Ask any local search authority and you’ll find out that step one online for a small business is claiming your local listing with the major search engines. Without even having a website, your local listing like Google Places can be a great marketing tool for a business.
What happens if you don’t claim your listing? Well, you leave Google to guess … and they might guess that your one location, small town meat shop is a billion dollar, global fast food restaurant. I’m not kidding.
Above is the local listing for McDonald’s Meats, an awesome little butcher shop in Clear Lake, MN. If you notice the reference to mcdonalds.com domain, I think we can see how this unclaimed listing isn’t getting the right business the local search traffic.