In the world of digital marketing and, in particular, SEO, local SEO seems to be gaining importance and popularity in recent years. And why wouldn’t it? Recent studies and data have shown that almost more than 90% of users on Google find products and services in their area. Let’s face it; almost everyone hops on to Google to find the best eatery, latest blockbuster movie showing, or to shop for products that are available nearby. Thus, there is a big reason to optimize your website for local SEO, as that’s most likely how your customers will find you from search engines.
What is Local SEO?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what we can do to our website to optimize it for excellent local SEO results, let’s briefly discuss what local SEO is.
Local SEO is a subset of general SEO where the goal is to enhance the visibility of your physical business in local searches. To put it simply, local SEO lets your customers find information about your physical business based on their search query.
Whenever we search for a product or service nearby, we use terms such as “near me” or “nearby” or mention the city, country or postcode itself. Through these specific search parameters, Google can identify your search query as a local one and filters search results accordingly.
Why to Optimize for Local SEO?
Below is an example of the local search results in Google when you search for a “coffee shop in ohio”.
It gives a fair idea of how you will get benefitted:
- The apparent benefit of optimizing your website for local SEO is improved rankings.
- Another significant benefit that cannot be ignored is improved sales activity. This will be a best opportunity to grab users especially when you focus on online order taking and delivery.
- In case of a physical store, users finding your company via local SEO search results will most likely visit your business establishment in person, which could lead to a sale.
So, now that we have a base level of understanding of what local SEO is, let’s delve into the specifics of what can be done from an optimization perspective. When it comes to optimizing for local SEO, we mainly need to focus on the following aspects.
The relationship between SEO and content is symbiotic; without one, the other will cease to perform. Hence, your website must be optimized and populated with content targeted to incorporate location information. For example, suppose you mention where your business is located in conjunction with your services. In that case, it makes it easier for Google to crawl and index your websites and recommend it to users searching with similar search terms. As an example, by mentioning the service “Digital Marketing Consultation” alongside the local information “South Beach”, you will be optimizing the content by making it specific and similar to the search queries of users, thereby improving your website’s visibility in the eyes of Google which will lead to better results in search rankings.
2. Add Business Details in Website
Another vital tip to focus on would be to include local information of your business such as the business’s name, address, phone number (including area code) throughout your website. The best places to include such information would be the header, the footer, and a dedicated page such as a contact page. Plenty of websites make a big mistake with geo-targeted information in that they include such information inside images, which Google cannot crawl. This is a problem because if the search engine cannot crawl the information, it will not be indexed and thus will not appear in search results. Therefore, make sure to include the business’s local information as HTML text and not within images.
This is just scratching the surface; there are a multitude of other things that you can do to optimize your website content for local SEO, such as building location-specific landing pages, creating service-based blog posts specific to your local address, and more.
3. Ensuring the SEO Essentials are up to Standard
Search engines such as Google assess your website’s meta-title, meta-description, and header tags to understand what your business is about so that it can recommend your company as per search requests accordingly. Therefore, make sure to include local information in all of these different places to maximize local SEO results.
4. Utilize WordPress Local SEO Plugins
There are plenty of great plugins on WordPress that you can use to improve your local SEO. Below we have picked out the two best that will help you get your local SEO on track and grow rapidly from there.
The All in one SEO plugin is the OG WordPress SEO plugin, starting in 2007. The plugin has over 3+ million active installations to date and is consistently updated to ensure users receive a great solution to their SEO needs. This plugin is highly specifically optimized for Google and follows the latest SEO standards and best practices. The plugin offers a smart WordPress SEO setup wizard that will help you maximize your website’s SEO settings quickly and precisely to your business’s needs.
From a more local SEO perspective, the plugin offers a unique Local SEO module that lets you add multiple business locations, operating hours, and contact info such as phone number, address, email, etc. Furthermore, the plugin also provides complete support for Google knowledge graph and schema.org markup for local businesses. This is a great WordPress plugin that will ideally cover all your SEO needs.
While the All in One SEO is great, perhaps, the most popular and best SEO plugin on WordPress is Yoast SEO. Yoast’s mission is that it is for everyone, and the plugin holds true to this statement as its application is scalable for any business regardless of size or complexity, whether it be a small grocery store down the corner or a multinational eCommerce store.
This plugin is jam-packed with unique features, from automated technical SEO improvements such as canonical URLs and meta tags to their state-of-the-art SEO and Content analysis tools. However, to get the most value out of this plugin for local SEO improvements, we recommend adding the Yoast Local SEO, which extends to the parent plugin. This is a paid extension, but it’s well worth the price as it provides a ton of value and will tremendously help you with your local SEO needs. The extension is primed and catered to achieve exceptional results for Local SEO. It even comes with a training course to help you use the tool to its maximum potential.
5. List on Local Classifieds and Google Business Profile
Local search results in Google are filled with information from map, reviews and ratings.
- Create a Google Business Profile and verify your location to show in the map.
- List your business in local classified sites like Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc.
- Ask your customers leave good descriptive reviews. Since users can filter the search results based on rating, it gives a good chance to rank high in Google local search results.
Ultimately, optimizing your WordPress website’s local SEO is a challenging yet extremely rewarding process. However, the good thing is that you don’t need to hire a digital marketing or SEO expert. By following our article and utilizing the recommended plugins, you can easily optimize your website for a local audience that you want to reach.
As always, we hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any queries, concerns or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.