So Google Local and Google Maps have been around for awhile but there are still business owners who aren't taking advantage of the power these tools bring.  Basically Google Local allows businesses to receive a free business listing under keywords people would use to search for local businesses.  So if you have a business and you're not taking advantage of Google Local to list your business for free and receive a top ranking on Google then you're plain missing the boat.

Here's an example below of Google Local in action.  A simple search for Durham Pet Sitter returns a bunch of local businesses that offer this service.   I'm not sure how the businesses are ranked here… if its first come first serve or if there is some other algorithm that Google is using, but I'd say get on board before it's too late and you're listed under the “more results near…” link

Google Local in action

What Google Local is offering for Free to business owners.

Reach new customers on Google Maps and
Local customers are already searching for the products and services you offer. Why not make it easy for them to find you on Google search and on Google Maps? The Local Business Center is the place to start.

Works great for businesses of any size
Whether you run a single dentist's office or dozens of coffee shops, manage all your listings from a single account.

Update your listing at any time
Use the Local Business Center to edit your listing whenever and however you like. Your Google Maps results will be updated in a few weeks, not next year.

Catch their eye with printable coupons
Google printable coupons are a free and easy way to bring in more business. You decide what your coupons should say, then customers print them out and bring them to your store.

Google Local gives businesses the ability to receive top rankings in Google without the cost of using Adwords or implementing an SEO campaign.

Sign up for Google Local Free.

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