Why Local SEO?
Conservatively, as many as 20 percent of searches on Google are for local information. But that number is likely much higher–especially for searches performed on mobile devices, which are sky-rocketing. If you’re new to local search, read GetListed’s Local SEO Articles and Advice. Also, don’t miss Mike Ramsey at Lawyernomics. If you’re looking for Local SEO tools, head to Whitespark. Also, check out Jake’s local citation list.
If your site is built on WordPress (and it probably should be), you should get to know Joost de Valk (“Yoast”). He’s the one who brought us the WordPress SEO plugin (which you should probably also be using). But don’t take my word for it, go check out the reviews. Yoast exists at the intersection of WordPress and search engines. Hypothetically, if words like wizard, ninja, or guru could be appropriately applied, they would apply to Yoast’s knowledge of WordPress and technical SEO.
The Local SEO Plugin
The Local SEO Plugin makes creating geo sitemaps and KML files a breeze. (It’s actually a plain sitemap they include in the index sitemap from the core SEO plugin that links straight to the KML file, since Google no longer supports Geo extensions in the Sitemap protocol). It also allows easy embedding of schema.org annotated info into your pages.
The plugin is currently available under three license options:
- Personal – single site – $69.00
- Professional – up to 5 sites – $129.00
- Agency – unlimited – $249.00
Yoast also provides an easy-to-follow how-to for installation and configuration.
If you’re tech-savvy, or know someone who is, you can implement everything that Yoast’s local plugin does. However, it’s probably going to cost you a lot more and it’s likely there will be mistakes (schema implementation, etc). For seventy bucks, you can get all this important local “stuff” added to your site.
And if you want to appear locally, this “stuff” matters.
What If I Don’t Use WordPress?
Of course, if your site isn’t on WordPress, you won’t be able to use this, or any other, WordPress plugin. As I’ve written before, WordPress is a great CMS for building law firm websites and legal blogs. If you’re looking to get online for the first time, WordPress should be on your short-list. From theme installation to extending functionality via plugins, WordPress is likely to prevent and resolve a lot of technical web headaches. If you already have a site and it’s not currently on WordPress, you can usually hire an experienced developer to migrate your existing site for a couple hundred or thousand bucks (depending on scale and scope).