Local SEO by Yoast

Local SEO made easy!

Local SEO made easy!

March 14th, 2013 – 68 Comments

Local SEO by YoastWe’ve been hard at work here at Yoast.com, together with our good friend Arjan Snaterse, to complete the delivery of our next baby: the Local SEO plugin, which is, just like our Video SEO plugin, an extension to the WordPress SEO plugin. The Local SEO makes creating geo sitemaps and KML files a breeze, while also allowing easy embedding of schema.org annotated info into your pages.

Just yesterday, during SMX West, Duane Forrester of Bing said:

He’s right. We found out the hard way: Schema.org is tough to implement right. That’s why you should have us do it for you, as this plugin takes all the pain away and makes it as easy as embedding a shortcode.

In fact, I’ll tell you how we learned the hard way. We were ready to start selling this plugin almost a month ago, and then, without any notice, schema.org was updated. It added in another 80+ tags for local business… Sending us back to development.

To see all the powerful widgets and shortcodes this plugin has, check out the how-to. It allows you to easily set up a custom post type for locations too, and because we know you might have a lot of locations, we’ve also added a CSV import capability for those locations.

We’re very proud of this plugin, we hope you like it too! Go check it out now.

68 Responses to Local SEO made easy!

  1. Stride Pest Control
    By Stride Pest Control on 14 March, 2013

    A quick question. If I am a service based business that goes to customers locations but works out of one central hub I would just want one location right? Or would it be beneficial for me to enable multiple locations so I can make a landing page for each city/community I service? Does that make sense?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 14 March, 2013


      you’d want to set up what’s called a “service area”, but that’s not something you do in the plugin but rather in your Google+ Business page. On your site, you’d have only one location indeed.

      • Cindy
        By Cindy on 15 March, 2013

        Thanks Joost I am off to check this plugin out. I check your blog from time to time when I can understand what’s going on. Found you by accident when you were talking about DMOZ some time ago (hate them) Anyhow, I’m still at 2.0 speed with my blog and SEO and networking but many times I can easiiy understand what you are saying.. Thanks for that.

      • Stride Pest Control
        By Stride Pest Control on 15 March, 2013

        Thanks very much. Another question if it’s okay…I understand if I work out of my home and don’t want to share this address for privacy reasons I should choose to “hide my address” on google local listings and other citation sites. Will my local SEO ranking also suffer tremendously if I don’t like my address on my own website? Is it okay to just list my business name and phone rather than my full NAP and still get good rankings?

        • Spencer Belkofer
          By Spencer Belkofer on 21 March, 2013

          I’ll hop in an answer this one if it’s alright.

          You’re ability to rank will very likely be hindered by not including/utilizing a full NAP (both on your site and when building citations) UNLESS your competitors are doing the same thing.

          From your question, I think you already know that complete & consistent NAP’s are one of the primary ways local businesses can build trust with Google.

          That being said, it’s still possible to rank for your local terms. Even if your competitors are utilizing complete. NAPs. You’ll just be trying to do so with one arm tied behind your back.

          It’s not you against Google. It’s you against whoever is outranking you.

          Take a look at the companies ranking for your desired keywords (both in your area and more competitive areas). How many of them aren’t using a full address in G+ Local? What about on their website?

          Then…you’ll answer your own question.

          P.S. The timing on the local SEO plugin couldn’t be better. I’ll be purchasing it ASAP. Schema is a huge pain.

          Or should I say, “was a huge pain”…

  2. Stefano
    By Stefano on 14 March, 2013

    Is it possible to have a custom messages in different languages? (“show route” & “your location”).

    will the address on map be displayed in the local or international version (for istance i’ll see Italy or Italia on the map?)

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 14 March, 2013

      Hey Stefano,

      we’ll be opening up the plugin for translation on http://translate.yoast.com/ tomorrow. For every complete translation we’ll give away a single site license :)

  3. Stefano
    By Stefano on 14 March, 2013

    Just one more question. This plugin is supposed to help ranking in local results and maps, not in “organic” results, is this correct?

    • Arjan Snaterse
      By Arjan Snaterse on 14 March, 2013

      Well, actually both of them.. It also affects organic search, as long a “local pack” is showed.

  4. Ronald
    By Ronald on 14 March, 2013

    Can you use the plugin for outlets / dealers that you don’t own, but sell your products?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 15 March, 2013

      Well you could set it all up, whether Google would honor that, I can’t tell you…

  5. dnoa
    By dnoa on 14 March, 2013

    Quick question … if this plugin is released under the GPL, how can you charge per site?

    Under the GPL you can charge for support based on the number of sites, but not usage.

    Is there clear licensing information available for this plugin?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 14 March, 2013

      The license fee covers support & upgrades for x number of sites, based on your license. The plugin won’t activate on more than that, but if you feel you should, you could hack it to make it work, although upgrades still wouldn’t work. The code is not obfuscated.

      • dnoa
        By dnoa on 14 March, 2013

        So, it released under the GPL or not?

        I looked hard but couldn’t find any clear licensing information available for this plugin.

        • Joost de Valk
          By Joost de Valk on 14 March, 2013

          Everything we do is GPL.

          • dnoa
            By dnoa on 14 March, 2013

            To be honest, this license fee seems to come very close to being non-GPL.

            Technically you provide the freedom of the GPL, but you also seem to make people make through a lot of hoops to get them.

            I hope that:
            1) This type of license fee doesn’t become more widely adopted.
            2) You add a License page to this site, clarifying the details of your products’ license.

          • Joost de Valk
            By Joost de Valk on 14 March, 2013

            Your opinion is noted, but it works well for us and our clients, so I see no reason to change it. What we do is valid within the terms of the GPL.

  6. Michael Griffin
    By Michael Griffin on 14 March, 2013

    Wow, Yoast keeps getting better! Thanks for continuing to improve on an already-great SEO plugin.
    You guys rock!

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 14 March, 2013

      Thanks Michael, appreciate it :)

  7. The Frosty
    By The Frosty on 14 March, 2013

    This is great news! I was about to start work for a local tattoo shop and wanted to do the best local SEO and markup possible.

    If it’s as good as your Video SEO plugin I’ll be thrilled.


  8. Bas Janssen
    By Bas Janssen on 14 March, 2013

    Awesome, been waiting for this!

  9. Comparativa de Bancos
    By Comparativa de Bancos on 14 March, 2013

    Hello Joost,

    what if I have a list of Companies and their address. Like some kind of yellow pages.

    Could I use the plugin also for that or it is focused just on stablishing the address of the “website owner” it is used?

    thanks and regards

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 14 March, 2013

      Hey, yeah you could do that, but the ranking effect would be negligible I think.

  10. Mark
    By Mark on 14 March, 2013

    Great news. I will hopefully be able to use it for my directory, this should really make life easy. Thanks!

  11. eMagic
    By eMagic on 14 March, 2013

    This is great news Yoast. The whole schema.org thing can definitely be confusing but rich snippets are so important now days and a must for any business online. Thanks for making the whole process a breeze. Also loving how easy Google authorship is to setup through your WordPress SEO plugin. Another confusing area for many folks.

  12. Adewale
    By Adewale on 15 March, 2013

    Thanks for this add on, how much of an asset is the local seo plugin for a blog site that publishes local news?

  13. Simon James
    By Simon James on 15 March, 2013

    It sounds great Joost & Arjan.

    But just to clarify; if I have a corporate website and separate web pages for local offices, will this help the local offices rank better?

    Also, is there any clash between having both the original seo plugin installed, for the corporate landing pages, and the local plugin for the local pages?

    Taken one step further, would there be any cumulative benefit (or clash) in having all 3 seo plugins (including Video SEO) installed?

    Many thanks

    • Arjan Snaterse
      By Arjan Snaterse on 15 March, 2013

      I think this plugin suits perfect for your website. It is very important that you have separated pages for each office.

      However, at this moment there is no “import/transfer” system which imports your current locations, but what you can do is the following:

      Just create new locations via the plugin, but don’t show or link to them them on the website (and disable the wpseo-locations CPT in the XML sitemap) . After that you can just place the shortcodes (with the ID of the new location) in your current pages.

  14. Kabe
    By Kabe on 15 March, 2013

    I’ll wait for the launch of its

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 15 March, 2013

      Ehm, so.. It IS launched ;)

  15. Adewale
    By Adewale on 15 March, 2013

    I have to use this plugin for my News site but i have to be sure it works great with a news site too or it only works with business site. Thannks

    • Arjan Snaterse
      By Arjan Snaterse on 16 March, 2013

      This plugin is indeed more for businesses. I don’t think it will benefit a lot for your local news.

  16. Hans Koch
    By Hans Koch on 16 March, 2013

    Has the Agency license been tested in multi-site ?

  17. Lisa
    By Lisa on 16 March, 2013

    Google notes they no longer supports the Geo extension to the Sitemap protocol and recommend you include the KML file locations in a regular Web Sitemap, so I’m a bit curious why you’d note geo sitemap generation in the list of features for the local plugin extension.

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 16 March, 2013

      It’s actually a plain sitemap we include in the index sitemap from the core SEO plugin that links straight to the KML file :-)

      • Arjan Snaterse
        By Arjan Snaterse on 16 March, 2013

        Indeed, the sitemap is still needed to point Google to he KML file. Only the geo identifier is no longer supported/needed, but you still need the sitemap for the KML file

  18. Elliot
    By Elliot on 16 March, 2013


    Thanks Yoast you make me look like an internet super hero once again!


  19. Josh M
    By Josh M on 16 March, 2013

    Hey Yoast,
    awesome stuff! I have been a fan of your SEO plugin and the content you provide for several year. Thanks for all you do to give back to the community.
    Question for you on the paid plugins. I don’t see anywhere that indicates what the fee covers. I.e. is it 69.00 per year or a flat one time fee of 69.00?
    Thanks! Keep up the good work.


    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 16 March, 2013

      One time fee!

      • Josh M
        By Josh M on 17 March, 2013

        Totally Awesome! Thanks for quick response!

  20. VKool
    By VKool on 17 March, 2013

    Hi Yoast,

    Would local seo pluging be helpful for affiliate websites? I’m thinking of getting this plugin for one of my client’s website but I also wonder if this plugin helpful for some of my other affiliate/review websites. Please let me know so I can decide which license I should get. Thanks

    • Arjan Snaterse
      By Arjan Snaterse on 18 March, 2013

      Ranking for local terms and/or Google Maps will only work when you also have a (verified) Places page in Google+. And it may be hard for an affiliate site to get those :)

  21. Chris Prescott
    By Chris Prescott on 17 March, 2013

    Great plugin Yoast! Using for all my client’s sites that pertain to any given city!

  22. Stefan
    By Stefan on 17 March, 2013

    Great plugin – thank you!

  23. Roye Okupe
    By Roye Okupe on 18 March, 2013

    Wow, this seems promising, might need to give this a try. Love your plugins!

  24. Neil
    By Neil on 18 March, 2013

    Sorry if this is an obvious question but do you have to display the widgets and/or shortcodes on the site to gain the local SEO benefit or is simply entering the location details sufficient for that purpose?

    • Arjan Snaterse
      By Arjan Snaterse on 18 March, 2013

      Yep, you have to display the widget and/or shortcodes, otherwise no data will be shown in your theme, since there are no prefabbed theme templates or so.

      One note: the address shortcode/widget is required for the locations data. Opening hours and/or the map are optional (but very handy for your visitors :) )

      • Neil
        By Neil on 18 March, 2013

        OK thanks Arjan for the quick response!

  25. Court-Hampton Painting Inc.
    By Court-Hampton Painting Inc. on 18 March, 2013

    I post a lot from my Android WordPress app. It seems to have
    a geotag feature. Would this conflict with your plugin or should I turn that feature off to use your plugin?

  26. Optimator
    By Optimator on 19 March, 2013

    Great plugin, saves me a lot of time! However, I’ve got a little performance issue: If I activate the “Line break removal” in “JS minify settings” in “W3 Total Cache”, the maps are not showing in front end.

    Minor problem, but you know how it is….

    Is it something you’ll look into?

  27. Phil
    By Phil on 20 March, 2013

    Getting the dev license for my clients now, though for my own business I would be surprised if we got any additional search traffic, being in a less populated area but servicing nationally.

  28. Bryan Gauthier
    By Bryan Gauthier on 20 March, 2013

    Wow great! Thanks yoast.com for another SEO plugin that you want to introduce to us. I know it will really help SEO consultants in doing their job.

  29. Ian Anderson Gray
    By Ian Anderson Gray on 21 March, 2013

    Thanks Joost for another great plugin. Really exciting you’re adding some more addons to the SEO plugin. As a small web agency I think we’d be interested in purchasing this and the video one and possibly other plugins you do in future for unlimited websites. Would you consider doing bundles so that we could purchase a number of your premium plugins at one go at a slightly lower price?
    Also, I wondered about the possibility of a premium plugin that removed the adverts for your services. Completely understand why you want to advertise your services on the free plugin, but for those of us who want to install your SEO plugin on clients’ websites who also offer similar optimisation services you can understand why there might be a conflict there! Would you consider a kind of “white label” plugin that would remove these ads and remove the HTML comments. I’m personally very happy for the plugin to say “by Yoast” it’s just the ads and comments I’d like to remove.

    Thanks again for producing more WordPress awesomeness!

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 21 March, 2013

      Removing the ads is definitely an option, and when our next plugin is released we’ll start doing bundles.

      • Ian Anderson Gray
        By Ian Anderson Gray on 21 March, 2013

        Ooh, that’s exciting- what’s the next plugin (or is that top secret information you’d have to kill me over)? Great news on possibility of removing ads. If we could have the option to remove the “Yoast WordPress SEO plugin” HTML comment code too I’d be super happy. I’m a complete clean code fanatic. Yes, I know, I probably need help…. ;-)

        • Joost de Valk
          By Joost de Valk on 21 March, 2013

          That’s actually impossible, believe it or not, that comment bit is used in the code to make the title rewriting work :)

          • Ian Anderson Gray
            By Ian Anderson Gray on 21 March, 2013

            OK, I believe you. It’s not that important. Output buffering may make it possible but I don’t really want to go down that route. Thanks!

  30. Stephen
    By Stephen on 21 March, 2013

    I added the Google + code in Titles&Metas > Home > Google Publisher Page, and Google Plus keeps saying “check again” when I try to verify. How do i get around it?

  31. Md Rafiqul Islam
    By Md Rafiqul Islam on 24 March, 2013

    Dear Sir!
    I have used your this plugin and I think- I will success soon on search engine using your plugin. I hope- It will work for Local SEO too.


  32. David Taylor
    By David Taylor on 25 March, 2013

    Excellent addition to the plugin suite. Really easy to implement, can’t wait for the next one!

  33. Andrew Middleton
    By Andrew Middleton on 31 March, 2013

    I’ve been reading your articles for quite some time now, let me just say that you always deliver awesome content for your readers…

    Always impressed.

    Thank you again

  34. Mike Sigers
    By Mike Sigers on 1 April, 2013

    Love the plugin, but wondering why you made it a Custom Post Type, rather than a Page.

    Most Locations pages on any website never change, once created, so they would seem to be oriented towards being a Page rather than a Post.

    But, you may know something I don’t know, so I’m asking, why’d you make these output as a Post ;-)

    Also, will you, can you add any more Business types to the dropdown menu?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 1 April, 2013

      Hi Mike,

      if you only have one contact address, you can just enter that in the settings and use the shortcodes on your contact page. The CPT is for when you have multiple locations, we’d need to store those somewhere and be able to do things with them we don’t want to do with all pages, which is why we chose the CPT route.

      The business types dropdown consists of all the schema.org business types, we will only add more when schema.org adds more…

      • Mike Sigers
        By Mike Sigers on 1 April, 2013

        Thanks for the explanation Yoast!

        We have 9 locations, so we’ll just replace our locations pages with these CPT’s and be done with it

        And thanks for the scehma.org info. I’ll check into that a bit more.

        As always, your plugins rawk and I can’t wait to see the themes you conjure up!

  35. Ice Vending Machines
    By Ice Vending Machines on 8 April, 2013


    Sorry if you already answered this, but does your plugin help with rich snippets? I see lots of new sites with the snippets below their SERP page that has like “contacts” or “services” highlighted…this seems like it would be great for conversions.


  36. Doug Shortt
    By Doug Shortt on 11 April, 2013

    Just wondering if you know if it’s possible to rank a video in Google local search results. I’ve never seen one.

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