Optimizing your website to rank higher in major search engine result pages is no easy task. While you may be familiar with traditional SEO methods and best practices, local SEO is a category of its own. In this post we’ll walk you through the essentials of setting up local SEO for your WordPress website so you can check that off your list without any hassle.
Let’s get some basics out of the way before we begin.
An Overview of Local SEO
Local SEO is a great way for online businesses to attract some attention in their vicinity. Whether you are selling physical goods or services, local SEO is all about local business owners reaching out to potential customers nearby.
For instance, when a prospect types “toy store <some town>” in the Google search engine they notice a few businesses listed at the top that are in the locality. A user in a different city, state, or country, would similarly see results closest to their physical location when running a similar search query.
Once you set up local SEO for your website, your business’s information will appear to all users in your locality who are searching for products you stock or the services you offer.
How to Set Up Local SEO for Your WordPress Site
A proper local SEO setup will give your site more screen real estate on the search engine results page. Unlike paid ads, this extra space is free to avail given that you are willing to put a bit of effort into it. The following tips will help you get started.
Publish Your Business’ Contact Information
Adding your contact information is incredibly important if you want to reach out to potential customers in your neighborhood. Your business’s contact information should (at the very least) include your business name, address, and phone number to allow prospects to get in touch with you.
An adequate amount of information available to visitors makes your business more accessible and builds credibility. In addition to all of this, the placement of your business’s contact information on your site is crucial. Ideally, it should be listed somewhere on the front page (such as in the header or footer) or on the Contact Us page so that it is easy to find.
Register for a Business Listing
Once you’ve added your contact information, Google will create a business page for you. In case it doesn’t show up on Google’s search engine results page, you can do it yourself by heading over to Google My Business and signing up for a business listing. Or if your business is already listed you can claim ownership of your listing.
Yahoo Local Listing and Bing Places are two other platforms that are also worth registering your business with for reaching even more people. When you register with a search engine it informs visitors in your locality that you are running a business, what your business is about, where it’s located, and its contact information.
Conduct Keyword Research
You just can’t optimize your site for local SEO without the right keywords! The easiest way to jump into keywords and get some insight into what people are typing in the search bar is with Google AdWords. It allows users to search keywords that are relevant to your business niche and find our what other relevant terms people are actually using so you can reflect them in your site’s content.
However, the work doesn’t stop at identifying relevant keywords – you also have to implement them properly. This can be done by adding the keywords to your landing pages, blog posts, and images. In addition to this, you can also use the Yoast SEO plugin to improve your WordPress site’s SEO even further.
Protip: one of the big trends in local is the explosion of “near me” searches. See Google Trends. These searches are almost all mobile queries, with users literally searching for local businesses as they move around town, e.g. “orthodontist near me” – The question is, what can you do to tap into this?
Blog About Local Topics
For the purpose of optimizing your WordPress site for local SEO, it is a good idea to blog about topics that are trending around town. Posts that are relevant to the locals give them more reason to visit your site and stay up to date with what you publish. It’s a great way to attract attention and establish a platform for people to get familiar with your brand.
And when these posts are shared by readers across social media platforms they can help increase the online presence of your business and drive local traffic to it. The key is to produce well-written, quality posts that visitors want to read and share.
Get Customer Testimonials
The best way to let your brand speak for itself is through reviews. People want to know how good a product or service is before they invest time and money into it. As good a job as you may do of presenting your business, you can add to its credibility by letting your customers rate and review your products or services.
There are many different kinds of rating systems that you can opt for such as stars, numbers, or liking/disliking. However, if you’d like to go for more in-depth feedback then you can setup a reviews mechanism where users can share their experience with your products. Providing the users with a platform where they can freely comment and critique can serve as unbiased testimony to your brand for future potential customers.
Local SEO can provide your WordPress powered site with a chunk of free extra space in the search engine results – if done right. Is it worth the effort? Definitely!
Let’s quickly recap the main steps you need to take to optimize your site for local SEO:
- Add your business’s contact information.
- Register for a search engine business listing.
- Identify keywords relevant in your locality.
- Blog about topics that are trending in your area.
- Allow your customers to write reviews.
Is your WordPress site set up for local SEO? What steps do you take for optimizing your site? We’d love to hear from you so let us know in the comments section below!