Not sure if ranking in Google Maps is different from ranking for your local searches. You will use the same set of locality identifiers anyway.
As a matter of fact, Bill [Slawski] has already posted about Relevancy, Google Local, and Local Results in Organic Searches
. An interesting read if you want intricately detailed information or if you do need to rank on local searches.
I suspect that the only difference between local searches and Google Map searches is the exact location of your office. Google will detect your address and the IP address of the searcher and provide the nearest, best quality opportunity of the searchers choice. In essence, you can't control where your searchers live, but you can put your office where the most of your customers live.
To rank well in local searches, you'll need to present as much local information as you can:
- have pages, mentioning your area of service
- your phone number
- your physical address
- directions on how to reach your office
- use landmarks ("after you pass the Street A and Street B intersection, you'll see the Eiffel Tower" that's three landmarks altogether)
You'll also need to get more local, too:
- have links pointing to you from local websites and directories
- have a domain hosted locally (if locality is your primary concern)
- have ccTLD (country-specific domain - google.ca, for instance)
This kind of stuff, which should be natural for any local business, will help Google understand where you are coming from (literally).
P.S. Why oh why would you need to invite visitors from one forum to another?
You don't invite your speakers, such as Bill, to post here, right? (That'd be great, though).