Google have told us they use a combination of three factors to determine which businesses get the best rankings. They are proximity, relevance and prominence.
Since we know these factors, it stands to reason that we can adopt tactics to influence the rankings.
There’s not a lot a business can do about proximity. Google tends to promote businesses – good or bad – that are closest to where the search is conducted.
For relevance Google are trying to ascertain whether or not a business is relevant to the search being conducted. If it is, they should be in with a chance of ranking. Optimisation of Google My Business profiles can help here.
Prominence is the trickiest. This is to do with how well known the business is to Google. They are more likely to promote businesses that are well known to them. Fortunately there’s things we can do to influence this as well, for example by pursuing a review strategy and getting links from relevant websites.