Optimizing for Google Local Searches

Evidently,
Google uses much more than just the data you provide for the local listing.

Surprisingly, businesses can show up on the map even if businesses do not have a Google local listing!

According to Google Quality standards:

You can create listings for every town that you serve as long as you have employees there, because their home addresses are your de facto business addresses (it probably doesn’t take much effort to make it dejure also)

Here is the most detailed article about setting up your listing that I have found.

Here is another article about How to optimize your corrected Google Local/Maps Listing:

Also, for businesses with multiple listings, it is extremely worthy of note
that Google allows you to upload multiple listings at once.

Some advice from other articles includes:

There are several ways to optimize your search marketing efforts for local search.

  • Organically optimize your site. All too often, websites will only place contact information on one page, or behind internal search functionality. This severely limits the opportunity to be visible on a search for product and location. Ideally pages will have contact or geographic information on the same pages as their targeted keyword phrases, allowing search engines to find all words in a search query on one page. If adding this information to existing pages is too cumbersome, unique pages can be created that contain targeted keywords and locations. Additionally, optimization of meta data to incorporate local terms will help your site rank on local searches.
  • Feed Google with details important to users. Data can be fed to Google with set parameters using the Local Business Center, or from the Froogle Merchant Center for businesses with more than ten locations. Feeding this information to Google allows the engine to populate these fields with information important to potential  customers.
    Users are beginning to adopt new programs such as Google Earth, which combines satellite and map imagery with listings for local businesses. It follows that the more details available in these listings, the more likely a potential customer chooses your site over your online competition.
  • Target local keywords in your pay per click advertising campaign. Google Adwords detects users unique IP addresses to identify a location and will feed different results based on that location. For regional companies, spends are not wasted on markets that aren’t serviced. For larger companies, specific markets can be targeted. Optimizing a site for local search can provide quick returns in terms of traffic and conversions. Users will continue to qualify their searches with local  terms. By considering this while optimizing your website, you will be capturing the audience at home, while your competition continues to exclusively target users in a galaxy far, far away.

Other Related articles:

Here is the most technically based article that researched Google's patent

http://www.smallbusinesssem.com/10-likely-elements-of-googles-local-search-algorithm/519/

 http://www.fuelinteractive.com/blog/2008/05/the-google-blender-local-searc.cfm

Happy Targeting...