Google Local is a service that displays local business when you do a localized search. A localized search would usually include a place name, for example “seattle scuba classes”. This displays local businesses that match those criteria and includes a map with pin points showing the locations.
Local businesses get listed by submitting their business information to Google Local. This approach probably won’t be suitable for home based businesses as Google Local is designed for businesses with physical business locations. But what if you provide a service that fits in with many of the local businesses that show up? For example, suppose you provided scuba lessons as your home based business. Obviously you would dive somewhere else, but you could take care of business from home.
In that case, try Google Adwords with location specific keywords. In the above example “seattle scuba classes”, there was only one paid ad next to the Google Local results that showed up and that was for a dating service (a bit of a stretch if you ask me). That means there is no competition for that term in Google Adwords. Therefore, if you do provide dive lessons in Seattle, you won’t pay very much for clicks on your ad.
So if you provide a local service for your home based business, try Google Adwords to supplement the local search.