Google Places for business is FREE, at least the basic information entry is free. You can give them money for additional services associated with Google Places but the basic listing is free and it is a must for any small business.
Google Organic Rankings
You want your business to come up in a Google search. That’s obvious. everyone does. But it takes time, content, consistency to get there. A great tool to be you listed quickly is Google Places. You can fill in up to 5 categories under which you want your business to be listed. (those are keywords and the searches you want to appear on, choose wisely)
If you really want to get a good handle on this head over here to the documentation on setting up your listing in Google Places.
Verification of your Listing
One step you don’t want to ignore is verification of your listing. Verifying your listing mean Google will send a post card to your place of business with a verification code. Enter it when it comes to verify you own the business for Google Places Listing. (After all you wouldn’t want a competitor being able to “claim” your place of business) It can be easy to forget about this verification postcard, it is even easier to throw it away thinking it is junk mail when it arrives. Once you verify your listing you will begin to appear in the organic searches. Google has recently been adding the map search results to the organic searches and a little map with the red pinpoints for those businesses listed.
Below is an example showing a search for Tucson Painters.
Once setup you will get email notifications from Google Places on the number of impressions and clicks for your listing. (You can check this anytime by logging into your Google Places dashboard. (Yes you get a dashboard to manage your Google Places content)
Your Google Places listing provides you with a very good one way back-link (for those looking for SEO back-links)
You can further enhance your listing with Photos, Video and much more.
You want this kind of exposure.