Best On-Page Local SEO Practices in WordPress

Written by: Jason Bayless | October 17, 2015

While SEO practices change in regards to techniques, the importance on-page SEO in general doesn’t, regardless of what the latest techniques are. This form of SEO is as important now as it was years ago and it is going to be important years into the future just as it is now. When using WordPress, it is a good idea to know what the best on-page local SEO practices are so you an index well in your niche locally. The following are some of those practices that will help you move toward a better optimized website.

Find the Right Plug-in

Finding the right plug-in for on-page SEO is important, and one that is highly recommended is the Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress. This plug-in is popular because it does five key things:

• Creates a sitemap for your website
• Makes verifying Google Webmaster Tools much easier
• Allows you to edit your robots.txt file
• Enables you to create breadcrumb navigation
• You can NO-INDEX those pages you don’t want indexed

This plug-in makes some important SEO tasks easy to do. You can manage your meta titles, tags, and descriptions; manage permalinks; set social settings; and quite a few other things. If you’ve been using Headspace II or the All-In-One SEO tool, you can important all of your data over to Yoast so you don’t have to start over.

Optimize the Slug When You Create a Post

When you create a post, one of the first things you can do is optimize the slug. Having your main keyword in the slug will have a very good impact on your SEO. However, you do need to be very careful doing this, as you shouldn’t go back to old pages and change the slug without doing a 301 redirect from the existing page to a new page. The reason is because users would get a 404 error and people don’t like getting a 404, which, in their minds, damages a website’s authority.

Optimize Your Content

Content is king because it is the content that tells what your site is about and provides users with valuable information. You want to make sure your target keyword is present in the body of the page or post, but it needs to appear naturally. You don’t want to force it, so feel free to use different variations of it through the incorporation of synonyms.

If you concentrate on user experience while writing content, then visitors are less likely to feel like they are reading text a robot wrote and more likely to feel like they’re reading something a human wrote.

Don’t Forget the ALT Attribute

When you embed an image into a post or page, you will notice that you can write a caption, description, and an ALT attribute. The ALT attribute is important because that is where you can describe what the image is about. This helps Google understand what the image is. So Google understands it, be as accurate as possible when writing the description and do the same with the file name when you save the image to your computer.

Show the Title Tag Some Love

The title tag, which can also be the title of your page, is a very important SEO element and it is also important for the user’s experience. In addition to being the possible title of your page, the title tag is also the text that is displayed on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

You need to include the target keyword in your title and make sure the title also reads well for the user or something is going to be “off” to them. If something doesn’t read right, they may pass it up in the search engine results. If you use the Yoast plug-in, you can alter your title tag and then preview what it will look like on the Google search results page.

SEO is Everything

So there you have some of the best on-page SEO practices for local search. Keep in mind when optimizing for local search that you include the relevant geographic locations as a part of your keywords. Google wants to know what area you serve and where your keywords fit within that location so you are indexed properly. Make them fit naturally and you’re in business.