When I look at how some people market their home businesses, there can be a decided focus on areas near where they live. You can see that in articles where a city name is clumsily added to the text in an attempt to make the article relevant to a particular area. Is that really necessary? Does it matter where your home business is located?

Maybe, maybe not. That depends on what you’re doing with it.

Should Your Focus Be Local?

Sometimes having a local focus is a good thing. If you prefer a lot of face to face interaction in your business, a local focus is good. It’s far easier to deal with clients and customers who aren’t hours away from you.

If you’re running a daycare, for example, your focus must obviously be local. The only clients you would meet from out of the area would be ones who are moving to your area. Keeping your online marketing relevant to your local area is vital when all your work involves being physically there your clients.

If your business is mostly online or you can ship your product anywhere, a local focus may not be such a good idea. Unless you’re offering information about a particular area or products from there, you probably don’t need to emphasize location in your marketing.

What About the Long Tail of Search?

Some people use location based keywords to improve their results for long tail searches, that is, searches that are relevant to their business but aren’t often typed in. This can be a great strategy, but you really have to think it out.

The problem with using location based keywords for your home business it that they sound strange. If I write a sentence with the phrase “work at home California” in it, odds are that it’s going to sound wrong. That’s not how people usually write about working at home in California, even if it may be how someone types their query into a search engine.

What you may want to remember in those cases is that you also need to look good to people once they get to your site. If you’re using a bunch of clumsy phrases just to get long tail traffic, your site may not look so good once a visitor arrives at it. In the long run, you need to appeal to the people viewing your site even more than you do to the search engines sending the traffic in the first place. After all, visitors are happiest with sites that are easy to read, and not all will come via search engine if your doing well with your marketing.

Your use of keywords on your site, whether for local search or other long tail benefits, needs to come naturally. Rather, they should appear to come naturally, as good writing on any website is the result of some effort.