When launching a search engine optimization campaign, many people seem to forget the importance of location. Consider this: you launch an expensive, time consuming SEO campaign to capture placement for the search term "personal injury lawyer." After several months, you manage to reach the first page of Google, and you start getting site visitors. One problem – your office is located in Austin, TX, but the people who find your site are coming from all over the country. Though your site gets plenty of traffic, people leave after discovering that you don't practice law in their area.
There are several problems with going after a general search term like "personal injury lawyer."
– First, as in our example above, people who find your site might not be in your area and won't actually give you any business.
– Second, general terms are often harder to capture, taking more time and resources out of your pocket.
In most cases, you would probably be better served by launching a website targeted to a specific location – such as a city or metropolitan area. The size of this target area depends on the resources you are willing to commit to SEO and the scope of your company; achieving web presence in a small community is much easier than achieving good placement over an entire state.