Whenever I launch a new locally-targeted website, I head over to VistaPrint and order up some business cards. For only about $16 bucks, I can have nice color cards, complete with my name, website, and other important info. I've probably got ten different business cards at any one time.
Some people advocate handing out business cards blindly, but I've found it smarter to get to know the person, even if its just their name and the business they're in. Now I've got an arsenal of ten differently-targeted business cards to pull from. If he's in the concrete business, I'll give him a card about my deck website. If she is a dental assistant, out comes a teeth-whitening card. Small business owner? Hand them a local forum card with an advertising discount.
Many of you are missing out on the huge local market. Quit trying to rank for mesothelioma. Everyone's doing that. But I'd be willing to bet no one is trying to rank for roofing in your town. Build a site that refers only quality roofers to customers, then charge local roofers per lead to be listed on your site. You'll be the only one trying, and I can almost guarantee you can rank for not only great roofing terms, but you could even rank for the roofers' business names as well!
So next time you meet a nail salesman, hand him that roofer card. Chances are he knows some people that you need to know.
Oh, and while I'm mentioning VistaPrint, when you're filling out those fields about your business, don't follow the captions. For example, if it says FAX: but you think your website address would look better, put it there. There are no rules saying you have to follow their form. Make your card look nice and flowing, not just like everyone else's.