Hi phranque, thanks!
That's what I'm finding - as an example, we're located in a small town a few miles outside a large city. If you search for [widget hire town-name] we're top of the results, however searching for [widget hire city-name] we're not even in the top 200. Our service area is pretty much national, but with more and more local searches being performed (last figure I saw was that 43% of Google searches are localised), we're losing a lot of potential traffic.
Could you recommend any strategies to rank for any random placename? I've thought about creating a set of landing pages for the 10 or so largest cities, but that would lead to a lot of (almost) identical content.