Did you know that local information accounts for 46% of all Google searches, and 97% of people use search engines to locate local businesses? Within 24 hours, 88 percent of consumers searching for local business information on their mobile devices contact or visit the business.

If that isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of local SEO, I’m not sure what will.

Everyone nowadays searches the Internet first for information on companies with which they want to do business. When it comes to finding a nearby brick and mortar store, the Internet is your best bet, as it is flooded with search results designed to direct customers through their open doors.

WordPress is the content management system that powers 34% of all websites on the internet. All website owners, whether they own a local business or just have an online presence, want to rank high in search results.

How can you make your small business stand out from the rest?

We’ve looked into all of the best ways to optimise your WordPress website for local SEO so you can outperform your competitors and close more in-person sales than ever before.

Let’s start with an overview of what local SEO entails.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is distinct from traditional SEO because it focuses on promoting your physical location in local searches. In other words, it allows potential customers to find information about your physical store in search results so they can pay you a visit.

When a person searches using geo qualifiers like city, state, zip code, or terms like “nearby” or “near me,” Google recognises the search as a local one and returns results from that location.

Local SEO is crucial for a variety of reasons. The following are a few of the most compelling:

  • Rank higher in search results: Concentrating on local SEO optimization will help your local business rank higher in search results and increase its visibility. This leads to increased brand recognition, more walk-ins, and, as a result, increased revenue.
  • Make a Good First Impression: We all know that the more relevant your site is to Google, the higher it will rank. After all, those who provide excellent user experiences to site visitors are rewarded by Google. Not only will you rank higher if you optimise your site for local SEO, but you’ll also set the tone for those who plan to visit your business. Making it simple for people to learn about your company, locate your physical location, and contact you is critical to increasing sales and outperforming the competition in your area.
  • Advertise for free: Whether you use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or not, local search results are a cost-free form of marketing for your company. Consider this: Keywords, enticing copy, compelling imagery, and reviews and ratings are all used in the information you include on your site about your local business. People see this information when conducting local searches, and it is used in the decision-making process.
  • Increased Sales: 78 percent of location-based searches result in a purchase made offline. Those seeking out local businesses intend to spend their money in those establishments. If you do it correctly, you’ll be able to put more money in your pocket both online and offline.

Here are eight, actionable ways to optimize your WordPress site for local SEO.

1. Have Customers Leave Legitimate Reviews

Online reviews are trusted by 84 percent of people as much as their friends and family. That is why it is critical to have reviews of your business on multiple platforms. These reviews not only assist people in deciding whether or not to do business with you, but they also assist Google in ranking you for the right results for the right audience.

Sending an automated email campaign to those who purchase your products or services online is one of the simplest ways to solicit feedback. If you have customers sign up for a rewards programme in person, you can send them an email asking them to review their purchase. The WooCommerce Points & Rewards add-on is an excellent way to encourage customers to leave reviews in exchange for discounts based on points.

Google itself is a great place to encourage reviews.

Furthermore, because Yelp reviews always appear on the first page of Google, working on increasing these reviews is a great strategy. Even when problems arise, it’s critical that you interact with all reviewers and work to portray your company in a positive light.

2. Publish Local Content on Your Website

It’s critical to optimise your website’s content to include local information if you want to secure both online and offline sales.

For example, the homepage of your website should clearly state 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.

3. Populate Your Website With Local Terms

You should also update 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 rank higher in local search results if you include local content (such as keywords and locations).

The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is one of the best ways to optimize this information. This plugin includes fields for entering keywords, SEO titles, SEO slugs, and meta descriptions for search results.

4. Claim Your Google My Business Page

You should also update 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 rank higher in local search results if you include local content (such as keywords and locations).

The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is one of the best ways to optimize this information. This plugin includes fields for entering keywords, SEO titles, SEO slugs, and meta descriptions for search results.

  • If you have multiple locations, claim each one separately and manage them all from a single account.
  • Use primary and LSI keywords to increase your chances of being included in the Local Pack by nearly 20%.
  • Even if you can’t find an exact match, find the category that best describes your company.
  • Update any changes to your business on a regular basis to ensure that you appear in the right search results and that your customers always have the most up-to-date information (e.g., location, phone numbers, email, etc.)
  • To add visual appeal, include images.
  • Customers should be encouraged to leave Google reviews, as they will appear here as well.

One of the simplest ways to improve your local SEO efforts is to claim your free Google My Business page.

5. Take Advantage of Local SEO Plugins

There are a few fantastic SEO plugins that will make optimizing your local SEO efforts a breeze.

1. WP SEO Structured Data Schema

The plugin’s creators recognize how difficult it is to implement structured data and schema on a website (even for professional SEO experts). This is why they created this plugin to make it simple for site owners to add schema for organizations, reviews, restaurants, services, and local businesses to their websites.

In a typical search, the page title, URL, and meta description are displayed alongside the results. However, depending on the type of result, one that uses schema markup will include images, reviews, dates and times, hours of operation, and more.

When you scroll through the Google search results, you’ll notice that many local businesses don’t use schema markup on their websites, despite the fact that it’s simple to do with a plugin like this. So stand out from the crowd and provide more value to potential customers right away.

2. WP Google Maps

Adding a Google Map to your website that search engines can crawl is another great way to get noticed in search results and boost your local SEO efforts.

This also makes it simple for people conducting local searches on the go to find your business. This is a simple way to promote your company and gain more customers.

6. Optimize Your Site’s Content

You can’t expect to appear in local search results if you have multiple business locations and reference them all on the same webpage. If you list multiple locations, Google won’t know which ones to put you in.

Create separate web pages for all of your site’s content and optimize each for its specific location and keywords to solve this problem.

Will this necessitate more time and effort?

Yes.

Is it going to be worth it?

You notify us when sales begin to increase in each of your store’s locations.

Create an XML sitemap of your site’s content if you’re looking for another effective way to ensure your site’s content is indexed in the right local search results. This can be accomplished with a variety of beginner-friendly SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO (which we mentioned earlier).

You can create an XML sitemap in one click, which Google and other search engines can use to analyze your site’s data and properly rank you.

7. Optimize for Mobile

Optimizing your mobile site has become more important than ever since Google announced its mobile-first indexing efforts. Google is in charge of your position in Google search results. You can expect your SERPs to suffer if it doesn’t like how your mobile site works for users.

Also, keep in mind the following when it comes to local SEO:

  • 2 out of 3 mobile users are more likely to make a purchase from a site that is tailored to their location.
  • Mobile devices are expected to influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales by 2021.
  • Over the last two years, the use of the terms “near me” and “close by” has increased by 900 percent.

These are just a few of the eye-catching mobile search statistics that are propelling local business sales.

The easier it is for people to view your website and access information about local businesses, the better. Use the built-in responsive previews in the live customizer if you’re not sure what people will see when they visit your site on their mobile devices. Simply go to Appearance > Customize and preview your site using the desktop, tablet, and phone icons at the bottom of the customizer menu.

You can use it to see how your website looks on various device types and even navigate it in real-time to ensure that everything works properly.

8. Make Your Website Blazing Fast

The last point we’ll discuss is site speed and performance, which is a traditional SEO strategy that also applies to local SEO. You will never appear in local search results if you follow all of the above actionable tips and tricks but never optimize your website to load quickly.

After all, many customers expect your website to load in under 2 seconds, and 53% of visitors will abandon it if it takes longer than 3 seconds.

That’s not a lot of time to persuade people to stay, learn about your brick-and-mortar store, and follow you.

Google favours websites that load quickly and provide an excellent user experience to all visitors. So, using a free speed-testing tool like Pingdom, determine the benchmark speed of your website.

You can test your site’s overall speed and performance at a number of different locations. Following the analysis of your site, you will receive the following:

  • Overall performance grade
  • Page size
  • Load time
  • Number of requests

You’ll also learn how to improve the speed and performance of your website. Using a caching plugin, compressing images, reducing HTTP requests, avoiding URL redirects, reducing DNS lookups, and more are just a few of the suggestions.

Once you know how fast your website is now, you can make some minor adjustments and re-test until you can no longer improve. When you know your website caters to a local audience, uses local SEO strategies, and loads quickly for site visitors, you’ll know it will rank in local searches.

Final Thoughts

Physical businesses are in direct competition with the explosion of strictly online businesses vying for the same target audience in this digital age. It’s critical that you cater to customers who prefer to conduct business in a physical location. Boosting your local SEO is the best way to do this.

You’ll find your business ranking in relevant local search results in no time if you take the time to evaluate your WordPress website and implement even a few of the above local SEO strategies. Remember that you must advocate for yourself in order to succeed. It’s not going to be done for you. So get out there and start optimising your website for local SEO so that those in your immediate vicinity can take advantage of everything you have to offer.

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