I totally agree! If you don't have a Google Places page, WHY NOT!?!? It is free and definetly helps you in the rankings.
Just a few more tips to add to the article:
- Get as many positive customer reviews as you can! This is the largest single deciding factor of where your place page will be in the rankings.
- Post status updates on your place page. Kinda like Facebook, you can share updates that are relevant to potential customers.
- Post photos and videos and encourage your customers to post photos.
- Make a coupon for your place page.
If you are having trouble getting customers to give reviews, do what I did and offer an incentive for them to give you a review. I sent out an email stating that customers can get a coupon for mowing services after they give me a review on my place page. Doesn't have to be a huge coupon, but the improved ranking will give you more business in the future and you will regain the coupon's profit loss.
How many reviews are enough?
Look at your competition's place pages in your area and try to get 3-4 more reviews than they have. That will make your place page stand out!