Even though it shares a lot with general SEO strategies, local SEO has specific features unique to the location. In general, SEO is quite an effective long-term marketing method. It increases your website traffic and brings more potential prospects. However, local businesses, especially small to medium, benefit more from increased traffic from the local area. With a physical business location in a particular area, local SEO for WordPress can help attract a more relevant audience. In other words, when potential clients search for a specific service or product, SEO can help you appear above others in localized SERPs.
How to do Local SEO for WordPress properly
There is a good reason why the majority of websites are built on WordPress. It’s a flexible platform with a multitude of themes and plugins that allow improved functionality. In addition, WordPress offers a myriad of SEO possibilities right out of the box. Better yet, it doesn’t even require vast technical knowledge because it’s pretty beginner-friendly. Every small business can utilize local SEO strategies and, in no time, improve its marketing potential. By optimizing for a specific area and targeting the foot traffic, small businesses will allow people to discover them and eventually convert to customers.
To help you optimize your website for local intent and improve your business operations, here are some of the most relevant steps of SEO for WordPress:
- Submit and optimize your online listings;
- Create a Google My Business profile;
- Structured data for WordPress website;
- Provide localized content with location keywords;
- Acquire local links;
- Use social media for promotion;
- Use plugins to focus on reviews.
1. Submit and optimize your online listings
One of the first steps to increase the visibility of your business WordPress website locally is to claim listings (citations). There are numerous places, directories, and websites where you can submit basic information about your business. Regarding NAP information, it includes your business name, address, and phone number on the most basic level. Some of the most popular and relevant directories are:
- Bing Places
- Yellow Pages
- Apple Maps
However, it’s necessary to determine the right number of citations first, and only on platforms relevant to your industry. While, technically, you can add your business information everywhere, it can be a tremendous effort to keep them consistent and up to date.
2. Create a Google My Business profile
For local SEO, creating a Google My Business (GMB) profile is essential. With the detailed information you provide here, you will ensure your business shows in local search results. A GMB profile offers a more insightful image of your business and provides useful info like business hours, area of service, link to your WordPress website, and much-useful reviews. You can also use different shortcodes and widgets for displaying some pieces of the information on your website, like showing positive reviews from GMB. In essence, GMB will drive traffic to your website and improve the number of contacts you receive.
3. Structured data for WordPress website
WordPress offers a lot of useful plugins to extend your business website functionality. Among them, you can find plugins, like Yoast SEO and Schema, to help you provide additional information about your website and business to search engines. It will help them better index your website and better display helpful information to searchers. And all of it in a more structured and visually appealing manner. While this may not necessarily improve your ranking position, it will undoubtedly increase website traffic.
4. Provide localized content with location keywords
While everyone is aware that content is an essential SEO aspect, local SEO takes it even further. Basically, for the best local coverage, you should create rich content specific to a particular area. For example, if you are offering services in Boston, write articles, guides, and create pages specifically for the Boston audience.
Also, don’t forget to use location keywords in the process. For this, you can use terms and phrases that people from the area search for the most. The combination of keywords that target local intent, different metadata in WordPress, and the right content are the essence of local SEO optimization for WordPress websites.
In addition, latent semantic indexing keywords (LSI keywords) can also contribute to the effort. They are variations of the main keywords you plan to use. The thing is, not everyone is searching the same way. People type search terms differently, and LSI keywords will help you catch those terms.
5. Acquire local links
High-quality backlinks are vital for local SEO the same way they are for general SEO. But, instead of trying to get links from all around the web, you should try to acquire links from local authoritative websites. This includes .gov, .edu, commerce websites, local directories, press and news, and even local niche authoritative websites.
It’s needless to say that, today, social media plays a significant part in our lives, even in business. Many companies are using Facebook and Instagram, for example, to promote their business. Local businesses can benefit from it, as well. While your WordPress website can be a solid SEO central point for your business, you can use social media to further share the content. This way, you will increase the chance of someone nearby noticing you. Especially if you consider numerous local network groups that can help you spread the word.
7. Use plugins to focus on reviews
Google and other search engines consider reviews when choosing how to display results. With the combination of the methods mentioned above, you will acquire many local reviews for your business. However, most websites require to manually log in on different platforms to maintain those reviews. WordPress offers an advantage here. You can install plugins, like Site Reviews and WP Google Review Slider, to show, check, and answer reviews. It’s worth noting that you should respond to all reviews, whether they are good or bad, without exception. It’s common to have bad reviews, and they are the perfect opportunity to show that your business respects its clients.
Just like SEO, in general, local SEO for WordPress is a long-term commitment.
You will get tangible results only after a while, but any effort to improve your SEO will surely be worth it. As a result, you will improve your overall business by improving your rankings for local searches. Considering it’s mostly free, it doesn’t get better than this.