At least that’s what the “Google Places Specialist” phone recording I just listened to said, and I don’t doubt it. Why do people spend so much money on Yellow Pages advertising anyway? If you’re still doing that, STOP!
Should you then hire a “Google Places Specialist”? If you want to spend several hundred dollars per year to save you ten to twenty minutes of your time then yes, it would be a good idea. If your time is worth about a thousand dollars per hour, that is. Yes, seriously.
You have probably gotten these calls and got the fee schedule and then figured out it must be really hard to do if they are able to charge that much. That’s exactly the impression they are trying to give you so you won’t think you can do it yourself. Man, are you gullible, or what?
It seriously takes just a few minutes to claim your business listing on Google Places, which, by the way, is now Google + Pages. In the first 6 months of the Google + Pages roll out one million business and brand pages have been created. You can do this yourself. Just go to https://www.google.com/intl/en/+/business/, click on “Create a Google + page” in the upper right hand corner. If you already have a Gmail email address you can use that to sign up.
Even if you don’t have a website you can still get found for local search on Google and if you have a website that ranks well that will help your ranking in the Google Local section of their Search Engine Results (SERP) page. You could even end up in both the organic and Local sections of the SERP’s.