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What is local SEO?

Local SEO for WordPress is one of the star optimization strategies over the past two years. The practice is to connect local businesses with people who are searching for local businesses. Thanks to this, your company or business can become a reference in your region and attract new customers who need and want to obtain a certain product or service.

In short, for local SEO, geolocation is key, this is the most common difference from SEO itself. The fact that someone specifically searches for »Barcelona positioning agency» or »Madrid positioning agency» activates the mechanism that will cause results to appear mainly from that region.

The emergence of Local SEO?

The increase in mobile searches made Google weigh the importance of the geographical components for local search results. This lead to the emergence of the Google local-3 pack.

This post will discuss points most SEO experts consider key when it comes to having a good and effective local SEO for WordPress strategy so that your business receives all the visits it deserves.  This can help you GET MORE SALES

But before getting into the subject, I will try to clear up a couple of common misconceptions regarding local SEO for WordPress sites:

Is it really necessary to do local SEO for WordPress sites? Isn’t it enough that my product is good and my brand is known in the offline world? Although this is something that works in your favor and will pave the way for you, you should know that it is not enough to have a good product or service. If you do not have a local SEO strategy that takes you to the first page, you will be losing a substantial amount of customers. 

To create the proper local SEO WordPress strategy, you have to think like consumers. When you need to know about a local business or a service that is offered in the area where you are, what do you search for? Customers mainly do it through three means: Google, Google Maps, or vertical portals such as Tripadvisor. Most of the searches are geolocated and involve the location of the user who performs the search to offer him what may interest him near him.

Once you understand this, you can start building a local SEO strategy for WordPress.

1.Keyword research for Local SEO.

If you are not familiar with the world of SEO, you may not know what keyword research is, but you need to understand it well and know the importance of it. You should know that keyword research is an analysis of keywords that starts at the beginning of each project and will be the focus of the content you create to target chosen keywords. This analysis will provide all keywords related to your sector and will help you understand the searches that users make around your brand, product, or service. Also, the interests that your potential clients have and understand what content to create to attract said people to your website and to be able, ultimately, to turn that visit into a purchase or contact information requesting your services.

There are many ways to do keyword research, but when talking about local SEO for WordPress you have to bear in mind that your clients who carry out searches that relate to your services or your products Think about what they are searching for locally about the products and services you provide. Geolocated searches will come into play, as well as the use of patterns such as (where to eat at) + (location), (store of) + (product) + at + (location), (near me), and a very wide variety of searches of this type. 

To carry out keyword research, I recommend these tools:

1. Google Ads Planner ( Keyword planner )

This is one of the tools that is excellent to discover keywords and to get an idea of ​​the search volumes they have. Google offers this data directly, and to access them you simply have to create a Google Ads account. Access to this tool is completely free and anyone can register with their Google account.

2. Autocomplete and Google suggestions.

This method is very simple: you just have to go to the Google search bar and start typing the keywords that interest you. Immediately Google will suggest a series of related words that receive a considerable amount of searches. 

You can also go to the bottom of the results sheet when you search and view related search suggestions that Google provides since they are searches that are carried out frequently and that have a certain relationship with your main search.

Local Google SEO Suggestions

This method will also help understand geolocated searches since if Google is indexing your business, it will offer auto-completed results and geolocated suggestions. If you are located where customers are interested, these suggestions can offer really lucrative keyword opportunities.

3. Keywordtool.io 

This tool takes the autocompletes from Google and presents them to you in a list. You can get a very large number of keywords in a short time and of which you will probably end up using quite a few of them:

Tools for keyword research local SEO: keywordtool.io

It will not give you the search volumes, but it will help you get a good idea of ​​what is being searched for around certain words that may be of interest to your business.

4. Payment tools: Sistrix and Ahrefs

There is a wide range of options in terms of SEO tools, but the ones that you can use in your day-to-day are Sistrix and Ahrefs. Many consider them to be very complete and useful tools for a multitude of SEO tasks.

Although these tools are not indispensable, it is recommended that, if you want to save time in this process, you should invest in one of these tools. 

What do these tools offer us? Above all, the option to analyze your competition, and will also be useful later on. 

With the analysis of your competition you will be able to obtain a complete list of the keywords for which they are positioning with their search volumes: 

Tools for local SEO keyword research: Sistrix

(Sistrix.es)

Tools for local SEO keyword research: Ahrefs

(Ahrefs.com)

Once you have all this data and you have collected a sufficient number of keywords, comes the most important part, and at the same time perhaps the heaviest: cleaning and classifying:

You have to do a good cleaning of all those terms that you do not consider relevant to your sector, those words that carry the brand of the associated competition, or those terms that you are simply not interested in working on.

It is also important that you always search with the terms “near me”, “here”, and other terms that indicate to Google that the result of that search must have a location associated with it. You could also put search patterns such as (location) + (business name), (how to get to) + (business name), (where is it) + (business name), (service offered) + in + (location ).

Try things and with the help of tools and a few searches thinking as a consumer, you will have many keywords that will bring you many customers.

Conclusion:

You have to always think like your own client and try to do the searches that you would do if you need to find your store or your services. Keyword research is a fundamental piece of your project, as it will help you understand how they search for you. You have a wide range of possibilities, some of which I have not mentioned since I believe that with these tools you will be able to have a sufficient amount of data to start working on the next steps of your local SEO project. 

2.Google My Business

If you still do not know this platform, soon it will sound much more to you: Google My Business is a tool or platform launched by Google to make the positioning of local businesses more accessible in the search results sheets offered by this search engine.

This positioning is closely linked to geolocation, in fact, one of the main panels, and by which it is most recognized, is by the panel that shows a map in which it allows users to locate themselves and receive directions on how to get to the place are searching for.

This is the most important point and for which you must register on this platform. Without a tab in Google My Business you will not appear on Google Maps nor will it be shown to us in the maps module of Google search results, nor will you be associated with geolocated searches. You must register on this platform.

To have your file, you simply have to download the Google My Business application or register on the web and fill it in with your data.

But be careful, do it by following these recommendations so that nothing is missing in your local file:

  1. Fill in the name of your business. Here put the name of your business, just that, do not try to enter keywords, since this is not a ranking factor.
  2. Enter the address. If your business has it, in case you work from home or provide a home service without an office or physical premises, enter your home address and check the box that indicates that you provide goods and services, after which will let you hide the particular address you have entered.
  3. Mark the location of your premises on the map. You will get a map with a marker, in which you must place, in case it is not well located, the exact point where your premises are located.
  4. Choose a category for your business. Write a category in which you think your business fits, Google will give you suggestions and you can decide which one best suits your type of business. If you have questions about the category, you can go to the Google My Business page of a competitor of yours and take a look at the category they have chosen.
  5. Add your phone and your website. Although it is optional, I highly recommend it, since the call button of the Google My Business tab produces a large number of conversions, just like the “visit website” button attracts a lot of traffic to your website.

After completing these steps, all that remains is to wait for verification from Google, which can be through a letter sent to your address or a call, among other methods.

Once verified, there are a few things you can continue to do to optimize your listing: 

  • Add photos, and try to describe them as best as possible in their caption.
  • Use more categories related to your sector.
  • Add your schedules.
  • Include descriptions of the services you offer.
  • Make publications with the offers that you have active and with all those things relevant to your business.

Some recommendations for maintaining your Google My Business listing:

  • Reviews: Getting good reviews is key to the positioning of your business listing, and this is key. My recommendation: get them organically whenever you can, ask your customers to leave you a little comment, believe me it’s worth it.
  • Comments: The comments linked to the reviews that customers will leave you will not always be good, and the more volume of customers you have referred by Google, the more possibility you have of negative comments. It is very important that you respond to negative comments (as well as positive ones) in an appropriate, professional way and that you take care of your reputation, since the way in which the customer is treated is increasingly important, and a bad response to a negative comment can be seen by thousands of people who are interested in what you offer.
  • Posts: Create Google My Business posts to keep your customers up to date. These publications do not have to be very long, they can take up not much more than a tweet, and they will be very useful to refresh your information, communicate offers, news, curiosities or publish some content that can help you attract traffic in an organic, easy way and free.
  • Photos: Upload photos. This is something that attracts a lot of traffic to your Google listing. Of course, put the appropriate titles to the photos so that Google can understand well what that photo is about and can show them to all those who are interested in what is related to the photo. In the statistics of your My Business file you will also see the comparison between the photos that you have and those that your competition has, which will tell you roughly where the shots are going.

With this done, you can continue doing local SEO.

3. Web: architecture and SEO on page.

This section is very important, since a well-structured web is a very strong basis for an SEO strategy, whether local or not, to work properly and have optimal results.

If you have done the keyword research well, you will have been able to identify large categories in which you can divide your website and in which your visitors will navigate.

You have to be clear that each page must have unique and original content. This is very very important since Google will not position your website well if its content is copied or duplicated, so make sure that all the pages of your website will follow this rule.

Once you have your website ready, with the correct architecture, and with the content that you have decided to attack to position your written website, it is time to implement SEO on-page.

The SEO on-page is a pretty broad topic, and here try to explain the basics so that, without going crazy, get your website that Google understands the business without any problems:

  1. Contact information. Add on all pages (I recommend the footer) the contact information of the store: telephone, address and hours. If you have not done it already, do it as soon as possible, because this is something that users are used to finding when you enter a business website and it is much sought after information. It also helps Google understand where your business is located.
  2. Response codes. This is another long and somewhat more technical topic, but in short, what you have to do is try to make sure that your web page only has 200 response codes, and that those 4xx are solved since they are errors, and that the redirects with 3xx codes do not exist, or if they exist that it is for a reason that you control or are aware of.

If you are not the webmaster of the page, I recommend that you speak with the person in charge of this so that they can solve it and inform you of those response codes that should not be there.

  1. Structured data: the rich text fragments or schema will help us to provide Google with a series of very relevant data thanks to which it will be able to show more information about your page in its SERP (Google results page), which will directly influence the number of clicks made on our link. This is extremely important, and whenever possible, it is highly recommended to do this markup. Since it is something quite technical, I leave the link to the Google website for text marking, and the code that this tool generates will be the ideal one to implement on each page. You can pass this on to the person in charge of your website to implement it: https://www.Google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/u/0/?hl=es .

These tips are brief and could be extended further since on-page SEO is an extensive and technical task, but speaking of local SEO I would like to delve more into other parts.

Your product and service files must be updated and with adequate information to the keyword research that you did previously, but above all that it is useful information for the user who is looking for your products or services. All those pages that are focused on the arrival of visitors either through paid advertising, a Google My Business post, a link in the social network, or any type of direct link, must be fully optimized for the main objective with which you link it, whether it is conversion, information, or creating a brand, the contents must be appropriate, they must not present loading problems or anything that may affect the user experience.

When you create on your website those pages destined to appear in the geolocated results, we must also ensure that they are optimized and that the content that the user finds once they click on your page allows them to stay because we offer them what they are looking for.

4. Vertical portals.

As I mentioned in the introduction, when you search on Google whose results sheet points to a local business, you mainly search Google, Google Maps and vertical portals such as Tripadvisor, which are gaining strength every day and even the results sheets themselves from Google recommend us directly:

Vertical portals: local SEO

At a strategic level, it is essential to identify if our sector has portals such as Tripadvisor or El Tenedor to sign up for them and have that source of traffic open to potential customers who do a direct search within these platforms.

As in Google My Business, these platforms require maintenance quite similar to that of Google tokens.

Likewise, if you have an active profile and are climbing positions with a very basic SEO in these portals (good description, updated data, interaction with customers through comments and good reviews …) you can appear well positioned in Google when searches are made in Google that involve this platform.

The basic idea is very simple: let’s take advantage of the strength of these sites thanks to the great teams behind them, these platforms work highly in your favor.

5. Link building for local SEO.

Link building, both in local SEO and SEO in general, is extremely important. It is Google’s way of measuring the authority of your site, and it is a key indicator for the positioning of your site.

In the case of local SEO, the link building should be a little more focused on the local terrain, and the links that you get should serve, not only to acquire the authority of the domain that links us but also to attract customers organically, so you must link sites on a theme related to your sector. 

To get links you can search those portals, blogs, businesses, and influencers that have a direct or indirect relationship (that sell or promote complementary products or services to those you have), contact them, and propose a collaboration in exchange for a post on your blog, a mention of your site, or anything that helps us attract customers and that, ideally, link us to your website to transfer that authority that will serve us so well. You will not always be able to get these mentions and links for free, so we will have to negotiate many times that you offer in exchange for a said mention. This is an expense that you must assume and that it is highly recommended to do.

You can also analyze the links that your competitors have. The links that the competition has can be of many types, and they may link sites that for you do not make sense or are according to your business, so you will have to clean up and stay with those sites that may be useful to you. 

To outperform your competitors, you must not limit yourselves to imitating what they are doing well, but you must also improve them and get to do what they have not yet considered doing.

Remember that link building is an SEO strategy that must be carried out with care, and if Google understands that the links are not being obtained with an apparent “naturalness”, it may penalize you, so once you have listed the sites that interest you to get links, what I recommend is that you contact the sites in question, ask or try to get the links in a “natural” way (contacting the webmaster or the owner of the blog and asking if they could publish an article or refer you in any way that considers) and that when you know which sites are arranged, distribute in a logical and seemingly natural way compared to Google, the dates on which the links to your site will be published, always going from less to more.

There are link buying and selling portals, but honestly, I don’t recommend them very much. Keep in mind that you are talking about your business, and Google is perfectly capable of knowing which blogs and which websites are selling their links through portals destined for this business and since it goes against its guidelines, if at any time it decides to start penalizing those sites that receive purchased links, your business will be harmed.

If you search, you will probably find someone who recommends you go to link portals for yours, but these recommendations will come mainly from people who are dedicated to niches, and who blog to monetize them, and that their business is not based on a single page Web. Making use of this strategy will make your website, if it meets the technical requirements, rise quickly (not always) in Google positions, but it can also lead to a future penalty that will bring you headaches and a costly and difficult comeback.

Final conclusions and recommendations.

With all this, you have already reached the end of the 5 keys to local SEO, and I only have to make a couple of recommendations that you should take into account so that your SEO strategy is good and brings you good results.

Raise a strategy and try to attack the root of things: As I have commented throughout the post, by carrying out these 5 points you are attacking the base of local searches of users in the different means they have and those that are most used: Google, Google Maps and vertical portals. If you plan your strategies thinking of having a presence where your potential clients can look for you, you will have a lot of gains. Each sector is different and although these three sites are the most used, it does not mean that due to the nature of your sector you can or need to have a presence in other types of sites, in another map service provider such as Apple Maps, or any other site that you come to understand as necessary. Analyze your sector, adapt the strategies and carry them out.

Don’t look for speed. SEO is an effective strategy, but it is linked to the medium / long term, and wanting to run in search of results can sometimes mean bad practices that Google could potentially detect and destroy your work, money and your source of income and the of all those who depend on it (to the extent that a large part of your income comes from referred internet customers).

Buy reviews? It is not something that I advise, they should be reviews and natural evaluations of the result of a marketing strategy. As mentioned before, this can be implemented by simply asking after purchase that the customer leave you a review. You can also promote it with a direct discount in the store, or with various actions that lead your customers to leave a positive evaluation that helps Google to enhance the position of your business listing.

Assess the time/benefit ratio. This is something that you have to apply to everything, not just SEO. If you are in charge of your entire business, you may not have time to dedicate to all these actions that have to be implemented so that your business stands out, and although it will bring you a very large benefit in the long term, it is possible that You currently do not have the necessary time, so my recommendation is that you value well the possibility of entrusting this task to specialists who dedicate themselves to it since you will save time, efforts and will be actions taken from a broader experience.

We encourage you to take a look at the rest of the blog and the local SEO services that we offer at Marketing Disty.

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