Google Local Pack is the most envied piece of real estate on Google search result pages for local businesses. As visibility is more important than ever in a very crowded business landscape, brands are looking for any opportunity to stand out. Today we will talk about the importance of ranking on Google Local Pack and how to get there.
What Is Google Local Pack?
Before anything else, a short definition and history of Google Local Pack is in order. Some 7 years ago, Google introduced a panel featuring a map and 7 recommended businesses for local search results. If a user looked for a gym or a restaurant, Google selected the nearest results and displayed them prominently next to their precise locations on Google Maps.
Then, around 2014-2015, the 7 featured results became 3 – and this is how things have remained until now. So, what every local business is competing for is one of these three prominent placements.
Why Should You Attempt to Rank for Google Local Pack?
Also known as Google 3-Pack, this panel of featured search results is right under the search bar, separated by a rectangle from the rest of the results. This is enough to make it stand out from the rest of the page, both on a computer screen and on a mobile phone.
However, that is not all. Under each featured result, users can see the following information:
- The star rating of the business, given by other customers,
- The pricing level (expressed in US $ symbols and ranging from 1 to 5 signs)
- A photo
- The exact address of the business.
And we also have statistical data showing that users are more likely to click on a Google Local Pack link than the rest of the search results. Thus:
- 44% of users clicked on a Google 3-Pack link in a study conducted by Moz;
- 50% of people who conduct a local search on their mobile visit the business within the next 24 hours, according to Think With Google;
- Users leave 50% more reviews for the first group of 3 businesses on Local Pack, compared to the second group, according to Conversion Sciences.
How to Get Your Business in the First Group of Google Local Pack Results
Before we share the basic tips for getting ranked on Google 3-Pack, it is important to understand that all these actions must be accompanied by a sound SEO strategy. There is no magic formula that will get your business there.
However, your business needs to meet these basic prerequisites in order to be eligible for Google Local Pack.
1. Register Your Business on Google My Business
Google My Business is an online directory. Here, you have to fill in the basic information about your company:
- Telephone number
- Business hours
This will help the Google algorithm search for relevant local results when someone searches for your type of business. It is important to be very accurate about these details and update them as soon as there is a change in your business details.
2. Optimise Your Business Description
Also in Google My Business, you have to fill in a description of your business, just like in the About Us section on social media platforms. This description must be detailed, accurate and rich in relevant keywords.
Focus on long tail keywords that include the name of your location. In this way, you improve your chances of getting your website ranked in Google Local Pack.
3. Upload Relevant Photos
Don’t forget about images! Your Google My Business profile must include several relevant and high quality photos related to your business. Do not use stock photos! Instead, take photos of your own staff and your own headquarters and make them look as authentic as possible, in line with your brand image.
4. Optimise Your Website for Local Searches
The three factors Google takes into account when selecting and ranking results for local searches are:
For relevance, you use SEO, with a good keyword strategy for your type of business. For prominence, you rely on customer reviews, rankings and testimonials. For distance, you have to include your business address in your website, preferably on every page, in the header or footer.
5. Optimise Your Website for Mobile
At the present, there should be no website left that does not offer an optimal user experience on any device, especially on mobile devices. Google makes it a top priority to test how mobile friendly a website is, and penalises those that are not.
Thus, no matter what other efforts you make, if you want to rank on Google Local Pack, your website must be optimised for mobile browsing.
These are the first steps you need to take if you want to rank for Google 3-Pack. We will continue to write on this topic and show you how to succeed in front of your competition.