If you own a website that is reliant on attracting local visitors then until now, there was no easy way to specify a specific geographic location for your site. But now you can use Google Webmaster Tools to name a country and ensure you get the right people visiting your little corner of cyberspace.
This isn’t an issue though if you have a country-specific domain such as .de (for Germany) or co.uk (for the United Kingdom). Search engines look at these country specific domains and naturally assume that a .de domain is Germany and a co.uk domain is the United Kingdom. No problem.
Where the problem got icky was when you have a non-country specific domain such as .com and.net. Search engines such as Google couldn’t automatically tell where the site was based. Which is bad if you have say an online pizzeria in San Francisco and you have visitors from San Antonio visiting the page.
But now Google has addressed the issue by making a feature available in Google Webmaster Tools. Under the “tools” tab, there is an option called “Set Geographic Target”. Just assign a geographic location to your site and click “save”. You can’t assign multiple countries for a domain but you can assign different countries to sub-domains.
You can also put in a street address including city and state which will help even more in targeting local searchers.
Once you have enabled this feature, your site will hopefully go higher in the listings for people who choose country-restricted searches (for example, UK users can select “see pages from the UK only”). But of course nothing is guaranteed in SEO.