As consumers use mobile devices to find what they want on-the-go, local rankings are increasingly important. Businesses build trust with a localized brand that resonates with regional consumers searching for products and services nearby. The Google Local Pack is also known as the Google 3-pack, Snack Pack, and Map Pack.

Small businesses and specific locations of large corporations rely on the Local Pack to drive targeted traffic from the area. When searching for businesses nearby, three company names and addresses appear at the top of Google’s search engine results. Landing this coveted spot helps drive targeted traffic to sites.

Capturing interest on-the-spot is crucial to bring in local customers who are ready to take action. Discover how to use Google Local Pack to establish brand recognition and boost rankings, authority, and conversion rates.

What is Google Local Pack?

When a query had local intent, Google used to show seven local businesses that might answer the user’s question. Now Google shows three of the most popular neighborhood businesses, which is known as the Local Pack. Google cut down the number of results to improve the user experience for mobile searchers.

The Google Local Pack is one of the most frequently displayed search features, along with the Featured Snippet. Companies reliant on neighborhood traffic benefit from appearing in the Local Pack, such as real estate agencies, attorneys, retail stores, salons, and restaurants. The three businesses appear under a map for searchers to quickly see their locations.

The business NAP (name, address, and phone number) are included in the results with a link to each website, review results, company hours, and a call button. Searchers instantly have potential answers to their queries, along with contact information to  immediately get what they want. With that in mind, scoring one of these three spots instantly gives a local business greater visibility and authority.

Google Local Pack

Map Pack and Travel SEO

The block that appears for hotels differs from the Local Pack because it includes additional information relevant to travelers. Searchers looking for a hotel or motel in a specific region get information on prices, get links to search for dates of availability, and more. Plus, the map shows the area with the distance between the top three hotels to help travelers make educated decisions.

Hotels landing on the Local Map Pack will appear each time someone searches for accommodations in the area. Without visiting a hotel or travel site directly, travelers gain instant access to booking opportunities, giving travel SEO a tremendous boost. From travelers on-the-go looking for a hotel for the night to people planning a trip next year, the Local Pack brings in customers who are ready to take action.

The Local Teaser is a similar block to the Local Pack that appears during area searches. It does not have site links or call buttons, but includes a list of relevant objects in the area with information about them. Most of these venues are cultural, such as sports arenas and museums. While there are no contact opportunities, these results enhance the appeal of a potential travel destination.

Go Mobile

By 2023, Forrester anticipates the number of smartphone subscribers worldwide to reach a whopping 3.9 billion. According to Statista, m-commerce sales soared to over 338 billion dollars in the United States in 2020, up significantly from 207.2 billion dollars in 2018. The mobile marketplace is growing and Local Pack helps consumers find neighborhood businesses.

Establishing a mobile-friendly web presence is crucial to capture local sales in motion. Before the popularity of smartphones and tablets, consumers were often limited to a stationery desktop or laptop. As a result, they researched what they wanted before leaving the home or office. Today most people search within a few miles of what they need.

Capturing these consumers means presenting mobile-friendly content that is easily accessible and navigable via all types of mobile devices. Establish the groundwork for local success by ensuring all content is mobile-friendly and ready for consumer interaction.

How to Become Part of the Google Local Pack

While there are ad options to appear in the Local Pack, consumers often skip over ads to find relevant content. The goal is to appear organically in the Map Pack by appearing as a popular local entity. Start by reviewing the guidelines for representing a business on Google. Keep a few strategies in mind to land this coveted spot on a limited list of three local businesses.

Google My Business

One of the most important tasks to perform for any company is adding it to the Google My Business Listing. A simple Google search reveals if the company currently exists in Google My Business. If the business did not formally register, the information comes from other online listings and could be inaccurate. Registering to claim and verify ownership of the business is the first step to creating an accurate online overview of the company including:

  • Check that the business name is correct, without keywords or location markers.
  • Choose a specific category for the business without using keywords
  • Ensure the accuracy of NAP data, including contact information, locations, and business hours
  • Add images to brand the business, such as a logo and other relevant photos to attract consumers
  • Monitor and respond to reviews, which are displayed in the Local Pack
  • Maintain business directory entries accurately at sites such as Yellow Pages and Yelp – avoid sketchy paid citation directories that could do more harm than good for the business reputation
  • Verify SERP features accurately describe the business, such as Knowledge Graph and Google Maps

Consistency is key to build a trustworthy reputation and attract local customers. Verify all information is correct so customers can find the business. Inaccurate addresses, phone numbers, and business hours send potential customers surfing away to the competition. Plus, inaccuracies can have a negative impact on a business’ reputation if customers wind up at the wrong location, or drive an hour to discover the place is closed.

Be Interactive

Interaction is another way to optimize for local searches. Create dedicated social media accounts for the business on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Be consistent in all online profiles for a professional feel that builds the business brand accurately. When people see the logo, they start to recognize the company and what it does.

Local forums and community groups are other excellent ways to interact, as well as monitor industry activity and trends. Use a signature that includes the company name with a link back to the site.

Q&A sites are another opportunity to ask questions, answer them, and showcase expertise on a specific topic. Use Q&A sites for networking, establishing authority, and improving search engine rankings. Include relevant keywords and trending topics the entries for more targeted traffic.

Optimize for Local Search

Because you cannot specifically optimize for Local Pack, it is imperative to optimize your site for local searches. Verify your Google+ Local page is totally completed and updated with valid information about the business. Encourage satisfied customers to review the business on Google+ because those stars are immediately visible on the Map Pack.

Include localized keywords in website content, blog articles, and social media entries. Participate in local organizations that offer a link to neighborhood business sites, such as the chamber of commerce and sponsoring charitable events. Quality inbound links from reputable sites build authority and ranking. Encourage sharing on social media with buttons for visitors to share relevant content, and further spread the work about the company.

Remember to keep track of the backend. Take advantage of title tags, meta data, and social media descriptions to brand the business and include local key phrases pertaining to what it offers. Try variations using different towns, cities, and neighborhoods in your region to attract more localized traffic. Focus on relevance, distance, and prominence to crawl up the ranks on Google.

Monitoring Matters

When it comes to any type of SEO, a one-and-done approach never works for the long haul. As Google continues to change its search algorithms to improve the user experience, monitoring local profiles is imperative to ensure consistency. Local profiles can randomly change due to edits from visitors, unique information deemed to be related to the business, and inaccuracies posted at other sites.

Periodically check local Google profiles to ensure the NAP, hours, and other pertinent information is correct. If the business moves or changes its hours, remember to update the local profiles for accuracy. Customers depend on this information to make decisions, establishing the first impression they have of the company.

Updated keyword research, new information, and current trends should be infused into existing articles to ensure they remain useful. Plus, refreshing old content helps the search engines to recognize it, improving its rank and conversions over time.

Understanding Local Pack ranking factors helps companies gain a competitive advantage. Appearing in the 3-Pack acts as an ongoing advertisement for the business and builds brand recognition. Targeted traffic flows to the site with consumers who specifically want what the business offers.

Trying to keep up with ongoing SEO change and monitoring local profiles is time-consuming and confusing. The professional team at Galileo Tech Media works as a strategic partner to help companies stay ahead of the curve. Effective local SEO strategies can make or break small companies and corporations looking to expand their breadth.

Contact the experts at Galileo Tech Media to learn more about how to harness the power of the Local Pack and other localized search strategies to gain an edge on the competition.