7 Best Local SEO Practices for WordPress Websites

WordPress is one of the world’s most versatile open source Content Management Systems (CMS). Its extensive functionality, low entry barrier, and unbeatable price have all contributed to its meteoric rise to the top of the web’s most popular content management system.

It’s no surprise, then, that WordPress has been downloaded over 32.6 million times and is used to power 40% of all websites.

WordPress is also SEO-friendly, to the point where even non-techies can implement basic optimization techniques with ease. This is fantastic news for small local businesses that may not have the resources to invest in large-scale SEO improvements but still want to improve their local search rankings.

In this article, I’ll show you how to improve your WordPress site’s local SEO to rank and get oragnic traffic with seven simple SEO tweaks.

1. Improve the Quality of Your Content

Improve Quality of Content to Improve Local SEO

The most valuable assets on your website are your content offerings. If your content isn’t good enough, having a great site design, quick load times, and a slew of security measures won’t help.

So, before you think about optimizing your content, you should start with something that your audience finds useful.

To do so, you’ll need to understand your target audience’s problems and how your products solve them.

Once you realize this, you can turn your solutions into a variety of engaging content, such as videos, blog posts, and infographics, that will keep them coming back for more.

The next step, on-page optimization, can be intimidating once you’ve created great content. Fortunately, some basic tools, such as the Yoast SEO plugin, can assist us.

Rather than having to consider up to 20 different SEO factors for each landing page, Yoast SEO makes it easier by assigning each page a color-coded score that helps you track your on-page optimization and highlights areas for improvement.

On-page factors like word count and keyword occurrences are also highlighted by Yoast SEO. Focus on all these to improve your Local SEO.

2. Look over your link profile

According to recent research, links are still the most important ranking signal for localized organic rankings.

Your local ranking is strongly influenced by the number of domains linking to your site, the quality of your backlinks, and the optimization of your link anchor text.

It takes time to cultivate good organic link building, but here are a few simple steps to get started:

Focus on Quality Over Quantity

Although the number of domains, IP addresses, and C-blocks linking to your site is important, a single high-quality backlink from a thought leader in your niche is far more valuable than dozens of irrelevant, low-quality links. To find and remove low-quality links, use link tracking software.

Find & Fix Broken Links

There are numerous plugins available for checking broken links on your website. Make use of a plugin such as Broken Link Checker. This plugin looks for broken links in posts, pages, and even comments.

Optimize Anchor Text

Include your city’s name in some of your anchor text to help with local search. Just be wary of over-optimization (e.g., changing all of your anchor text, too many exact matches, etc.).

Make sure you optimize for metrics related to user experience.

Are you focusing on user experience? Improving site performance, content stability, and interaction can all help to enhance organic rankings, brand exposure, and sales.

There is no optimal percentage for location-optimized anchors, so undertake some competition research to determine what is widely acceptable in your industry.

Identify Possibilities for Link Building

Use a competitive analysis tool to identify prospective link building possibilities, such as relevant sites in your sector that link to competitors but not to you.

3. Improve the Speed of Your Website

Improve website speed

Site speed is still one of Google’s most critical “technical” ranking factors, and if you want to beat your competitors in local SEO, you’ll need to make your site as quick as possible.

Techniques that could be used include:

Large Image Compression and Editing

When it comes to slow websites, large picture files are the worst offenders. To compress and optimize your photos, use a plugin like WP Smush. In addition, utilize a plugin like WP Paint to crop and resize your photographs in order to format all of the images on your site.

Organize Your WordPress Theme

Remove any out-of-date page elements (e.g., unnecessary database calls, functions, JavaScript, etc.). Also, make sure to remove any old themes that may have been used to infiltrate your site.

Using a Caching Plugin, to reduce server load

Caching plugins generate state HTML copies of dynamic websites, reducing server load times dramatically. There are several solutions for you to explore, including free choices like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache, as well as paid solutions like WP Rocket.

Don’t Experiment Too Much With Too Many Plugins

You can find a plugin for almost any function, but try to limit yourself to critical plugins that add genuine value to your site. Too many plugins will slow down your site.

You might also make your life easier by investing in website auditing tools. Quality goods will analyze your on-page speed factors and recommend solutions to speed up your site.

4. Mobile Optimization

Mobile Optimization for Local SEO

Many of your potential consumers are searching for local companies on their mobile devices. This, combined with the fact that Google preferentially crawls mobile sites over desktop counterparts, means that mobile optimization is more crucial than ever.

The most important thing you can do to optimize your mobile site is to focus on page speed and picture reduction, but here are a few more pointers:

Make use of a Responsive Theme.

At the very least, you should ensure that your WordPress theme is responsive and adapts to all mobile devices.

Create a Website Specifically for Mobile Visitors

Use the built-in wp_is_mobile() function to detect different devices on the server level and generate personalized experiences for mobile visitors.

Create a Mobile App

According to an eMarketer survey, apps account for 88 percent of mobile media time. Apps that provide a complete way for mobile consumers to interact with their favorite companies are popular.

Create Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are lightning-fast pages optimized for mobile devices. WordPress has a default AMP plugin that allows you to generate AMP pages that appear at the top of SERPs when visitors search from mobile devices.

5. Integrate Google My Business with Your WordPress Website

Google My Business for Local SEO

Google My Business combines a number of important local ranking elements. Physical proximity, user ratings, and business descriptions and classifications will all have an impact on your rank in SERPs.

Once you’ve claimed your GMB page, make sure to include your WordPress site, as well as other important information like your business’s hours of operation and a description.

Then hunt for plugins and widgets that will allow you to transmit critical ranking signals from your GMB page to your website, such as photographs, a business map, and customer reviews.

You also need to install a plugin, such as the Google Places Reviews plugin, that allows you to post your GMB review to your WordPress site. These will aid in increasing consumer trust in your company!

You may also think about using a plugin or widget to add an impenetrable business map to your website. Google Maps Builder is one example of a tool that will assist your consumers in finding you.

6. Structured Data Can Be Added to Your Pages

Add Structured Data

Have you ever wondered why some local company listings appear to be so extensive – complete with reviews, star ratings, and detailed descriptions – while others appear to be lacking?

The distinction is in the use of structured data.

You may offer Google additional information about your company by using schema plugins.

This will provide your clients with extra information when they find you in SERPs, such as hours of operation, pricing range, and physical location.

While descriptions may not increase your web ranking in and of themselves, having additional content does encourage greater click-through rates – and CTR does affect ranking on local SEO, Google and other search engines.

7. Incorporate location keywords into your URLs

In general, URL structure has a little impact on your page’s potential to rank.

However, in the case of local search, putting geographical keywords in your URL can help improve the user experience.

This is especially true if you have many landing pages targeting different areas and want to reassure your customers that they’ve arrived at the correct site.

When it comes to you, previous versions of WordPress didn’t provide you a lot of options. They were all “ugly permalinks,” and they looked like this:

However, the most recent WordPress versions use “pretty permalinks,” which include the date and title of your posts. They could resemble this:

In your WordPress Admin panel, go to Settings > Permalinks to change your URL settings. You can then select Custom Structure to add a location to your landing page URLs.

Conclusion

You may take your WordPress site even further than what I’ve advised here by manually writing robots.txt files, making XML sitemaps, optimizing your site structure, and more.

I hope you found this post about improving local SEO is helpful. If you do like it, sharing this blog on your social media channels would be greatly appreciated. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel to remain up to date on our latest posts and other updates.

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2021-05-21T14:13:22+00:00

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