How to increase traffic to your WordPress website using Local SEO

There are two ways to get traffic from search engines. Arguably the best way is to get your WordPress site ranked high using SEO, and the second way is to place paid ads, which can become very costly over time.

These techniques result in what is referred to as “Organic Traffic” and “Paid Traffic.”

Organic Traffic vs. Paid Traffic

Organic Traffic is traffic directed to a site from “unpaid” sources such as search engines, plays a significant role in the site’s success in driving business. It is estimated that organic traffic represents up to two-thirds of a website’s total traffic. The bulk of that organic traffic is driven by Google, followed by Bing and Yahoo and several other smaller search engines. Nine out of every ten online purchasers reach a site organically. 

Paid traffic, otherwise known as Ads, is just what the name implies. They are paid ads that are typically placed on top of organic results. While providing some value, paid traffic is primarily a short-term boost that requires an ongoing financial commitment. The returns dry up quickly when the budget runs out, and at the end of the day, paid search provides less overall value and no significant conversion rate. Statistically, nearly 80% of search engine users ignore paid ads, and less than 11% of online purchasers reach a site through paid search ads.

Why organic traffic from SEO wins over paid traffic

With SEO, your WordPress site will start to receive more and more organic traffic without the cost of ads. Implementing a thorough SEO plan may take some time, but the results will be worth it in the long run, and your improved permanent ranking will give the site an edge against competitors.

How to optimize your pages for Search Engine Placement

The tips below will help you improve your WordPress site by using organic techniques to help your quality content stand out and increase the number of actual visits from real humans. 

Step 1: Install and Use a WordPress SEO Plugin 

WordPress SEO Plugins add many important optimization features to the already good SEO tools provided by WordPress. Plugins such as Yoast SEO allow you to have full control over what Google and Bing see, and premium versions of SEO Plugins will analyze your keywords and text and provide instant feedback.

Related: How to Convert the Yoast SEO FAQ Block into an Accordion

Step 2: Use a Focus Keyword

Speechwriters will tell you that the best approach to writing an effective speech begins by determining what you want your audience to walk away from remembering and condense it into a few memorable words. The same is true with WordPress SEO, and Plugins such as Yoast SEO can help you tell visitors and search engines what they can expect from the web page using concise terms.

Google and other search engines are computer algorithms, so they must follow a set of steps to accomplish their task. You can help direct that output by always using focus keywords or focus keyphrases that describe your page or post the best. Focus keywords (not to be confused with meta keywords) are the search terms you want to rank for and can be considered a name tag for the web page.

Step 3: Local Ranking Factors

All organic traffic is good, but optimizing your local business WordPress site for local search is even better. In the quest for good rankings where quality content, SSL security, and page speed become the focus – local and mobile searches are often overlooked, but they shouldn’t be. 

  • Statistically, 46% of all Google searches are local
  • 58% of searches come from mobile
  • Of the top local ranking factors, “On-Page Signals” is the second most influential and represents 24% of the local ranking factor. 

This means that on-page signals, which include the presence of NAP (name, address, phone), the slug (the file name part of the URL), body text, and keywords, represent a large part of the local ranking factor and should not be ignored. 

To ensure your WordPress site is well-ranked in local searches, take the following steps:

  1. Publish your business address and phone number on every page of your site. This can also be done with tools such as a local business widget to ensure your business address and phone number are presented on each page. 
  2. Ensure the contact page is optimized with as much detailed information as possible, including business hours, directions, maps, and contact information.
  3. Encourage customers to leave reviews. Google understands the importance of reviews and will recognize them when ranking your site. Of course, the longer and more detailed the review is, the more weight it will likely carry with the search engine. But all positive reviews will help.
  4. Use HTTPS. Adding the “S” means that your site incorporates SSL (Secure Layers Socket) encryption, which prevents hackers from intercepting your data. The search engines recognize this increased security level, and the site is rewarded with a better ranking for local searches. One note of caution, though: when changing an existing site to HTTPS, link the local directories to the new address.

The takeaway

While search engines change their algorithms hundreds of times a year, quality content coupled with proper SEO techniques will go a long way in helping your WordPress site achieve a better ranking in the search engines and will improve your organic traffic over the long term. 

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