Whether you are a contractor, a wedding photographer, or the owner of a small restaurant, you need to optimize your WordPress website for local SEO. That matters a lot and can-do wonders as far as creating traffic and attracting new customers is concerned.
Indeed, taking on your big and more established competitors may seem like an impossible task. The truth is that if you do it, your sites will rank higher, which will give your business a fighting chance.
But Google ranking is not all you get from local SEO; you can expect greater visibility, more visitors on your website, better leads, a higher conversion rate, and so much more. And with localized searches accounting for almost half (46%) of all Google searches, you cannot afford the luxury of missing out on this traffic.
WordPress is SEO-friendly. The best part about it is that you do not have to work so hard to optimize your site for SEO. All you have to do is; install plugins, and you are good to go.
But there are over 54,000 free and open-source plugins available for you to choose from; which ones should you pick?
In this article, you will discover everything you need to know about choosing the ideal local SEO WordPress plugin and working things out to your advantage.
First things First: Best Practices for Your Website Design
Before you install your plugins and put them into action, first, you need to make sure that your website design is in order. For that, you must observe the following best practices, which you can do all by yourself if you are a web designer or developer. If you are not, you can hire a professional to do it for you.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Today, the number of people using their mobile devices to search for businesses is by far so much higher than ever before. So, it is in your best interest to optimize your site for mobile. To achieve that;
- Ensure fast loading speeds on your site
- Use a responsive theme
- Enable Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
- Avoid full-screen pop-ups
Use Local Photos
Images improve user experience. In general, users tend to spend more time on pages that have pictures than those that do not. They can stay even longer if a site uses local photos. That, in turn, translates to higher google rankings and better SEO outcomes.
Take good photos of your business premises, employees, products, etc., and display them on your website. Make sure you include local keywords like the name, town, region, or city in the image alt tags.
Use Local Videos
Videos are just like photos; they also enhance user experience. Make sure you capture videos of important events and share them on your website. Such events include store tours, customer testimonials, behind-the-scenes looks, local celebrations, etc.
Use Local Testimonials
It is not possible to make everyone happy, but for sure, you must have a few satisfied clients; ask them to give a positive testimony about your business. Post those testimonies on your website, Yelp Reviews, or on Public Google. But before you do that, make sure to get their permission to use their information, I.e., their names, name of business, and their local area. You can also post a few testimonials on your About page and keep updating them as you get newer ones.
Improve Your Map Design
Your map design matters a lot. So, you have to keep improving it to increase the engagement level and functionality. That will come in handy, generating more traffic to your website.
Add Your Contact Information
You want people to find you when they search for you, right? You have to make it easy for them to do so.
Make sure to add your correct contact information such as name, address, email address, phone numbers on your website. Check all your pages for consistency and make the necessary updates in case of any changes. Also, make sure that the numbers are clickable on mobile.
If your business is in multiple locations, you will need to create a different location page for each.
Boosting Your Local SEO Traffic with WordPress Plugins
Once your website design is in order, you are now ready to use WordPress plugins to promote local SEO traffic.
Below are some of the recommended options.
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the best and most popular WordPress plugins. The plugin is free, so you do not have to pay anything to install it. With Yoast SEO, you will be able to optimize for your location, including Google Maps and GMB (Google My Business).
2. Yoast Local SEO
The Yoast Local SEO is ideal for helping you improve your Google ranking in local searches. It supplements Yoast SEO by allowing you to add more geo-targeted information. With it;
You can include a customizable Google map on any of your pages
Automatically optimize your website’s Google listing for all your business locations
Create schema tags to communicate your contact and location information to search engines and check local rankings to track your performance in local search results.
3. Google Places Review
People value online reviews and so does Google. So, if you want to rank better in local SEO, you have to think about your online reviews.
The Google Places Review makes your work easier by automatically adding a Google reviews widget allowing you to display only the reviews on your GMB listing.
Display a maximum of 3 reviews for every location and choose where on your site to display the reviews
Filter out negative reviews automatically
4. Business Profile
The Business Profile plugin makes it easy to add information about your business and link it to your Google Map. That includes business name, contacts, phone number, address, opening hours, closing hours, etc. The process is pretty simple. Just add that information to the contact card, and that is it. The rest is automatic. Also, if you want to create multiple landing pages, this plugin will make the work so much easier for you.
Other recommended plugins include
- WP Google Maps
- Local SEO and Business Listings
- Schema Plugin
Optimizing your WordPress website for local SEO is essential to increase your visibility, generate more traffic, improve brand awareness, attract new customers, and so much more. Ultimately, these will increase brand loyalty, conversion rate, ROI, which means better chances of success.