Using Google Places for Business
If you own a business and have a phone number, you've probably gotten at least one (or a dozen) phone calls from people who say they're from Google and they can help you reach the first page on Google for your specific niche and keywords. While there is some truth to that (they can get you on the first page by buying ads for you) most of it is a lie (they don't actually work for or represent Google and they aren't getting you on the first page of SERPs or (Search Engine Results Page)).
Learn how to effectively use Google and your Google Places or Google Plus account and listing to get results without paying a dime and without being lied to by companies trying to prey on your lack of knowledge on the subject.
Setting Up Your Google Place Page
If you're not sure what a Google Place page looks like, you can check out this one for a photo booth company out of Maryland. It's a fairly new page but has everything listed.
First thing's first, you need to have a full listing with as much info as possible. The more fields Google asks for that you fill out, the better job they can do at displaying your page when users search. Google will ask for things like business name and business category. They'll ask for phone number, address, hours of operation, pictures and more. If you fill it all out, you'll become more valuable to Google and therefore be shown more to users when they search.
Secondly, you'll want to get some reviews. Reviews help Google see which pages are active and have more interaction with their customers. It also gives potential customers a glimpse of what to expect when deciding whether or not to hire your company. If you don't have any reviews, you may want to send out an email or make some calls to past customers to ask if they would be willing to help you out by posting a review on your page. Not everyone will be willing to spend the time doing this but, the more the better.
Finally, advertise your place page. Now that you're all set up and you have some reviews, link to it from your website and/or blog, forward it in an email to your customer base, put up a sign in your display window, tweet a link to it or post it on Facebook. Bottom line - get the word out!
Do you already have a Google Place page?
If you don't have a Google Place page for your business, get one now. Make sure you've filled out all the relevant information you can, and ask past customers for review. Once you've done all that, link to your page and get the word out.