SEO Best Practices for WordPress is one of the most adaptable open source content management systems on the market.
Its wide functionality, versatility, and unrivalled affordability (it’s free) have all contributed to its meteoric rise to the top of the most popular content management system on the internet.
It’s no surprise, then, that WordPress has been downloaded more than 32.6 million times and powers 40% of all websites.
WordPress is also SEO-friendly, allowing even non-techies to perform basic optimization tasks with ease. This is fantastic news for tiny local businesses that may not have the resources to invest in large-scale SEO enhancements but still want to boost their local search rankings.
Here are some WordPress SEO tips to improve your WordPress site’s local search rankings:
1. Optimize and Localize Your Content
It’s critical to optimize your website’s content to contain local information if you want to achieve both online and offline sales. For example, the homepage of your website should clearly describe who you are, where you are located, and what you do. Google will crawl and index your website in order to find the most relevant search results.
You should also edit the title tags, header tags, and meta descriptions on your website. These elements are used by Google to determine the content of your website. You’ll score higher in local search results if you incorporate local keywords in your content and other aforementioned elements.
The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is one of the finest ways to optimize this information. This plugin includes sections for entering keywords, SEO titles, SEO slugs, and meta descriptions for search results.
2. Create Dedicated Landing Page for Each Location
You can’t expect to appear in local search results if you have many business locations and all are mentioned on the same webpage. If you list multiple places, Google won’t know which ones to put you in.
Create distinct web pages for all of your site’s content and optimize each for its individual region and keywords to solve this problem.
Once you have separate pages, your pages are more likely to rank on the relevant local searches. When you are done creating the landing pages for the locations you serve, now is the time to get these indexed properly. Otherwise, all your landing page efforts will go into the drain.
Create an XML sitemap of your site’s content to ensure that your content is indexed in the proper local search results. This can be accomplished with a variety of beginner-friendly SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO.
You can build an XML sitemap in one click, which Google and other search engines can use to assess your site’s data and properly rank you.
3. Take Leverage of Google My Business Listing
Google My Business brings together a number of important local ranking variables. Location, user ratings, and business descriptions and classifications are some of the important local SEO factors and have an impact on your local rankings in SERP.
Once you’ve claimed your GMB page, make sure to include your WordPress site, as well as other important details like your business’s hours of operation and a description.
You can now use plugins to send crucial ranking signals from your Google My Company page to your websites, such as photos, a business map, and customer reviews.
You’ll also need to install a plugin, such as the Google Places Reviews plugin, to submit your Google My Business review to your WordPress site. These will help to boost customer confidence in your business!
You might also want to explore using a plugin or widget to add an impenetrable business map to your website. One tool that will assist your consumers in finding you is Google Maps Builder.
4. Speed Up Your Site Loading
Site speed and performance is a standard SEO approach that also applies to local SEO. You will never appear in local search results if you implement all other tips and methods but never optimize your website for speed.
After all, many customers anticipate your website to load fast under 2 seconds, and 53% will abandon it if it takes more than 3 seconds.
That’s not a lot of time to persuade visitors to stay, learn about your brick-and-mortar location, and follow you.
Google prefers websites that load quickly and provide an excellent user experience to all users. So use a free performance-testing tool like Pingdom or PageSpeed Insights to determine your website’s speed.
With these tools, you’ll learn how to optimize the speed and performance of your website. Using a caching plugin, compressing images, limiting HTTP requests, avoiding URL redirects, lowering DNS lookups, and some other optimizations can speed up your website. WordPress has plugins for the above tasks like W3 Total Cache, WP Smush, WP Rocket, WP-Optimize, WP Super Minify, etc.
Once you know how quickly your website loads, you can make some minor adjustments and re-test until you can no longer improve.
5. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Because our world is becoming increasingly mobile-oriented, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial. You’ll lose a decent search engine rating and, as a result, revenue if your site isn’t mobile-friendly. As a result, you should do all necessary to improve and optimize your site’s mobile experience. In fact, it should be wonderful!
For a long time, Google’s rankings were based on the site’s mobile version. If your site isn’t up to par, it will be difficult to achieve good rankings. So, consider a mobile-compatible theme, responsive web design, and plugins like WPTouch, JetPack, Smush, WP Mobile Menu, Hummingbird, AMP for WP, etc.
6. Incorporate Structured Data
Have you ever wondered why some local business listings appear to be so comprehensive – complete with reviews, star ratings, and full descriptions – while others seem to be lacking?
The distinction is in the data that is structured. Using plugins like Schema, you may provide Google with additional information about your company.
This will present them with more information, such as hours of operation, pricing range, and physical location, when they see you in the SERPs.
While having more content does not intrinsically increase your web ranking, it can encourage better click-through rates, and CTR can affect your rankings on Google and other search engines. You can use the same Yoast SEO plugin for the structured data implementation as well.
7. Create Quality-Backlinks with Relevant Location Anchors
Backlinks are one of the prominent ranking signals for localized organic rankings, according to new research.
The number of sites linking to your site, the quality of your backlinks, and the optimization of your link anchor text all play a role in your local ranking.
The number of domains to your site is important, but a single high-quality backlink from a thought leader in your industry is significantly more useful than dozens of unrelated, low-quality links. Use link tracking software to find and eliminate low-quality links.
You can also use a plugin like Broken Link Checker to discover and resolve broken links. This plugin scans posts, pages, and even comments for broken links.
Furthermore, when you create backlinks, include your city’s name in part of your anchor text to help with local search. Just be wary about over-optimization.
There is no perfect percentage for location-optimized anchors, so do some competitive research to see what’s standard in your industry.
Here you go!
These are some effective ways to optimize your WordPress website and improve the local rankings. WordPress is a great platform, and the plugins make a lot of things easy, including SEO. So, get started with these practices and see the changes!
If you are not competent with SEO, then you may hire an online marketing agency to nurture your business and boost your visibility in local searches.
Time to work!