Optimizing Your WordPress site for local SEO
The WordPress Content Management System is an SEO friendly platform and powers quite a number of online websites. Users can easily carry out Local SEO improvements to their sites.
Within this topic, we will look into some of the improvements that can be carried out in order to have a higher Local SEO ranking.
Claim a Google My Business Page
Creating a Google My Business profile is one of the vital improvements that can be carried out. It mainly helps your business gain authenticity, which is one of Googles’ needs.
Google My Business will contain a listing of your business information such as location, imagery, reviews, posts and much more.
In order to integrate Google My Business you will need to carry out the following:
Step 1: Create a Google Account for your Business
This can be achieved from https://accounts.google.com/signin .
Here, you will need to click on the “Create Account” link and ensure that you select the option “To manage my business”.
Once this is done, you can then proceed to filling the required account details in the next steps.
Step 2: Add a Business Profile
Here you will first need to navigate to https://www.google.com/maps/ and carry out a search for your business name. If it’s available, you can then ignore this step. If on the other hand it’s not available, then you will need to add it to Google maps. Below is a screenshot on this:
Within the next screen, you will need to fill in the place data and submit it.
Ensure that you don’t click on the “Claim this Business” link if you don’t have a Google My Business account.
Step 3: Sign Up For a Google My Business Account
While logged in to your Google account for business we created in step 1, navigate to google.com/business/ and click on the “manage now” button.
Within the next screen(s), you will need to fill in the information that Google requests for such as the business name, location, website, phone number and many more.
Step 4: Claim Your Business Profile
To do this, navigate to Google.com/maps and search for your business.
You will then need to click on the “Claim this Business” link.
Once done, you will then need to click on the “manage now” button and follow the required actions.
Step 5: Verify the Business
Once you click on the “manage now”, you will then need to choose a way to verify.
Google will then send you a verification code that you’ll enter into your Google Business dashboard.
Reviews by Customers
Having customers leave reviews for your business enables Google rank your business for the right audience.
Leaving reviews can be carried out on a number of platforms such as Google.
Include Location Terms in URLs
The inclusion of the location within URLs helps in improving the search engine rankings.
In addition, it really helps in improving the overall user experience especially if you have pages targeting different locations.
To have URLs customized, this can be achieved from the Settings > Permalinks section within your WordPress dashboard and set a custom URL structure.
Optimize Your Content
One of the strategies that can be used is creating a blog page with valuable, compelling content relevant to a target community or rather local audience.
This would boost your ranking in the local search results.
Optimize the Meta Data
Populating your website titles and meta description with local terms will help in ranking higher in local search results.
This implementation can be achieved using plugins such as Yoast SEO.
Add Structured Data Markup
Adding the correct schema markup (https://schema.org/LocalBusiness), helps in informing Google of the type of business. This helps in improving your local search rankings.
In order to add schema, this can be achieved using such a plugin: Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP .
Once you have added the schema data, you can test it with Google’s structured data testing tool.
Optimize Your Website Speed
Website speed is one of the key ranking factors by Google. A slow loading website will have a negative impact on Local SEO. Some of the technicalities that can be used to improve the speed include:
Some of the strategies that can be implemented to improve on the site speed include:
- Using a caching plugin
- Compressing Images
- Avoid URL redirects
Note: We would also recommend checking out our practical lessons, for more insights on how to optimize your site for SEO.