Posted by Sandeep Sharma
December 22, 2021
In today’s world customers rely heavily on search engines to find relevant answers to most of their questions and concerns. Therefore Google has become an important part of online users to help them discover new products and services in their locality. In order to support local businesses and assist customers in finding solutions, Google has launched a local pack of 3 results easy-to-use features to optimize the ranking of your small business effectively. Google local pack gives an opportunity to many small and local businesses to drive more traffic and increase their online presence on search engines.
At times, many small and local businesses might get overlooked due to tough competition and the popularity of well-known brands in the market. However, with this feature, you can increase your local business presence and boost your sales in the online and offline markets at the same time. As an owner of local businesses, you would definitely want to be on the ranking list of Google local pack in order to achieve all your business goals. Here in this article, we have covered everything that will help you understand more about this 3-pack local feature, citations, and ways to improve your ranking on search engines.
Google local pack is a list of rankings that displays 3 top or best local businesses in the search result when a user uses keywords such as “near me” or “near (location)”. Google tends to display potential business results that fit well with users’ queries along with the address or location of the local business. Google map pack is the feature that helps you locate the location of the business near your locality. Google local pack has a separate section on the search result pages that pop-ups on the top of the page to display the three best and most relevant search results.
It is important to note that the results can vary depending on the location and query of the user. Google often tends to list the results that are closest to the user’s location and related to the query of the customer. The Google local pack search results appear in the top position 93% of the time when a local search is performed. This way a local business can get an opportunity to outrank national and other global organizations for local-related searches. Therefore it becomes more important than ever to optimize your local search result ranking and implement various Google local pack or Google map pack tactics to improve traffic or click rate on your local business website.
Over the past few years we have witnessed many changes in Google local pack, we have listed it down into two sections for you to have a clear understanding of the same. So let us now explore the changes made by Google in its Local Pack design over the past few years.
The Google local pack was introduced back in 2014 in the Google pigeon update where initially it used to display ten local business results, which was cut down to seven, and finally, in August 2015 it was limited to three local searches. This way Google limited local search results to the top three best local businesses and increased the resulting efficiency and competitiveness among the local business owners. As per the old local pack design, the search result had limited options and users often had to click on the listings to get access to various information about the business. After clicking on the listing, the users were directed to another page where they would get access to multiple options along with the list of other related businesses in the market.
As per the new Local pack design, Google now displays the address of the business along with other information such as open and close timings. With this Google map pack feature, users can now easily locate the business without having to click on several other options. Moreover, with the new changes made by Google, you get an opportunity to have your small business be featured on the list, even if the leads don’t click on your ads.
The algorithm of Google’s local 3-pack results differs from the organic search results listing algorithms. Google local pack primarily takes into account the information mentioned on the website that will help users determine the local businesses that will fulfil the needs of their search query. Whereas the organic results usually appear below the local pack results. The organic search results also display the information related to the particular search query, however, these listings don’t contain vital information such as business hours and contact details of the business.
If you are wondering which ranking result would benefit your business then the answer is both. The ranking on both the local pack and organic search results are not mutually exclusive, thus it is entirely possible to get a rank in both search sections and boost your business visibility effectively. These features can add value to your business and make your business stand on the top positions of search rankings. Nevertheless, to rank on both the sections you might have to implement different strategies on your local business websites, as they both operate on different algorithms setups.
There are many factors that can help you list your ranking on Google’s local 3-pack section. We have listed some of the prominent tactics that can help you boost your rankings as quickly as possible.
Your Google Business Profile is the primary source of information about your business for your potential customer. With the help of information mentioned in this section, Google provides critical information about your business and enables your ranking on the list for relevant searches in your area. You must ensure to keep your information up to date so that your customers don’t miss out on essential information about your business. You add photos to your Google My Business(GMB) profile, mention your working and non-working hours, and respond to both positive and constructive reviews or feedback from your customers.
Your Google My Business profile gives opportunities to educate your customers to get access to the most basic and vital information about your local businesses. You must always ensure to fill in all the details you wish your customers should be aware of in your Google My Business profile.
The NAP citations stand for “ Name, Address, and Phone Number” details on your website. The NAP or local citations represent the most vital information about your business that helps customers to distinguish your local business from your competitors. The more NAP citations you will have, the better your website will be. With the help of these citations, you will be able to send signals to Google in terms of relevancy. Citation inconsistencies can be one of the major issues affecting your local business’s ranking on search engines. You can also mention any change in the contact number or email address in your NAP citation section for your customer to reach you.
The on-page optimization can create huge impacts on your page’s visibility on search engines. It is the process of making adjustments to your websites in order to improve your ranking on various search engine result pages. The common on-page SEO practices usually include content, internal link, optimizing images, URLs, titles, and meta descriptions. On-page optimization can help you attract your target audience effectively in huge amounts and build a stronger Google business profile. One of the biggest advantages of on-page optimization is that it is extremely inexpensive. It is by far considered the cheapest method of publicizing your business on digital platforms. For small and local business owners this form of SEO trend can do wonders and bring effective results quickly.
In today’s digital world social media plays a vital role in boosting your business’s online presence and growth rate over the internet. Most customers often tend to connect with your social media profile first and then visit your website. This way you get an opportunity to know your customers personally and let them learn about your business effectively. Ensure to be consistent in posting content on your social media profiles. You can also mention your website links in your description section so that customers can directly visit your website with just a click. Customers often tend to leave critical and constructive reviews on your social media accounts, you should respond to such comments and solve your customer problems instantly.
Your online reviews can be a huge game-changer for your local businesses. Many potential customers depend on other customers’ reviews to engage with your products or services. The more detailed review the more your customers get attracted to engage with your business. You can ask your previous customers to upload honest feedback or reviews on your website to boost your website’s clickability and visibility rate. Try to resolve all the customer queries in your review section. You can later also ping them once you resolve their queries to improve your relations and convert them into loyal customers.
With the help of backlinks, you can inform Google about your exact location and influence your ranking on search engines. These links can boost the geographical aspects of your business website and its prominence. You will require links from local websites such as the church homepage, local high schools down the road, or other related neighbourhood websites. These links will help you build stronger rankings on the search engines and drive more traffic to your website. You can earn these backlinks by sponsoring non-profiting or other events for these local businesses or neighbouring institutes in your locality. This way you can lead to more reviews and traffic to your website and improve your organic ranking on the search engines.
These were some vital and critical factors about Google’s local pack that you must consider improving your local business effectively and efficiently using local SEO best practices.