If you’ve ever searched for a business online, you’ve probably noticed that there is a map that comes with your search results. Google has a local 3-Pack that will show you businesses on the map results that are similar or the same as what you’re searching for. Believe it or not, Google’s Maps Pack appears in nearly 30% of all first page SERPs.
Having your business show up in a Google 3-Pack can bring in a lot more customers. Today we wanted to give you the inside scoop about everything there is to know about the local pack and why it can be crucial for your business to get ranked! Let’s start off by talking about what exactly the Google 3-Pack is!
What is Google 3-Pack?
Google originally had a 7-pack that would come into play when someone would complete a Google search. For this article, let’s say you’re trying to find a coffee shop near you. You type into Google “coffee shop” and then seven businesses correlating to your search would show up. If you were one of those seven businesses, you were more likely to get this person as a customer than people not included in the first seven spots.
Google switched from a 7-Pack to a 3-Pack and have since included a map. So, now when you search for a coffee shop, you’ll get the top three results and the search engine will show you where they on a map to make your decision easier if distance plays a role in your decision making.
Along with all of this, you’re able to see the three businesses’ star ratings, addresses, and if they’re considered expensive, moderate, or inexpensive. Users can then click on each business and get their full information, including things like phone number, hours of operation, and reviews.
There is a slight difference when you’re searching for something like a hotel or motel. These searches will also show the price for each hotel on the map, as well as room availability. This isn’t the only feature people see when completing search inquiries, but it is by far the most popular Google feature.
It’s important to note that Google’s Local 3-Pack has an internal ranking system. This means if you want your business to appear in the top three, it will take a bit more than just getting your business on the map.
You also need to make sure your business is getting plenty of engagement on Google in order to have a better rating. If people aren’t leaving reviews or commenting, you may not even appear on the block at all! Let’s talk a bit more about how this can impact your business and why you want your business to be featured.
How Can It Impact Your Business?
The Local Pack can impact your business in a positive or negative manor. Let’s say for whatever reason, you’re listed 10th when someone searches for a coffee shop. That means this person is going to look at the nine other options before even getting to you. Some factors are out of your control, such as the location of the other business.
On the other hand, if you are ranked at a higher position, it will be incredible for your company and bring in a lot more money and business.
Why You Want Your Business To Be Featured
The main reason you want your business to be featured within the Google Local 3-Pack is to bring in more business. The higher you rank, the more likely people will go to your store. Bringing in more foot traffic will inevitably bring in more money. These new customers can write reviews to help your overall ranking on Google!
If you want your business to excel as much as possible, it’s important to be featured on Google.
Advertising And The Google 3-Pack
Back in 2016, Google decided to start allowing advertisements to be shown in the Local Pack. Now, around 35% of local packs include ads for the businesses being searched. If you have a lot of competition in your local area, you may want to consider using this to your advantage. Ads are targeted at users for specific locations, which helps increase the conversion of users clicking on the advertisement.
How To Set Up A Campaign
For starters, you need to make sure you have a Google Ads account, as well as a Google My Business page. Without both of these things, you can’t move forward onto the next steps. Once you have both of those, you’ll need to add a location extension to your Google Ads account. This is designed for SERP adverts and is how Google is able to give users information about a specific business’ location.
Then you’ll need to make your Google My Business information is up to date. On top of that, it’s important to make sure all of the information is accurate at the time of updating. When you’re creating your next Google Ads campaign, you’ll have to option of targeting and bidding by location; choose that. Then you’ll just need to use location-related keywords within your campaign and you’ll be finished!
Tracking Your Keywords With Google Local Pack
If you eventually get into the Local Pack, congratulations! You’ve made it, but now is when the real work gets put in! Ranking algorithms can change so quickly, it can be unstable and therefore, we can’t just sit back and chill once we’ve made it onto the top three.
Rankings can drop suddenly, which is almost guaranteed to affect your business if you’re in the Google 3-Pack. If you want to maintain your position, you need to be keeping track of your ranking and Local Pack results as often as possible.
You can check out the search results of the Local Pack by using your own main keywords. This will show you if your website is featured or not. You can also use the SE Ranking’s Rank Tracker if you’d like.
You’ll see a table with keyword rankings, along with a column that has popular SERP features displayed for every keyword that you’re tracking. You’ll also see a map marker icon that is to reference the Local Pack. The map marker icon will be blue if you’re within the 3-Pack.
Using this feature you’ll be able to easily check the SERP information on all of your results. This comes in handy if you’re wanting to keep up-to-date on your position within the Local Pack.
Tips On Getting Your Business Featured
There are a handful of great tips and tricks when it comes to getting your business featured on the Local Pack. It doesn’t have to be as stressful or as intimidating as it may seem. Let’s take a look at six of the most helpful tips we could find to get your business featured!
1. Have A Google My Business Page
One of the first things you need to do if you haven’t already is to create a Google My Business page. If you’re unsure if you have one, you can check by typing your company name into the business name field and see if there is a matching business.
If there is, you can claim it as your own. You shouldn’t be concerned if you found that your company already has a Google My Business account because often times they’re created as a result of parsed information from other listings online. It’s important that you claim the business to verify everything.
If you type your company’s name into the business name field and don’t see any results, be sure to register for a Google My Business page. Without one, you won’t be able to even appear for potential customers to see that you exist as an option for them! I don’t know about you, but that sounds like lost income to me.
2. Have A Verified Address
If your business has a brick and mortar location, you have to have a verified address. If not, how else do you expect customers to find you? You can easily fill out an application in Google My Business to get a verification code that can be delivered to your company’s store. This usually takes around three to five days.
Once you have the code, you should type it into your Google My Business account. You can also just use the Gmail account to keep all of your information connected and then your address will be verified automatically!
3. Optimize Your Business Listings
After you have your company verified on Google, it’s time to fill in the important information about your business. This ranges from things like your address, phone number, and operating hours. Every piece of information you can include will improve the likelihood of you ranking higher within the Google 3-Pack.
It’s important to be aware of how you should present your company on Google, so we’ve included which fields you need to fill out and why.
Your Businesses Name: This is a no-brainer. You need to add in your company’s name, along with any keywords that can be related to your business. This means if you own a Starbucks franchise, you’ll want to add keywords such as “coffee shop” and “bakery”.
Choose A Category: When you’re filling your company’s information out, something you’ll need to do is pick a category. This is related to how Google will match your businesses with search results. Instead of having a vague category, get specific. If you have a pizza shop, don’t just choose restaurant as your category, but add in the word pizza so the person searching will know if your company is related to what they’re looking for.
NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) Data: Another thing you should be sure about is that the business hours and NAP data you have on your business are correct. If your company has several locations, you can put this information for each location into Google My Business pages. One of your coffee shops may only be open until 6:00 p.m. while another may close at 10:00 p.m. You’ll also need to provide the phone number for each location as well.
Photographs: One of the most important features that business owners don’t pay enough attention to is pictures! Images are incredibly crucial when it comes to a customer’s decision on one business to another.
It’s important to keep in mind that anyone who has been to your store can post a photo on Google. Be sure to actively monitor this and post high quality photos for potential customers to see.
Reviews: When you’re part of the Local Pack, your business’ reviews are made public and displayed for everyone to see. You’d be surprised to know that 90% of people use reviews to make a decision between one business and another.
According to one survey, 97% of people read online reviews for local companies. Reviews also play a big part when it comes to your company’s reputation. It’s important to respond to reviews, thanking the guest and fixing any issues that need to be addressed.
Business Citations: Next, you need to refer to your business description that will appear across various places such as Yelp, the Yellow Pages, or even Maps. This is one of the easiest ways to add keywords and have a positive appearance for your company.
On the topic of citations, there are a couple things to note. First, you don’t need to worry about driving to publish citations for aggregators. They should be focused on authoritative catalogs and business directories.
It’s also important to make sure that your information is always up to date and consistent (hence, why we mentioned NAP data) You can also use SE Ranking’s Business listings to track your citations if you want.
Extras: In addition to everything above, you can add things like posts, messaging, or even an FAQ section to your Google My Business account. These are great extras that can help your page get more traffic and your store get more customers! Using these extras can also improve your overall rating and position within the Local 3-Pack.
4. Optimize Your Website For Local Search
According to Google, there are three main factors they pay attention to when it comes to getting listed on the local ranks. These three things are your businesses relevance, distance, and prominence to what the user is searching.
This is why it’s important that your website is relevant and optimized for the search query. What keywords you use can play a big part in this! You also need to make sure your company is within a certain amount of miles that the person searching requires. There isn’t much you can do about where your business is, but this is why it’s so important to list address information for each location.
Lastly, your company needs to be fairly well-known to rank on the local pack. This can be hard for start-ups and new businesses, but don’t worry, you’ll eventually get there if you apply the rest of the steps listed above.
5. Monitor Your Information
Once you are ranked in the Google 3-Pack, you need to monitor the information that you have on display. Something that is a downfall of this is that users can edit your information.
They are considered suggestions, but they can be changed without giving you any heads up. This can be applied to things like your public name, NAP data, photos, location, hours of operation, and more. This is why it’s crucial to consistently monitor the information when random users can change whatever they’d like.
So, what do you do if this happens? You can fix them manually or appeal them to your Google My Business support team. If that isn’t enough, you can also tweet at @GoogleMyBiz and they tend to send a response in less than 20 minutes.
6. Build Your Online Brand Via Social Media
Having a strong online presence is more important now more than ever. If your business doesn’t have a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, or even a Youtube page, you’re missing a massive audience. You’d be shocked at the amount of people that follow businesses online. At the time of writing this, Starbucks has 18.1 million followers on Instagram and Wendy’s has nearly 3 ½ million on Twitter.
This is why it’s so important to have a great presence on social media. With that being said, having your company on social media isn’t enough. You have to make sure you’re producing high quality content. Your photos and videos you release should be well lit and if anyone is speaking, they should be heard clearly.
You don’t necessarily have to post everyday, but you should be consistent and post often. Another thing when it comes to social media is to be engaged with your audience. Being engaged with your audience in comments and posts will encourage them to engage back. When you’re getting ranked on Google, one of the things that goes into consideration is how popular your business is online.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, you’ll be able to benefit a ton by having social media accounts. Consider it free advertising and cross promotion that doesn’t have to cost you a dime! Once you create a social media account like Instagram, follow people that have shared your product and don’t be afraid to collaborate or sponsor posts for popular influencers. This will help boost your ranking in Google and just make your brand more popular overall.
We wanted to include some of the most frequently asked questions in relation to the Google 3-Pack. We know that this article may have left you with some questions and we hope that you’ll find some answers below. There is a lot that goes into this topic and it can be a lot of information to take in at once. Be easy on yourself and take a look at some of the frequently asked questions below.
Is there a way to rank up higher locally?
Yes, using things like a local phone number and an address are great ways to rank higher locally. Businesses that don’t have these things will automatically rank lower, or not even show up.
Is it possible to improve my SEO for free?
This is absolutely possible. See, some business owners think that everything costs something and that’s just simply not the case. There are several ways you can improve your SEO for free!
You can do things like use more backlinks, use H1 and H2 header tags, optimize images, have your page run faster, and more! Don’t think that you must spend a ton of money to improve where you stand on Google and other search engines!
What is SERP ranking?
You’ve seen it a lot throughout this article, so what is it? SERP stands for Search Engine Results Pages. These are the pages shown by a search engine when someone searches something online. These are often triggered by keywords and sometimes will show advertisements.
If you own your own local company, it’s important to rank as high as possible on Google’s local SERP, especially when it comes to the Local Pack. If you use the tips above, you’ll be much more likely to appear in the top three and get more customers than you had before!
Remember, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming and stressful, as long as your Google My Business page is filled out in its entirety. You can always launch an ad campaign to increase your customer base as well. The Local Pack that Google has is built to encourage companies to improve their SEO results to improve the overall customer experience.