Have you ever searched for a business online and been greeted by a map in the result results? This is due to the magic of Google 3-Pack that shows businesses nestled neatly on the map. It’s good for your online visibility since Google Maps Pack is responsible for a whopping 30% of SERPs on the first page of search results.
To put it in simple terms, Google 3 Pack (also known as Google snack pack) can help you attract more customers. It is essential for local SEO.
Here’s how the local pack works and how it can get your business ranked at the top of Google search results
What is Google 3 Pack?
There was a time when Google had a 7 pack. Here’s how it worked.
Suppose you are searching for a mall near you. You enter “mall” in Google and you’d get seven results that match your query. It could list the 7 malls near to your current location. If your business was listed in these seven results, you were likely to get more customers.
In time, Google ditched the 7-pack in favor of a 3-pack, allowing only three businesses to compete for the top placement. It also included a map as part of the new update. You are shown the top three malls along with their locations on the map. It makes decision-making by customers easier because now they can take into account how far your business is.
In short, Google 3 pack lists three local businesses that are the most relevant to a search query.
You also get to see more detailed information for the top 3 businesses listed on search:
- Star ratings
- Phone number
- Opening hours
Google’s 3-pack is governed by an internal ranking system. Your business needs more than just the correct information to stay on top of those results.
Keep in mind that you can’t pay Google to get a shot at the Google snack pack. The goal is to have a solid plan to put your business in the local pack and enjoy getting more visitors to your store.
Your business needs great engagement from customers. To this end, any business that isn’t getting comments or reviews by customers may not show up on the 3-pack at all. You want your business to stay featured.
How can the local pack impact my business?
Being placed in the top 3 positions on the local pack is the best outcome for a business. If you are ranked 15th whenever someone searches for a mall, that means that your searcher will look at fourteen other options before they see you.
Some factors, like your business location, are beyond your control. However, if you are placed in the top 3 on the local snack pack, you will potentially attract more customers and revenue.
Why get your business featured on the local 3-pack?
To bring more business that’s why. The more customers you attract, the more possibilities for them to leave a review on Google. It can help you rank higher on Google.
Many local SEO and digital marketing agencies offer to boost a business’s position in the 3 pack. This is because 56% of people are more likely to visit a business they searched for online. About 44% of people use Google Maps to find a business that fits their requirements.
Keeping these statistics in mind, Google 3 pack is an indispensable feature for local businesses. Only those who up their local SEO game have a shot at getting placed there.
How to get to Google’s 3-Pack Position?
There are two things that you need to do to dominate rankings and get to Google Snack Pack.
- A Perfectly Optimized Google My Business Profile
Your local business needs to have a GMB/GBP account. After all, your Google Business Profile serves as the primary source of information that Google relies on to rank you online.
You will need to optimize your business listing in GBP to make it relevant for local search or local SEO.
With an optimized listing, you get to target more customers by matching their search intent. Your business has a bigger online presence as a result.
Here are some of the best practices to optimize your Google My Business profile:
Your business name, address, phone number, and information should be complete and up to date.
When a customer searches for a product or service online, they type in what they need. If your GMB listing contains those keywords, the customer has an easier time connecting to you.
Make sure you mention everything from operating hours, list of products or services on offer, nature of business, and business type in your listing.
And yes, ensure that your location is accurate and verified on Google Maps.
Upload Quality Photos for your business brand
Images tell a story. More importantly, they are the best at attracting customers.
Adding photos that reflect your brand image is great. Doing so regularly makes Google think that your business stays up to date.
Here’s how much of impact photos have on boosting business:
Make use of Google Reviews to stay engaged with customers
Google reviews serve as genuine advertisements for your business. They double as social proof that your services are appreciated (or not) by customers.
As a brand, you should always strive for a 5-star rating. Realistically, it should be near to it.
Respond to your customers online with consistency. Even if there’s a bad review, you can probably convert it into a win depending on how you respond and take care of their complaints. Doing so could compel more customers to check out your establishment and in turn, write more reviews about your place.
Make sure you use the right primary and secondary Business categories
A whopping 84% of GMB/GBP listings are discovered by customers with the help of discovery searches. These searches make use of category terms to connect customers with the relevant business.
Your GBP profile can be a powerful tool provided you utilize the proper business categories for your brand. Suppose you sell pizzas, so using “Restaurant” as a category makes sense.
Currently, Google has over 4000 business categories to choose from, so make sure you use the right primary category to classify your business. Secondary categories can boost your ranking further, provided you stick with relevant ones. In the case of the pizza business, you could use secondary categories like “Family restaurant” to boost your ranking.
- A Mobile-friendly and Responsive Site is Essential
Mobile is king. Especially when it comes to user experience. More than half of the internet traffic is made up of mobile users, so it is important that your business website is optimized for mobile screens.
Google also prioritizes user experience. Its mobile-friendly SEO update in 2015 means that businesses can only ignore mobile at their own peril.
What does mobile-friendly mean for website design and experience? Here are some best practices:
- It should be speedy to load and navigate through
- The website design should be simple
- Avoid using text-blocking ads and annoying pop-ups
- A responsive website adapts to every mobile screen and resolution
- Check if all images, text, video, and other website elements load without hiccups
- Test your pages regularly on mobile
When done right, optimizing for mobile users can serve as a significant multiplier for your online business.
We have said it before, but it merits repeating – getting to the Google 3-pack is crucial to boost your business. Your competitors are doing the same. Make sure you try out these strategies to stay ahead of them without spending a fortune on social media campaigns, SEO, digital marketing, and local marketing.