter there is much information we can fill in.
Physical address should be tagged in Google Places and linked to your site
Phone number should be included both on Google Places as well as your own website.
Categorization are the keywords you can align your organization with. Choose standard keywords and do not add other keywords because the likelihood of them being utilized is minimal.
Make sure all your information on your website and Google Places are consistent with one another.
Reviews are also helpful and you should proactively seek support for loyal customers.
Remember there are other sites that can support you in your local rankings endeavor. Below are some sites I would also recommend you submit your site to as well. There are plenty more but I would start here.
Top Ten Sites
Remember, this is a lot of competition out there for SEO business, especially in places like NY. So if your a NY SEO make sure to include local search as part of your campaign objective