SEO Features in SmallBiz WordPress Theme

by on February 28, 2010 · 39 comments

Local SEO features are built into the SmallBiz WordPress Theme to provide a solid foundation for great local search results.

Watch the video for a short tour:

I’ve worked with hundreds of small businesses to help them build a successful web presence, and designed this theme based on my experience working with them. We’re continuing to add more and more out-of-the-box SEO features in each new version.

SEO Features

Here are a few of the SEO features built-in to the latest version of the SmallBiz theme:

  • Business Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) on each page
  • Customize HTML Title tag, Meta Description and Meta Keywords for each page or post
  • hCard Microformats built-in.
  • Areas served for nearby cities and neighborhoods (in footer)
  • ALT image text
  • Map and directions page, with driving directions

With the addition of the SEO Details panel in SmallBiz v1.6, now you can SEO your WordPress website without installing any additional plugins!

SEO Details and Screen Shots

SmallBiz WordPress Theme SEO screen shotThis screenshot of the home page outlines some of the visible features, including the business name, address and phone number in the header, ALT text for images, H2 header tags for titles, and areas served text in the footer.

SmallBiz WordPress Theme - SEO Details PanelThe SEO Details panel is automatically added to the editing screen for every WordPress Post and Page. You can override your HTML Title, Meta Description and Meta Keywords on a page-by-page basis, or take the defaults.

SmallBiz WordPress Theme business address blockYour Business Address, Name and Phone Number (NAP) is the primary “key” that Google uses to identify that your website is related to your business listing. They are automatically displayed on every page, and easily updated in the SmallBiz Options panel.

SmallBiz WordPress Theme automatically embeds hcard MicroformatsYour business information is also encoded as hCard microformat and embedded in your web pages. Google and Yahoo are already crawling and looking for this information and it’s a best practice now to have it embedded on your pages.

We’re excited about this release, and hope you will give it a try!

Article by »

Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Local Search Marketing March 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I just stumbled upon this theme for Wordpress and I”m impressed. This is exactly what I”m looking for for my clients.

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babor May 9, 2010 at 1:18 am

Compare the file coding with one of the stock Wordpress themes that came with your installation. They both are pretty SEO friendly out of the box. The blue one is better.

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Dannah May 18, 2010 at 11:33 am

Hey Don, I’m still LOVIN’ your theme. I have a quick question. I am looking into doing a membership site with your theme and am wondering which plug-in you recommend. I found one called WishList it looks pretty good (Easy to use) to me but wanted to know what you think. Always appreciate your insights.
Thanks So much, Dannah

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Don Campbell May 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

@Dannah – thank you!

In fact, I just launched my Expand2Web Experts training and membership site here: http://members.expand2web.com and I’m using the WP Wishlist Plugin for WordPress.

So far, I’m very happy with it. It has a ton of capabilities and is pretty easy to setup and get going.

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Randal May 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Another great job. I can’t wait to attend your SEO webinar! You make things very easy to understand. Plus, I’m sure you will keep me up on all the new tricks to come.

Thanks and keep up the great work.
Oh. email me all the tricks first! lol
Chao

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Chris May 31, 2010 at 11:51 am

I’m appreciating your theme and your help! And I’m learning the ropes to making our site work for visitors as well as possible.

I had a question on the NAP–we’re not using a street address because we serve Northwest Missouri and go to auto shops, etc to do repairs. Should I use “Serving NW Missouri” as the street address, with City/State/Zip on the second line, to conform? When I put 4 lines of text in that block, it makes the top line too close to the title “bracket” for appearances sake.

I’d appreciate your advice on whether I’m screwing up the NAP by doing it the way it is now and whether I should change it back to 4 lines for local seo.

Thanks so much,
Chris

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Don Campbell June 4, 2010 at 9:35 am

@Randal, Ok no problem – I’ll email them to you first 😉 I look forward to seeing you in the course!

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Don Campbell June 4, 2010 at 9:37 am

@Chris – yes that’s an excellent solution. That way you still have your city and state in the address field on each page. Then when you claim your Places Page in the Google Local Business center, you can indicate the area you serve and choose not to display the business address.

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Yvette June 9, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Hi Don,

Just watched the video and you kind of glossed over that Optimus button. Out of curiosity, I did find it but couldn’t easily install it and didn’t want to spend the time to figure out what I was doing wrong. I did find the Goggle Rich Snippets Testing Tool at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets which gave an error “Insufficient data to generate the preview.” Do you know what that means? Also I read somewhere that the latitude and longitude are part of the hCard structure and is possibly used by Google in its Local Search algorithm. If so, would you consider adding it to your SmallBiz Options page and into the hCard?

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Don Campbell September 23, 2010 at 10:29 am

Hi Yvette,
Great question. You can get the Optimus Validator for any browser (it’s a browser bookmark button) here: http://microformats.org/wiki/Optimus

As for the Google Tool, that tool has had a lot of problems – honest the tool was broken for a while. I could not get any microformats to validate in it.

The SmallBiz theme microformat validates in there now; we didn’t change anything but the tool seems to be working better.

As for latitude and longitude, there is an optional “geo” property in hCard, and we are looking at that.

Google recently announced full support for microformats so it’s a good idea to have these built into a site especially for offline businesses.

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SEO blogger wordpress June 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm

very great information thanks. 🙂
love to bookmark it. 🙂

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ecommerce web design melbourne October 8, 2010 at 4:54 am

Wow! Your blog seems very innovative. It is my first comment.

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Yvette November 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

Hi Don, me again with two new questions.

1. Would you recommend installing the All-In-One-Seo plugin with the SmallBiz theme or does SmallBiz eliminate duplicate content i.e. on archive, category, and home page?

2. I’ve read that Google doesn’t like hidden content wouldn’t hiding the address behind a custom banner be a bad thing?

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Don Campbell November 19, 2010 at 8:43 am

Hi Yvette, nice to hear from you again 🙂
1. You don’t need the All-In-One SEO Plugin with the SmallBiz theme.
2. That’s true, Google looks for hidden content (content that is stuffed on the page in the same color, etc.) but what we’re doing here is only for the header and the address, and has no negative SEO impact. Google’s algo can tell the difference – this is only a CSS styling tweak to keep the header and tagline when you don’t want them to conflict with your banner image.

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Search Engine Marketing Richmond January 24, 2011 at 3:33 am

Thanks to share these details about the SEO features. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post.

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Karen January 29, 2011 at 7:06 am

This is like woah amazing, honestly this is what I need for clients in my country, New Zealand. Love the seo features! And the mobile considerations since google is going big time on it! Thanks Im glad I found this your blog.

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jysuleyman May 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I just came across your site and this is great info , I;m getting into IM Marketing and usually promoting Affilliate stuff etc, also Amazon , would your themes be suitable or can you recommend any review sites ,. for greta on page .
would appreciate your advise , will bookmark . thank you.

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Chris May 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Just got the software!

Is there a plug in that you recommend to allow customers to post reviews. After a little research I believe it needs to allow google to aggregate these and needs to be in rich text format… But I have no idea…

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Don Campbell August 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

Hi Chris,
I don’t have a recommendation, but that’s an excellent idea! Now that Google supports Rich Snippets, a WP Plugin that allows people to leave reviews for you and then encodes them with the proper microformats would be super cool.

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Nataly August 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

Hi Don,
Im considering your SmallBiz Theme for my clients and have couple questions:
1) First same as Chris – does your platform allow customers leave moderated comments on client site, or I can create a page for client where they could post customer comments by themself?
2) Do you consider in the future on using schema.org to be able to mark more item types?
Thank you

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Don Campbell August 19, 2011 at 10:19 am

Hi Nataly,
Yes, I’ve had several clients make a “Page” or “Post” with a nice request for leaving reviews, and then leaving the review as a comment. This allows the owner to moderate and approve the reviews. There is also a ratings plugin that allows people to leave a star rating if desired.

After your comment and Chris’s comment, I’m looking into creating a review plugin specifically for small business websites, that would allow people to review your business and then mark up the review in Rich Snippets format.

Regarding your Schema.org question, we already support hCard microformats. Which other markup types are you looking for?

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Chelo December 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Hi Don, GREAT Theme you have I’m considering in the near future. Also I´m happy to find your blog, very very informative!!

As a newbie I have few question for you if you have the time and the kindness to answer them.

1-Why a small local business would like to have reviews of his or her clients in their site? What is the benefit? What about negative reviews?

2- About the NAP thing, how would you use it with customer that have mobile services, like on-site car detailing? They don´t have a fixed address, they office is their truck.

3- About the Business Address, Name and Phone Number placement I see that you use to put it on the site header, is any disadvantage placing it in the footer? I like to use that portion of the header for to put large phone number.

4- At this moment I don´t have SmallBizz Theme yet so, how or where can I generate hcard microformats? What would you recommend on this?

THANK YOU VERY MUCH in advance Don!!

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Don Campbell January 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Chelo, good questions!
1. You can choose which reviews you post on the small business’ site. But it’s a best practice to be transparent about your reviews and let your customers know you are engaged. One negative review among many others lends credibility to the other reviews, where one negative review when it’s your only review is a disaster!

2. With a mobile business with no physical address then it is difficult to rank for a geography. The best you can do is use the Name and Phone number part of the NAP, and optimize your site for a certain area. Google Places will let you list a business and hide the address, but you’ll have a harder time ranking.

3. It’s OK from an SEO perspective to move it to the footer.

4. I don’t know of a way to generate them automatically, but depending on your theme, you could edit the theme files and include them.

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Chelo December 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Hi Don, just to let you know that I go the best answer to my question 1 It happened finding your My Review Page site. GREAT videos and now I understand why review are so important for local business.

Anyway I’m still very interested for your answer to the other 3 question.

THANKS in advance!

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Chelo January 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm

THANK YOU VERY MUCH Don for you take the time to answer my question. I appreciate!
BTW I think you have to be a teacher for the clear way that you explaing every thing lol….

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Joe February 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Hi Don, GREAT post and very informative also:)
I have much interest on hcard and how to include it in my theme, is there a way to do it thru the theme editor?
I´ll really appreciate any information.
THANKS
Joe

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Don Campbell February 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Thanks Joe!
The hCard microformat is already built into the SmallBiz theme, you don’t have to do anything extra to get it.

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Geoff February 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Hi Don –

I’ve had the theme for awhile, and frankly haven’t used it enough…but it is awesome.
My question, and I may have asked it before, is there any reason to use another SEO plugin. I’m considering Yoast Wordpress SEO, but do I really need it?
And, do I need a plugin to submit an xml sitemap, or does it get done automatically with Google webmaster tools?
Thanks so much…

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Don Campbell February 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Hi Geoff,
Good question. SmallBiz includes Local SEO options that other plugins do not. hCard microformats, areas served, business name and address on every page are a few examples.

It also includes generic SEO capabilities such as the ability to specify unique HTML title tags and Meta description on every page or post.

These generic SEO capabilities can be disabled with a checkbox in the SmallBiz options panel if you want to use another plugin, like Yoast. The Yoast plugin has more advanced functionality, and if you need those tools then you can use it instead.

For the XML sitemap, I recommend using the Google XML Sitemap plugin, and also verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools and submit the sitemap there.

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Jennifer March 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Exciting view on the topic, can I quote this on my article?

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Robert May 10, 2012 at 6:11 am

Hi Don,

I was reading some SEO stuff this morning and they were talking about microformat, microdata, and RDFa. They implied that all search engines were moving toward microdata, but Google recognizes both microformat and microdata. I ran across this because i was researching rich snippets.

My question: You mentioned rich snippet plug-in development or something similar before. Any progress or recommendations?

Thanks,

Robert

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Don Campbell May 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

Hi Robert,
Yes, we’re closely monitoring this. In the SmallBiz theme, we support hCard Microformats. That is the format most widely used still, but as you mentioned the search engines are now looking at microdata.

We will be adding microdata as the major search engines agree on what standard they want. We’re also going to be adding hReview and other formats to the theme. It’s easy for us to do, we just want to be sure the search engine players are all in agreement first.

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Nilfisk Pressure Washers July 1, 2012 at 4:04 am

Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks
of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

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Don Campbell July 1, 2012 at 9:59 am

Hi Nilfisk,
WordPress is secure if you are careful which plugins you use and keep WordPress up-to-date with updates. Here are more details: How To Keep Your WordPress Blog Secure

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Brendan August 25, 2012 at 6:26 am

Hi Don,

Great Blog. I’m still getting into the the Smallbiz theme but think it’s great and you guys have done an amazing job with this. I’m brand new to Wordpress but as an intro to WP I’m glad I’ve picked it!

I’ve got a question, could have gone support but thought it might be useful for others as well. I know you recommend XML Google Sitemap, but which version is the best one? I went to download this and there are quite a few to choose from and it doesn’t look as simple as choosing the latest version number as the narrative seems to differe as well?

Regards,

Brendan

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Don Campbell August 25, 2012 at 7:28 am

Thanks Brendan – you are right. That’s a good question that others might want to know the answer to also. I like this plugin – XML Sitemap Generator and this one for your video sitemap.

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Dave Maloney September 1, 2012 at 3:18 am

Hi, Don,
I am enjoying my unlocked version of SB!

Question: I do not want my NAP appearing in the banner, so I turned its display OFF. If it is OFF, is it still available to a Google crawl?

If I turn it OFF, would I benefit from putting my NAP in the footer, i.e., will putting it in the footer have the same Google crawl effect as having it displayed in the banner?
Thanks, Dave

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Don Campbell September 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hi Dave,
Yes, when you turn it off, it is still in the source code of the page so Google will still find your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information.

You don’t need to put it in the footer, but it will not hurt anything if you want to do it. I think it is good to show it somewhere on the page so that website visitors will know where your business is located.

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Meta Pratka September 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm

facebook sucks google rules

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