Google Local Pack (Google Map Pack): What Is it and How to Optimize


18 Apr, 2019

Google Local Pack (Google Map Pack): What Is it and How to Optimize

Have you ever try to make a local search for any goods or services in your area? I bet you have. When you search for any local service online, Google shows a local map in the SERP without requiring you to perform another action. Mostly, because you don’t need to do it - you’re getting all the necessary information in the Google map pack directly.

The Google Maps Pack (aka Local 3-Pack) appears in almost 30 percent of all first page for organic search results. Thus, this feature is one of the most frequently displayed Google’s SERP feature, like Featured Snippet or Instant Answers block.

Given the presence of the Google Local Pack on the first SERP (above all organic results), you're probably skipping the organic results since this block gives you all the information you need right now. So other users tend to make similar actions, and this makes Google Local Pack one of the best traffic-driven solutions for all types of local businesses.  

This post explains what the Local 3-Pack (Google Map Pack) exactly is and how to get ranked in it.

What is the Google Map Pack?

You’ve seen the screenshot above - and you've probably seen it earlier. But let’s define what the Local 3-Pack is. You see three company listings when you do a search in Google for any local company or business operating in a certain area. When this occurs, you’ll see three local companies show up at the top of your search results, strictly under the ads section. Additionally, if these companies have reviews from Google users, you will see those reviews as well.

But about a few years ago, there are the 7-pack instead of 3. This feature was updated in August 2015, and this feature with fewer business listings was created to fit better user experience for mobile users.

Here is how Google Local Pack looked like about 4 years ago:

For now, there are the next features in the company listing in the Google Map Pack:

  1. Company name;
  2. Reviews (if applicable);
  3. Description;
  4. Business information (business address, website, phone number);
  5. Directions and location.

How to Get Into the Google Map Pack: Checklist

Getting into the top three Google local search results can be easy for less competitive markets and very difficult for others. For example, it’s much more complicated to get into the Google 3-Pack for the “popular” businesses than to get into it for some kinds of “unique” companies.  But the basic steps are all the same.

Check the positions of your site right now!

#0. Ideal Location

Yes! The better your location, the smaller number of your offline competitors there, the higher number of citizens in those local areas, the higher your chances to get into Local 3-Pack, even if you have a very high-competitive niche. For example, if someone is looking for a plumber in San Diego, the more centrally located you are in the city, the more likely your company is to show up as one of the 3 in the Google Map Pack.

WARNING: Google has quite strict terms of service which applies to My Business as well. Breaking the rules on how you get an address for your business location, and claim it in Google My Business, can have very negative penalties.

#1 Register Your Company in Google My Business

This is the first and one of the most important things. All you need is to claim your business listing and verify it as the business owner or representative.

For these reasons, you can always register your company on this page.

#2. Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

If you want to stand out in Google’s ranking system, you ought to take full advantage of their listing profile system, Google My Business. It means that you’ll need the next:

  1. Have accurate information entered for your name, address, phone number and other significant business information that helps users to find you correctly.
  2. Add as many useful images of your business as you can. Additionally, it would be useful to add the products and/or services of your company (business).
  3. Put the informative company description with many of the keywords associated with your niche.
  4. Optimize your description using keyword phrases, potential clients are searching for online. (This requires the assistance of a content marketing specialist).
  5. Don’t forget about NAP data. Make sure that the business hours and NAP data you are listing there are matching the info listed on your website.
  6. Don’t forget to add reviews. Remember - don’t buy fake reviews, but try to motivate users to leave the fair and good reviews about your products/services. You should also remember that almost 97% of potential customers will check your reviews before choosing your company among others.

#3. Optimize Your Website for Local Search and Mobile Usage

Google lists three factors that it takes into account in local rankings: relevance, distance, and prominence. This means that, firstly, if you’d like to be ranked high in local search results, your website needs to be relevant (well-optimized) to a user’s search query.

Secondly, your business must be located in close vicinity to the user that does the search.

And, finally, your business should be well-known to customers and have high authority both online and offline (so here is why you need to acquire more positive reviews).

At last, but not least, your website should be perfectly optimized for mobile users. As we mentioned above, the Google Local Map 3-Pack was created especially for higher mobile usability - so you shouldn't forget about it as well.

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