Local businesses need to optimize their website to appear whenever someone searches for their town. What does that mean for your website and content? In this post, I’ll try to consolidate a lot of SEO knowledge and pick out the exact tips to apply for a local small business. Sometimes even I have a hard time understanding all the SEO tips out on the internet, so I want to make this easy to understand for everyone. Here we go…
Adding Location to Page Titles
These next three things are super easy if you install the Yoast SEO plugin on wordpress.org.
You may not know this, but the title of your blog post/ page that shows up on the actual page can be different from what google reads as the page title. That’s where the box below comes in. Yoast shows what your post will look like in google search results. You want to maximize this space!
In this first example, Yoast auto-filled my actual blog post title, but it tells me that it could be a little longer. I’m going to add more detail to my post, because it’s not based for location – but you should add your town, county, or state information.
Having your keyword in the URL is also crucial for google search results. This is why so many people buy URLs with the town name in them or something. However, you can achieve the same result with your “slug.”
Make sure your keyword is in the slug for your page! This might mean putting the town name like yoururlhere/new-jersey-floral-services. I would say the keyword is most important in this slot, even over the location. Having this combined with good location SEO tactics throughout your site will ensure that it appears in search results.
I’m pretty happy with the slug for my blog post, so I’m not going to change it. WordPress and Yoast make the change super easy. Just make sure that you update any links to that page or set up redirects if you change old content.
DO NOT USE NUMBERS FOR YOUR SLUG. This doesn’t help you at all. Sometimes wordpress defaults to the post/### model, so please change that.
This is a fun one. In my Yoast default example, you can see that the meta text was cut off. You can change this to include your location and a full sentence that will help searchers know more about the content on your page.
Yoast gives the green light that everything fits in the box and looks great!
I’m not sure that I’ve found other articles that back this up, but it makes sense logically. Add your location to the footer of your website (see cafepierrot.com and wilsonseptic.com for examples).
When I started using Google’s Search Console and Data Highlighter, I could only highlight information on the homepage. The Address and phone number were required to highlight as a local business, and that information was not listed on the home page. Adding it to the footer solved this problem without throwing off the design of the home page too much.
This also helps your clients because the footer will be on every page they visit, and they’ll always be able to find your location and contact info quickly.
Don’t worry – I’ll write a whole post on Google Search Console soon.
I keep writing on this topic because it’s so important. Here’s a few other posts to read to help understand this topic.