1) Radius Targeting
One of the most important factors in determining which area you should target is its distance. 5 Minute Site offers a quick way to get a list of cities within a 10-15 mile radius of your business. Just enter your ZIP code and the distance that you would like to target, and you will get back a list of nearby cities and ZIP codes.
If you have a large list of cities within a 10-15 mile radius, prioritize that list based on the US Census population data. Often it is not the largest and most competitive area, but the medium market which offers the best entry point.
3) Visual Plotting and Custom Grouping
Sometimes getting visual makes the task easier. BatchGEO offers the ability to plot points visually on a map using Excel, as well as define custom labels and visual groups.
4) Driving Distance
Driving distance impacts customer wait time and your cost. This VBScript from Christos Samaras will help you to determine how long that drive will be. Load in the areas you plan to target and prioritize them based on driving distance.
5) Categorizing Your Business
Google My Business and online listing sites offer a great list of categories related to your business. Search for these categories and plan which are the best fit for your business before submitting your business information.
6) Search Demand and Saturation
Determine the saturation and competition level within a local market using Google Adwords. Estimate how much it would cost in order to completely dominate the local Pay-Per-Click results within each city.