Our Local SEO Plugin has been amongst our most popular plugins for almost two years now. However, we never really highlighted or explained why it is so awesome! Let’s do that right now!
Local SEO basically is the optimization process for the local results in search engines. That means the plugin takes care of your websites visibility in Google Maps and in the so called 7-pack (see picture).
Why is it important to be visible in Google Maps?
It is important for your website to appear in Google Maps because you want people to be able to find your contact details. Perhaps people already know your business, but don’t know the phone number. If you setup your website right, this location data can easily be found through search engines.
More importantly, people often do not know your business yet and are searching globally for terms like “pizza”, “lawyer” or “broker in New York”. Google often shows a Google Map or a 7-pack for these kind of searches, so it’s of great importance that your business is listed there!
What do I need to do?
The first thing you have to do to get your website in Google Maps is to have a physical location for your business. That sounds silly, but this is one of the major requirements to get you listed in search engines. It’s hard to rank on “divorce lawyer boston” if your business is not physical in Boston (even if you provide the services there). After you have a physical location of your business you can sign up your business in the search engines: Google, Bing and now even Apple.
The third thing you have to think of is your SEO strategy! Just like regular SEO, Local SEO exists of both onpage and offpage SEO. For onpage SEO it’s important you mention the address of your business on your website in Schema.org format. And not only on your contact page, but it’s also recommended to place it in the header or footer of your website, so it’s visible on every page.
Besides the address itself the title tag is something you really need to look at. According to the Local Search Ranking Factors naming the City and State, besides your keyword, in your page title is the most important thing to do. A good format would be “<your service> <city> <state>”, for example “Shiny Teeth dentist Portland Oregon”. It’s pretty straight forward, but clear and strong! But don’t take this format for granted. Play with it and, even better, test it!
And of course we can help you with this on page process: the final (and most important thing you have to do) is to get our Local SEO plugin!
For off-page SEO, links from other sites are of course important, but also the so called citations. Citations are just mentions of your business, which don’t even have to contain a link to your website. For example you can get citations from people who review your business (like Hotfrog, Yelp, Tripadvisor etc).
Is that all?
And that is basically all you have to do! Of course, like many things, this is easier said than done. Just like regular SEO there are a variety of parameters which will probably differ for each industry. In the next months we will post some more articles about Local SEO to deepen a bit more on particular subjects. If you can’t wait for these posts we’ve already listed a few great resources you can use in the meantime:
This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!