Are you a business providing services to your local area? Have you claimed your Google Places listing? www.google.com/places
If not, don’t wait! Like everything Google does they make it very easy to participate. Many businesses don’t know about it and if they do they haven’t signed up. Don't run the risk of missing out on valuable local traffic and leads.
A majority of consumers use the internet to search for local suppliers of goods and services (grocery stores, shoe repair shops, winter tires, automobiles, realtors, entertainment, etc) so business owners can’t afford to ignore Google Places.
And it’s not enough to just claim and verify your listing. Google gives much greater prominence to the 7 highest ranked businesses in any given area.
In the example below I searched ‘coffee Vancouver’. The 7 sites listed get the disproportionate amount of the traffic. In fact the first listing gets about 40% of clicks and the second gets 15% of clicks and very few visitors go on to the second page.
Complete your listing as fully as possible. Upload store front photo and get reviews to help move you into the top 7.
Google Places is the big player when it comes to local searches but check out other online directories. There are probably many regional directories as well as industry related ones. To find regional directories do a search for your community and ‘directory’. For industry directories search your industry sector and directories.
Claim your local place listing. Be found. Attract more local customers.