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The impact that the iPhone and Android smartphones are having on local search is significant, which is means local businesses have a whole new world of opportunities to connect to new customers.

The most recent iPhone 4s release was a bit disappointing in terms of expectations.  The world was expecting the iPhone 5, but Apple came out with a souped up version of the iPhone 4 instead.

But do you realize that even in the midst of an otherwise disappointing product release, AT&T has described the demand for the iPhone 4s as extraordinary?  AT&T, who started out as the exclusive iPhone retailer back in 2007, is basically saying that the sales volume of the iPhone 4s is something they have never seen before.  And not to mention the Android smartphone market which, according to some estimations, is on on par with the iPhone in terms of overall market share.

And we are just talking about the most recent iPhone release.  Imagine how many iPhone’s and Android smartphones are out there being used right now.

I say all of this to illustrate the magnitude of influence that mobile phones are having on our lives.  And more importantly, the increasing use of search engines like Google on these mobile phones.  What’s critical to point out here is that when people are using Google from their mobile phones, in a lot of cases a GPS variable will be considered.  Which means the search results could be automatically tailored to your exact location.

And when Google tailors search results to a specific location, in most cases we are talking about Google Places pages.

3 Google Places Tips You Can’t Afford To Miss

If so many people are using smartphones to search and these search results are being tailored to local areas, then the business who realizes the significance of this is going to be one who connects to the new customers.  And new customers is something that every local business needs!

So below I’m going to show you three tips to help you increase your traffic, rankings, and exposure in Google’s local search results.  And as you implement these tips, you will be taking the steps necessary to elevate your business above your competitors in the hopes of your phone ringing with new customers, or that new customer choosing to walk in your door.

#1:  Consistency of your address

Do this – pull out your business card, a recent piece of mail you’ve received, and some other document that has your business address on it.  Now look at all three and tell me if the business address is exactly the same?

In some cases, you can’t help but have them all same because your address isn’t complicated.  In other cases, you’ll see the address represented differently.  For example, if my address is 123 West Ave Suite B, my business card might read 123 West Avenue Ste B, and my letter head may read 123 W. Ave. Suite B.

Do you see the difference?

And if you have inconsistency on your printed documentation like your letterhead, business cards, and envelopes, then there’s probably inconsistencies on the web as we..

One of the greatest impacts that can effect your rankings in Google Places pages is the inconsistency of your business address, business name, business phone, and web address.  This is a whole new way of looking at something that you’ve probably never considered before, but if you want to start increasing your rankings and exposure in Google search, then you have to start being mindful of – and fixing – your business address inconsistencies.

#2:  Creating content

One way to dramatically increase your exposure your on the web and is to start producing content about your business, products, and services.  And a great place to start producing content is a blog.

How easy is that, right?

And if you don’t want to run your own blog, then you can always contact us here at Bipper Media and we’ll help you with your content production.

This only makes sense right?  The more pages you have published on the web, the more exposure your business or your website has on the web.

But as you are producing content about your business, products, and services, it’s critically important that you include links – or what I call “doorways” – that lead to your Google Places page.

By creating links and “doorways” to your Google Places page, you not only help lead people to your Places page who are reading your content, but you also build valuable backlinks that Google considers when determining what Google Places pages to rank first in the search results.

#3:  Encourage reviews and ratings

I see it all the time – most business owners are shocked to realize how much traffic their Google Places page is getting.  But after the initially shock wears off, we start talking about what this means and how they – as the business owner – can start leveraging this with their customers.

And it’s simple really.  Since you more than likely already have a lot of customers visiting your Google Places page, go ahead and find creative ways to encourage these customers to leave reviews and ratings on your Google Places page.

I’ve seen businesses do things like give discounts to anyone who leaves a comment or review.

The point is, when it comes to signals that determine the rankings of Google Places pages, few have more of an impact that ratings and reviews.  Google sees this as significant because if your Places page is getting reviews and ratings, then you must be significant force in your niche market.

So find ways to encourage people to leave comments, reviews, and ratings on your Google Places page.

After all (and trust me on this…) your customers are already visiting your Google Places pages!