Check out this video: 5 Ways to Improve Your Google Places Ranking
This is a tad out-dated. Google Places has given way to Google Local. The advice about claiming the free listing is very to the point.
Getting on the first page of search results is critical to building business success. Just so you know: Be careful with anyone offering to guarantee page one placement. When this video was made, Places/Local was so new that page one was relatively easy. Over time, Google has continued its effort to bring quality content that is meaningful to searchers on Google.
Be careful about getting page one rankings. There are people/companies that use “black hat” techniques to get to page one, but you will find the ratings and page one results can fade. Expect quality content, optimized for search engines, keyword appropriate to yield good SERP (search engine results page) over time.
Certainly, actively using Google tools/offerings will help your rank.
Posting photos to Google Plus, claiming the listing, linking to your website, and good content will result in more people getting to your page and staying longer. These are keys to getting your website ranked.
For every “trick” that an “expert” does to get high rankings, Google seems to have an army led by Matt Cutts changing their search algorithms to minimize “trick ratings”.
Quality content, appropriate photos, fully claimed and verified listings will help your Google Local listing get to page one. This, in turn, will help push your website listing results.
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Analysis by George OBrien