The reality of the situation, though, is that according to Google, 46% of searches have a 'local intent,' and they have optimized their algorithms for this. So if a potential customer lives in Palo Alto, CA (for instance), and they type in "running shoe store," the first results they are going to receive are going to be results that are local to them. If you haven't taken steps to set up your local SEO strategy, your competitors that have taken advantage of this will be on the top of the search list. Even if you are the #1 ranked standard result for that keyword, Google puts a heavier weight on local results, so their #1 local search result gets listed before your #1 standard ranking result.
Based on local results, being prioritized by Google, you must employ both types of SEO strategy to ensure you are getting as much web traffic and new business as possible.