Want to increase your WordPress site’s Google rankings for local searches? In recent years, search engines like Google and Bing have begun showing different results for searches with local intent. As a local business owner, you should optimize your site for local traffic such as this using the following tips.
#1) Research Keywords
The first step to improving your WordPress site’s local search rankings is to research prospective keywords. You can use third-party tools like Moz Keyword Research Tool or WordStream. However, Google can also offer ideas with its auto suggestions. Regardless of which method you prefer, identify long- and short-tail local keywords for your site.
Next comes geo-targeting your site’s pages with local keywords. Your homepage should target your primary local keyword whereas your site’s other pages should target secondary local keywords. Geo-targeting involves the creation of “”signals”” that encourage search engines to rank the respective page for a given keyword.
#3) Include Local Keywords in Page Title
One powerful geo-targeting ranking signal is the inclusion of local keywords in a page titles. If you want your site’s homepage to rank for “”Chicago dentist,”” for instance, you should include that keyword in your title. Search engines will notice this signal, increasing the chance of a top search ranking for the phrase “”Chicago dentist.””
#4) Install Yoast SEO
If you haven’t done so already, download and install the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site. This versatile plugin has dozens of features, including on-page keyword optimization. Once activated, you can specify a focus keyword, after which Yoast will provide an analysis of its effectiveness. You can specify your local keywords as the focus keywords for helpful optimization tips.
#5) NAP Consistency
The presence of your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) can help your site rank for local searches. However, it’s important to use a consistent format when displaying your business’s NAP. If you describe your business’s address as “”123 Drover Street Suite #4″” on one page and “”123 Drover St. #4″” on a separate page, it may confuse search engines as they try to determine which version is correct.
#6) Local Citations
Off-site optimization is also important when trying to achieve higher local search rankings. Among other things, this includes building local citations for your business. As explained by Moz, local citations are online mentions of your business’s name, address, phone number or other information.
#7) Encourage Local Search Traffic
When a customer makes a purchase at your local business, ask him or her to visit your website. Local search traffic such as this encourages higher local rankings. Google will notice a substantial number of visitors coming from a particular region. In response, it will rank your site higher for searches around that region.
#8) Embed Google Maps
You can help visitors find directions to your business and encourage higher local search rankings in the process by embedding a Google Maps view of your business on your website. Once embedded, visitors can see where your business is located and how to reach it.
Local search optimization is arguably more difficult than traditional SEO. If your site uses WordPress, however, you can encourage higher local rankings by following these tips.