Guide to Optimize Your WordPress Website for Local SEO

Ahh, Geez. Another SEO guide? If there already isn't a couple hundred thousand of them getting published every single day.
Suppose you expected me to link a word in the last sentence to the webpage which supports the statistic mentioned above, then you. In that case, my friend is a fellow digital marketer or, given the benefit of the doubt— someone who wants to read an article on Local SEO.
Well, I'm not going to annoy you any more with my subtle attempts at trying to sound funny. I am going to cut right into the topic for our article. But before that, let me explain what Local SEO is and why it is so important.

What's Local SEO?

Local SEO is the practice among the multiple forms of digital marketing. The emphasis is on generating leads, traffic, and brand awareness by optimizing your website for local searches.
Common strategies associated with local SEO include finding local keywords, optimizing a business's Google My Business profile, and building "NAP" citations.

Why is Local SEO Important?

Honestly, I don't feel like we should be even discussing this topic here. We all know how important Local SEO is in terms of marketing.

All I'll do is overstate the same fact by throwing in some important statistics. It will make sure you don't throw Local SEO service under the rug in your marketing strategy for its lack of aesthetic appeal.
According to SEORoundTable, 46% of searches have local intent. Most of these queries are from mobile devices. You don't have to be a mathematician to see the odds of mobile queries rising in the future.
Here's one more — nearly 29% of SERPs contain a local pack in the results, as per RankRanger.
What's better than two? Three, right? According to Google, 76% of users who search for something local visit the store the same day.
The above stats, with regards to Local SEO, pretty much make a case of themselves. Local searches make up a huge chunk of the SEO world. Try to could get your business to appear a bit front in these searches. Then, there's a good chance that potential customers could be walking in through that door very soon.

How Does Local SEO Work?

It's not very different from how SEO works for a regular Google search.
Certain additional ranking signals that are accounted for in Local SEO --

  • The Location of the Person who's Searching
  • Number of "Check-Ins" at that Location
  • Social Media Presence
  • Google Maps star rating for that Business
  • NAP Citations
  • Google My Business Listing
  • Keywords used in Google My Business Profile
  • Online Reviews
  • Keywords used in Online Reviews

There are quite a few in the market that stands relevant- Ghost, Wix, Shopify, Medium (now discontinued) when it comes to CMS providers. That said, WordPress dominates the CMS market with more than 60% of websites built on WordPress.

Plugins hold the major stock in the success of WordPress as a CMS. The plethora of useful plugins available makes WordPress appealing to its users. Add these to the local intent present in average Google search queries. We can then conclude that WordPress must have some game-changing plugins at its disposal to help its users with Local SEO.

9 Local SEO Plugins for WordPress

1. Yoast SEO

Price: Free and Paid Premium Option Available
I'm pretty much confident that you'd seldom come across an article on SEO plugins that do not mention Yoast SEO. It does make this very part of the article quite redundant. But it'd be a low-key crime not to mention this plugin as it deserves every credit or mentions it gets.

Thanks to Yoast SEO, it comes with packaging covering almost every aspect of search campaigns. It helps you to cover all the essentials to optimize your business website for top rankings. Features include adding meta-descriptions, page title, XML sitemap, IMG alt text, and much more.

  • It includes an add-on, especially for Local SEO.
  • The add-on lets you tell search engines more about your website and business.
  • It helps you to rank better in local search results.
  • It provides you the option to add and edit Google My Business and Google Maps information on your website.

Yoast add-on plugin on Local SEO for WordPress is not free, but this feature-rich add-on is worth the cost. It's effective and among the most helpful plugins you'll ever find. People who have used this add-on reflect the same emotion.

2. Google Places Review

Price: Free with an option for a premium upgrade
Considering how much we order stuff online nowadays, it is slightly okay to assume that product reviews impact our decisions to place the order. According to the Spiegel Research Center study, you can increase the chances of website conversions by 270% just by displaying reviews.

If Google reviews are at the core of your SEO strategy (and they should be!), the Google Places Review is one of the best tools to help you display them on your website. It has an easy to use widget that. It lets you display real reviews left by your users or customers on your Google My Business listing.
If you have the business set up at multiple locations, you can choose to display reviews specific to the location. The plugin includes options like theme-based customization.

3. Open Graphs and Twitter Cards

Price: Free with a Pro Add-On
Open Graphs & Twitter Cards is the pimp you need for your website and business's local social media presence. It improves the sharing of your WordPress site's pages, WooComerce product listings on social media by setting correct Facebook Open Graph Tags.
The plugin offers features that go beyond Google. You can create metadata for Pinterest and Twitter as well. It lets you amplify your schema data. You can use it to set up schema data like telephone, business type, service radius, and location IMG ID.

4. WP Google Maps

Price: Both Free and Pro Version
WordPress has a lot of plugins that'll help you include or embed locations on your website. WP Google Maps, unanimously, is the most used for that purpose. After the set-up, you'll get a code that you can put in whatever webpage you deem good for your website structure.
The plugin gives you the feature to create a map with multiple locations, especially useful for businesses with multiple store locations. It comes with the Google Street Map feature, letting you add storefront images to visualize your store further and make the find easier.
All the features mentioned above are included in the free version. That said, it does have a PRO version with more technical functionalities. In a nutshell, if you're looking for a plugin to add location and showcase street view, then look no further.

5. Business Profile

Price: Free
Getting a citation from Google is an excellent value in terms of Local SEO. If this were a Martin Scorsese film, then the Business Profile plugin would walk right in with a pretentious entourage to solve your problems. Citations are listings of your website or Business without the URL.
Google rewards websites that have consistent information. It's a part of the algorithm that Google uses for determining search rankings.
The Business Profile plugin creates a contact card. It displays your business/website name, phone number, location, contact info, working hours, and link to Google Maps. The plugin includes the Gutenberg schema block for displaying your contact details.

6. AMP for WP

Price: Free
Ever get annoyed when you click on a link, and it takes an eternity to load? It is fair to assume that if you feel that way, so might your website visitors.
AMP for WP spares your prospects from feeling the same due to slow site speed. Google now factors in AMP content for SEO rankings. And it caters to AMP content consumers' needs, one of them being our very own Google.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. They are stripped-down HTML pages meant to load faster than its advanced compatriot HTML5.
AMP for WP is a simple plugin that adds AMP functionality to your WordPress site enabling it to have faster mobile site loading speeds.

7. Broken Link Checker

Price: Free
Broken Link Checker scans your posts, comments, blogs, and custom fields for broken links, as the name suggests. It also checks for missing images and incorrect redirects.
The process of parsing might take a long time. Also, it depends on the volume of content on your site as it checks every link present on your site.
Once the scan is complete, it presents you with a list of broken links that you can rectify and save your visitors from bouncing off your WordPress site.

8. Smush Image Compression and Optimization

Price: Free with Pro Option
The developers got it to spot on with the name for their plugin. Smush is a lifesaver for WordPress site owners. As we all know, it can get quite annoying when you've to sit through compressing your website images for better page loading speed.
Smush automatically compresses the sizes of all images on your website. It also provides an option for image resizing as well. Other than that, it is compatible with other WordPress plugins in the market.

9. All In One Schema Rich Snippets

Price: Free
What are Rich Snippets? If by any chance you remember sites that have ratings or external pictures embedded in their descriptions appearing in search results, those are Rich Snippets. It can be hugely helpful for your Local SEO, especially if you're into the restaurant business or even if you have a physical store.
All in One Schema Rich Snippets makes it simple with a user-friendly interface. You can add reviews, product images, videos, or any other schema; the plugin does it for you—no need to write code what-so-ever.

Final Thoughts on Local SEO

Some plugins mentioned above may not straight away benefit your Local SEO efforts. But, it adds to your strategy of having a well-rounded, functioning website. Plugins like Smush, AMP for WP, and Broken Link Checker certainly help in that aspect.
It is important to know that approaches vary depending on the industry or business line you're in. Plugins alone won't do all the heavy lifting. You can use them as tools to build an effective road-map that fits your locality and competition.
And while it's a good idea to have SEO plugins installed for your WordPress site, it's equally important to follow SEO's standard best practices. Check out this article in case you need a better understanding.
Get in touch with us if you need help with Local SEO for your WordPress website.

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