Do write copy with local language. You know the sort of things I mean- is it “pop” or “soda”? Matching their word choice ensures you match their search terms.
Don’t stuff pages with zip codes and city names. It’s spammy and frequently chasing no-volume searches. A rank for a popular -search term- in Mesa beats ten low-volume -search term- in 85215 rankings.
Do use secondary means to imply your locality. Make sure the phone number, especially a local one, appears in text. Licence numbers are a good excuse to mention local authorities. Reference local codes, or charities you support in the area. It helps with semantic analysis– these words go with your address, reinforcing your relevance for the area.
Don’t get too wrapped up in trying to handle out-of-area leads. Some firms believe they can turn into a firm that sells business to others- if they rank for every city. Good luck unless it’s a full commitment thing. Finding shops out of town can be a hassle, and you can end up spending all your time running the side business.
Do claim your business in local sites. Aside from adding link value, it ensures they’re under your control to see reviews and spam.
Don’t buy any services from local sites. Most of them are just selling Google traffic, and you can outrank ‘em and get users directly.
Do promote cross-media. Search is big, but some businesses still benefit from brick-and-mortar messages or social-network activity to put the service in front of a visitor at their need. The more emergency your service is, the less non-search brand you have to build, but there’s still merit in being the brand a visitor recalls from other media.
Don’t go for excessively labor-intensive promotions. Give the visitor a coupon; don’t expect him to Like you on Facebook before you’ll cut him a promotion. It becomes analogous to the shops which demand 20 page forms for their discount-club card.