Here is the hierarchy of optimization techniques listed by importance:
1. Completeness of information in your listing
2. Keywords included in your company name (don’t SPAM)
3. Website Optimization – use City and State keywords in your Titles and Meta Tags, add your address to your web pages, etc.
4. Category w/ Search Terms (cosmetic dentist, personal injury attorney)
5. Proximity to center of city(****from what I hear this is not as important as it once was****) – Think Locally – Having a business location in the CENTER of town helps you get to the top of the list. The closer your office is to the center of your city, the higher your listing is usually positioned on the Google Maps list. For example, if you view any Google Maps list, the first three listings returned (A,B & C) are located in the center of the city. The businesses listed further down the list migrate out from the center of town.
6. “Flair” – photos, videos, coupons, payment methods, parking instructions
7. Listings in directories that include local address info (SuperPagesd*tc*m, YellowPagesd*tc*m, CitySearchd*tc*m, etc.)
8. Number of In-Bound Links (IBLs) from local city websites and directories
9. Total number of reviews
10. High ratings in your Google reviews (More stars can mean higher positioning)
(**** It also helps if you have an aged domain, google equates age with trust*****)
from what i’ve seen after you have done all these to the best of your ability, the number of reviews your business has will knock up your google places listing position. It is not important if all the reviews are 5 stars or 1 star. Do not post all of your reviews from the same place (check “lubbock dentist” as an example,even though they are the top spot) google doesn’t like this and will eventually punish you. It would be great if there was a bot that posted reviews around the web for your business. Also your going to want to spread the reviews over a period of time. I believe your IP may be tracked by G if you post a review with them sp dont spam reviews there.If anyone has any other info on how to get a top spot on GP list please share…preferably ways that don’t take forever like these…