Google recently announced a new service in Adwords called Location Extensions. The extensions allows user to include additional information about the company regarding its geographical location. The page is marked by the blue pin icon denoting the location and appears in the map on Google. I can see this as beneficial for small businesses trying to get into the listings within Google Places. There are three benefits I see for those will to use Adwords.
The first benefit would be higher click through rates (CTR). Many studies have concluded that CTR are higher in first position listings both for organic or paid search results. Because the position is on top it is likely to effect the CTR of those using it.
The second benefit is your listing is pushed to the top as opposed to a lower natural listing This can especially be beneficial for companies that have corporate websites that would not show up in local search results or are outside of the typical results of city as shown in this listing below.
Here is an example of a Portland search results for water damage.
In this example you can see that the first advertisement is outside of the city of Portland. The second company is likely not to have a listing at all because it is part of a corporate brand. I have not seen PO Boxes and since it does work with Places I am assuming that P.O. Boxes are not allowed.
Another benefit in the maps section is that these ads appear in successive pages. So if a customer hasn’t decide on page on they are reintroduced on page two
I would also note that Google omits the natural listing in favor of the ads. If the options to repeat results then the listing will appear. So there seems to be no benefit for being first organically and first in paid results.