Yoast Local SEO for WordPress Plugin Review

Share on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

We love working with local businesses here at Top Draw. Online marketing can be very rewarding for local companies and we’re always interested in new tools for the job.

We’re big fans of Yoast, and have been using their flagship SEO for WordPress Plugin for a good while now, both on client sites and our own site, to make quick work of customizing meta tags, generating sitemaps, and so on. It’s awesome, and it’s free. Also, you gotta love their adorable cartoon mascots.

We were very excited to hear about the release of their new add-on to this plugin, Local SEO for WordPress. So we grabbed our copy right away and wanted to share our thoughts about it.

What it does

Simple. It marks up your contact page the way a professional SEO would, and the way search engines want to read it. The features include:

  • KML File and Geo Sitemap generation
  • Address output in Schema.org format
  • Showing opening hours (with Schema.org output)
  • Showing Google maps, including a routeplanner
  • Support for multiple locations
  • CSV upload for multiple locations

Putting it to use

It’s a breeze to implement, and there’s very little setup required. Install the plugin, activate your license, input your business’ information, and pop the shortcode into your contact page(s).

local-seo-options

It will do all the markup for you, create a geositemap and KML file (especially useful with multiple locations), and even submit them to Google.

It just used our site’s existing styles, so it looked nice and shiny in action. You can see it here. The route planner is also pretty slick.

A couple tiny niggles

I had one small issue during setup, which was that the license key wasn’t working. A quick look at their support forum  was all I needed though, and I was up and running in minutes.

We also noticed that the link from our company name in the embedded map was linking to a funny url. Very minor issue, but I got a reply within 24 hrs. from Joost himself saying that they noticed the issue too and would be pushing out an update to fix it immediately.

The only other thing I wasn’t sure about was the absence of an email field. Mr. de Valk left a comment on this post and has told me he will be adding this feature in the next release!

Cost and value

This one’s not free – but it is very reasonably priced:

  • Personal – Single Site – $69.00
  • Professional – Up to 5 Sites – $129.00
  • Agency – Unlimited – $249.00

For us, a couple hundred dollars for unlimited use on a plugin that saves us time is a no-brainer. I think for personal use on one site, 70 bucks is easily justified too. Paying anyone to do all the proper markup and implementation that this thing does would cost way more than that.

The professional price point makes sense for them to offer, but it seems like if you were going to use it on multiple sites you’d just go for the agency license and not have to worry about limitations.

No brain melting features, but all in all, a very handy plugin that does exactly what it promises without any bulk. Highly recommended for anyone with a local business, or web designers/SEOs with local clients.

Contact Us
  • Hi Nick,

    thanks for the review! Could you elaborate on “the absence of an email field”? Would love to know what you’d like to see :)

    • My pleasure Joost! Thanks for the awesome plugin :)

      While I’m sure not all businesses want to list their email address along with their other contact info, it would be nice to have that option handy (maybe output after the phone/fax numbers). Just my two cents!

      • Ok, just added it :) It’ll be in the next release.

        • Right on! I’ll update my post to reflect this!

    • Joost, Can you point me in the direction of any information you have published regarding the best way to use the categories you have added to the local seo plugin? Thanks

  • Graham SEO

    Hi Nick

    Thank you for the review of this product. I am going to purchase it today as a real time saver like you say and will benefit my client sites greatly!

    • That’s really the kicker, it doesn’t do anything I couldn’t do manually… but it makes the process much much faster! Good luck!

  • Awesome Review. Thanks a lot Nick to aware about it…. Great work dude..

  • We bought the Agency – Unlimited edition and implemented it on all our clients. Its an awesome plugin for those focused around Local Places Optimization and alikes.

  • Sam

    Does anyone know if this plugin can be used in “directory” style sites? For example, can a user use the local seo section for specific pages or posts within a site? Suppose I have a site highlighting local or regional services providers, can I use this plugin to highlight each service provider on their respective pages or posts?

    • It supports multiple locations and each location you create can be added to a specific page or post via a shortcode, so assuming you’re willing to manually manage listings it should be able to accommodate your needs, yep!

  • Roach Design

    Definitely looking in to grabbing a copy once we have the funds!

  • All of the method is really “It marks up your contact page the way a professional SEO would, and the way search engines want to read it.”, it really helpful post, thanks for posting.

  • My pleasure! Cheers!

  • Thanks Nick, I just set this up for a client, looking forward to see if the address and map widgets, along with locations KML files move the needle on visibility. great review!

    Aaron

  • Sean Vandenberg

    Really looking forward to getting back into the SEO scene a bit more… Thanks, Yoast!

  • I have a client in DC who did a search for Interior Designer Washington, DC. That search showed a list of local businesses and they want their business name added. Were those businesses listed because of Google Places and does the Local SEO plugin summit the location info to Google Places? Basically, would this plugin allow my client to have their business listed when someone searches for Interior Designer Washington, DC?

  • Pingback: Yoast Local SEO for WordPress Plugin Review | Nick Pierno()

  • Just a note that unlimited is no longer available. Only 20 sites max. Still not bad! :)

  • Yoast plugin is best.

  • Tyrone

    niggles?

  • Mikaela N

    Is this worth getting? Does it really help increase where you are ranked locally?

  • Jonas Lundman

    Im kind of expert of GEO location extensions through many complex projects during years, and I hate the hazzle with Google Map API. Each WordPress plugin tries to cover too much. Belive me, Our Agancy have them all, testing each “year” which one to use and is updated with the changes of API:s.

    This year, as of 2017, we switched to Yoast Location plugin. It still has some typical flaws in the javascript section and and anoying that the address widget markup using divs instead of more semantic ones.

    There is not much to see after installing this plugin at the first glance. But it actually “has it all” to be extended futher on to be in use within other projects.

    However here are the reasons why to use this plugin:

    – The output is not attached with stylesheet crap
    – The javascript code of rendering the map is absolute accurate and is handle in the right order
    – No clashes with mulitple insstances of maps on the same page
    – Absolute updated, supported with lates “want Google wants” API
    – install – it works. (Tested in major Themes and combinations with buddypress, Woocommerce, WPML)

    Populate your WordPress benefiths:

    – Adding the option-fileds for neccessary for business Schema and Graphs information in a WP install
    – Intergration with sitemaps, pings and shit.
    – Adding connection between the Author information vs Site information as social media graphs in a seamless way. And its easy to extend with for example LinkedIn contact methods or whatever the Open Graphs needs.
    – No backend clutter (more than YOASTs usally awful colors and advanced metabox), it melts inside the original plugin interface – good for clients to skip learning “new” option GUI:s.
    – Translation, sitemap, lang-checked, canonical-checked ready bla bla, for EACH map instance/ place
    – Providing a “Location” taxonomy structure, means, hook into this plugin for event plugins, calendar and others with 100% SEO optimized output using this “API”. You can use this for any multiple localtion handling with correct address mapping.
    – Slugs are changeble – no clashes with “Event” or “Location” post types.
    – All the fields for AMP versions, Schema JSON extensions are there.
    – Combine the “Default images” settings with the original plugin, and throw all other social plugins fill-out-another-company-field-or-upload-default-image-here-as-well away.
    – Almost well dev-documented, and very well documented for client usage

    Wishlist:
    – Filter applied to javascript, for example choose by hook DISTANCE by walking instead of hardcoded “DRIVING” etc etc
    – Populate the map object into the carrier object and make all maps accessible thorugh external manipulation of each map.

    What I would do:
    Make a simulated page of all Google rendering localtion methods.

    Negative
    I dont think the price is right. They would get rid of all competions with a smarter sale. And, REMEMBER, you have to pay for Google services as well if you have a lot of visitors.