Local Google rankings are so important.
It doesn’t matter if you are a dentist, doctor, plastic surgeon, lawyer, financial services executive, coach, consultant or a local florist or plumber near me. Everybody in the local business markets wants top local rankings, and for good reason(s).
Here are some stats to help you understand the local search importance:
Add to this fact that WordPress powers 25% of all websites globally, and you have a powerful framework to work within. (We use the WordPress CMS for 95% of all our deployments within design, development, content marketing and optimization).
If you’re looking for some uncommon ways to do local SEO for WordPress, with the goal of scoring top local Google rankings, you’ll find that our guide offers the best and most practical local SEO solutions.
We’ve researched the sorts of strategies that really get results and we’re here to share them with you. Plus, other ambitious entrepreneurs and smart local marketers will benefit too.
Once you’ve perused our comprehensive guide, you’ll be ready to gain more traction online.
Let’s talk a little more on why local Google rankings are so vital to business success and also touch on why local SEO is different from other forms of search engine optimization.
Here is an infographic with simple tips to get started:
Why is Local SEO So Important, Anyway?
In the world of online marketing, what you do for your company should be measured against what your competitors are doing, as well as understanding the numbers for growth opportunities. Your bottom line. (Not only revenue, but the profit streams and how your products and services contribute to that).
In terms of local SEO, this means that you’ll need to rank higher than your rivals by matching their Web marketing efforts and then exceeding them.
It means attracting relevant traffic, and converting those visitors to consistent sales and follow-up.
When you don’t make an effort to improve local search engine optimization, you’ll be vulnerable to being eclipsed in terms of search engine rankings.
For this reason, local SEO should be woven into the fabric of all of your online marketing initiatives.
First, let’s share the basics – these are the things that every savvy local entrepreneur does in order to strengthen local search engine rankings.
After this, we’ll talk about some uncommon methods that in-the-know entrepreneurs are using in order to improve their local SEO efforts.
Tried-and-True Local SEO Tips
First off, you should understand how important reviews and your reputation actually are.
The truth is that Google gives extra rankings to companies which have reviews (positive reviews are the best!) at an array of websites, including Yelp, Google Reviews and Angie’s List, to name a few.
If you’re running a business which relies on local clientele in order to turn a profit, you’ll find that getting more reviews at these websites really helps you to optimize your local SEO.
Plus, it makes it easier for potential customers to trust you. Reviews and testimonials are important human-relations building components.
With this in mind, encourage your customers to review your company at those and similar websites for your marketplace.
Asking for these reviews is one of the secrets of creating an effective local SEO small business system. (IMPORTANT: this process should be organic and honest. Don’t pay for reviews, or you might find yourself in deep water with legal issues).
Friends and family who’ve patronized your company and support it wholeheartedly will be great people to turn to for reviews.
Also, loyal customers who’ve had great experiences with your company will probably be more than happy to oblige.
Make sure to get these reviews published on your website too, and implement an easy to follow process for your customers or patients to provide reviews online.
Naturally, if you provide great products and/or services, these reviews should appear on their own. However, there’s nothing wrong with nudging people a little bit.
Most local entrepreneurs have to do this – it’s just the way of the world in the Internet Age. So, don’t be shy when it comes to requesting reviews.
All Web content that you post should also be populated with local terms.
These include addresses, as well as city or town names of nearby areas where you’re also interested in finding customers.
Adding county names and regional names is easy and it really works. There’s more to adding local terms than typing in business address-specific information.
(IMPORTANT: don’t spam by adding tons of local links in the footer and send visitors and search engine bots to thin pages with no/low value pages. This will not work, and further undermine your authority with users and search engines. Start with one location and build from there).
Keep data up to date.
Lastly, make sure that all online listing are up to date and include relevant addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
Google looks at this information to make sure it’s consistent across a range of web pages. If it is, your local SEO rankings will rise.
If it isn’t, you should fix it or pay someone to clean it up for you. It will be worth the effort or the cost of outsourcing.
Uncommon Local SEO Tips to Try
One hot tip which isn’t used that commonly is to place an embedded Google Map of your business on your website.
This local SEO WordPress tip will engage website visitors – after all, a map will be visually appealing and it will be so easy for viewers to use and understand.
However, it will also benefit you in terms of sparking higher search engine rankings. Adding a link for directions is also a valuable tip.
You’ll need to add a local map correctly in order to reap its advantages.
First, ensure that your map doesn’t point to your company address (which you added to the Google Maps search engine). Instead, use an embed code via a map which points to your Google My Business entry. The map should be verified with Google My Business.
If you’re not currently verified with Google My Business, get verified before you embed your map.
You’ll need a Google+ page for your business before you begin the verification process.
Having a presence of Google+ is really important, as links on this website rank better within Google than links from other websites.
IMPORTANT: Google+ Local (interface and usage) is changing, and the direction is headed towards serving an increasing mobile user base. This mobile-first thinking includes your website. Apply a mobile first mindset now, desktop comes next. You’ll win both in search engines and in users’ eyes.
To review the Google My Business verification process, visit: https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778?hl=en&ref_topic=4854193
There are other ways to use WordPress to your benefit.
One of them is adding geographical information to title tags, H1, H2 and H3 headings. What’s most important is that your city name (or town name) is added to one or more of these fields. You can add your phone number directly in the <TITLE> tag. It engages the users and provides local data too.
Adding a local SEO WordPress plugin can help – but don’t rely on WP plugins alone to solve all your local ranking problems. Relevant on-page content and local referrers and mentions pointing back to you are central keys to local success.
Also, add your city or town name (or state name) to the pages that you publish.
While you should never over stuff titles and content with geographical information, adding a city, town or state name once or twice will assist you with improving local SEO right from your own website.
You might consider this approach for your most valuable pages, and the ones you want to rank locally.
Also, adding geographical terms to WordPress Meta Tags will be helpful. Adding terms to headers, content and Meta Tags should not take too long (although it should be tested and re-visited) and it’s a great way to optimize for local SEO.
While not a direct impact on ranking, it will benefit in higher click-throughs.
Finally, as you add and update content, think about “how can I help my users find me, and what do they find valuable?” Create such value that others will link to you, share your content, widgets, tools and more. Think “them” not “me”.
It will help create local links and citations to your business, which are a way to ‘upvote’ your pages and sends trust signals to search engines.
Use Our Sensible Tips Today
Getting a handle on local SEO techniques will empower you as an entrepreneur.
While it will require time and effort to optimize for local SEO, in addition to all of the other tasks that you need to perform daily, it’s an essential element of driving business to your company.
Without utilizing proper local SEO techniques daily, you may lose crucial market share to your rivals.
Great local SEO methods will help you to stay one step ahead of the competition.
If you can’t spare the time to design and implement a dedicated and consistent local SEO campaign, it’s wise to outsource the task.
There are plenty of companies which offer local SEO services to busy entrepreneurs.
Jon Rognerud and Chaosmap work with Fortune 500 companies, small business and entrepreneurs to create digital traffic strategies that scale up customers, leads and sales with profitable returns. Mr. Rognerud wrote a best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur). Connect directly here.