The Local 3-Pack is the ultimate goal for any local business. Having your business feature in the first 3 results in Google search engine results page for a keyword is far more valuable and cost effective than any paid marketing campaign. Listing in the Local 3-Pack speaks volumes for your brands reputation and performance and creates a relationship of trust between you and the searcher when they’re looking for a business that can deliver on their needs.
Google’s Local 3-Pack came into play when Google started featuring Google Map results with the leading local search results. This quickly became recognised as a good move and Google named it the Local Pack. Originally, this was 7 local businesses relevant to the search terms entered by users. After a while, and after some extensive analysis this was reduced to 3 local businesses – and is how it still appears today. The Local 3-Pack offers your business the most visibility in initial search results by location as seen below.
Ranking a competitive keyword in the 3-Pack can be a scary prospect, especially if the digital space is not your natural habitat.
However, done right; it can be a very successful platform for the success of your business.
You’ll find everything you need to get started and maximise your chances of being featured in Google Maps 3-Pack right here. It’s not something that will happen overnight but the return is certainly worth the investment of your time. The key to success is not to try and cut corners with this, stick to the rules and you’ll be able to use it to benefit your business long-term.
Here’s what you need to do:
Lots of research has now been completed on this, and the general consensus is that Google My Business signals are grouped as the most important factor when it comes to Local 3-Pack ranking. According to Moz Lab, Google My Business signals are the most important ranking factor (over 25%) when it comes to Local Pack/Finder Ranking Factors.
Related: What is Google My Business?
One of the very first (and most important) steps you should take is to make sure that the GMB listing of your listing is verified. This is super easy so there’s no excuse – all you need to do is follow this link and simply add or claim your business on Google Maps. This will be a lot easier from a desktop computer so try and avoid using your phone for this step. This allows you control of how your business features when appearing in Google search and allows you to modify information to maximise your results.
Once this step is complete, and your GMB listing is setup, you can begin to optimise for maximum benefits.
Here are a few things you can do to get your Local 3-Pack ranking heading in the right direction:
Just as link building is important for general SEO optimisation, link building is a very effective way to optimise for the Local 3-Pack ranking. Google has the power and resources to analyse all data related to your business and website. This means, the more authoritative and trusted your business website is, the better your chances of being featured in the Local 3-Pack are.
A key thing to remember when it comes to the Local 3-Pack is your website is still an essential tool for maximising your ranking. One of the key metrics Google analyses when generating the Local 3-Pack schema is the inbound link authority of the business, so keeping this up to date is imperative.
In an ideal situation you will have plenty of high authoritative links to and from your website. Although link building can be quite complex, we have put together a few of the basic elements the search algorithms are analysing when generating the Local 3-Pack:
A local citation means having another website reference your business, name, address, contact details etc. Citations are regarded highly by Google so it’s important to get yourself listed where possible. Citation signals (NAP consistency, citation volume, etc.) account for more than 10% so it’s not something to be overlooked. Great examples of websites that help boost your ranking are TripAdvisor or Yell, they simply need to display your your business NAP (Name, Address, Business).
As a general rule, the more times your business / website is referenced elsewhere, the more authoritative and credible your business will come across to Google. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to local citation building:
It will come as no surprise that that your site needs to be mobile responsive for it to stand any kind of chance in today’s digital world. A huge 4 out of 5 people searching for local information are doing so from their mobile phone. People expect instant results, if your website limits them they will move swiftly onto a competitor. This is only increasing as the younger generations make their way through so our advice is to make your website mobile friendly as soon as possible. A good test to see how your website is fairing is by using Google’s mobile friendly test.
There are a few things to bear in mind when creating the optimal website for your mobile users:
The content on your website is just as important for your Local 3-Pack ranking as it is for your general SEO ranking, so make sure it’s relevant and informative. The inclusion of keywords is essential but remember not to keyword stuff and to write for your user, not Google. As always, content is King.
Here are a few things Google take note of when they’re analysing your sites on-page content:
Using a specific schema markup will help Google’s bots crawl your site and understand its structure. This is not essential but every little helps when trying to feature in your Local 3-Pack. A very easy way of achieving this is by including a NAP (name, address and phone number) in the footer of your website.
This must be consistent with your GMB profile and you need to remember to load this into the structured data Schema, this will significantly increase your chances of appearing inside the Local 3-Pack.
Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper can help you create and implement this.
Reviews are worth their weight in gold when it comes to your websites online ranking. However, it’s not just about how many five star reviews you have, it’s also about how you manage those reviews and interact with your reviewers (both positive and negative). Reputation management is extremely important and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here are a few elements that you should bear in mind when focusing on reviews:
Social proofing is essential on your journey to being featured in the Local 3-Pack. Google will analyse your social signals before it ranks your business.
Generally, the more people that engage and talk about your business via social media or other platforms, the better the local SEO.
Here are a few social signals that Google looks out for when ranking local search:
It’s important you are doing this across multiple platforms. We all know Facebook, but there are some great other options such a pinterest, Instagram and twitter – the key is discovering which platform will work best for your business and audience. Just make sure your business information is consistent across every platform.
Now it’s time to put what you have learnt to good use. Remember, this is just a general guide and it’s important to do your own research when it comes to what will work best for your business when trying to rank in your Local 3-Pack.
At AIM Internet we are more than just a digital agency, we want to work alongside you to help improve your business and we have vast experience with different industries and achieving SEO goals. We strive to build lasting relationships with our clients and act as an extension of your business to bring overall digital success. We work tirelessly to help maximise your digital marketing efforts.
To find out more about ranking in your Local 3-Pack call Sarah on 08700628760 or visit our website.