Folks go online to seek products and services in their local area, and you want to ensure your business is visible when they do so. Also, most businesses depend on their local community for success, so it’s time to get serious about local search, specifically, the Google Local Pack. So, what’s Google Local Pack, and why should you care?
Google’s Local Pack is a search feature that displays local businesses prominently on the first page of search results when a user queries a specific product or service in their area. It displays three business listings and their addresses, phone numbers, reviews, and web links. It even shows a Google Map of the area.
This post will cover local SEO ranking factors and explain how to secure your place in the Google Local Pack. But let’s start by understanding the Google Local Pack and its significance.
Understanding the Google Local Pack
The Local Pack was formerly known as the “7-Pack” because it showed seven listings, but it now displays only three. Being part of this highly visible Google Search feature can significantly increase your business’s online visibility, boosting your online and physical customer traffic.
The Local Pack has become a crucial part of any local SEO strategy, and it’s essential to understand its components to optimize your online presence.
Different Terms Used Interchangeably
You may have heard the terms “Local Pack,” “Google Local Pack,” or “Local Map Pack.” These terms are often used interchangeably to refer to the same feature. They all describe the same thing: a local search feature on Google that displays local search listings with relevant information in a visually appealing format.
Visual Representation and Placement on Google SERPs
The Local Pack is usually displayed at the top of organic search results, making it highly visible to users. It is displayed on a map, making it easy for users to see the exact location of each business listing in relation to their current location.
The Local Pack also stands out from other search features with its eye-catching graphics and prominent placement on the page. It makes it an essential element to consider when aiming to get your business seen by potential customers.
How to Secure Your Place in Google Map Pack
To feature in the Local Pack, you need to focus on specific local SEO ranking factors that Google considers important. We already explained how to build an online presence for your local business, but focus on the following tips for Google local pack:
1. Provide Accurate Business Information Consistently
Google values accurate and up-to-date business information, including your business name, address, and phone number. You will be listing this information on countless directories and business listing sites, so consistency is crucial.
Consistency across all online platforms where your business is listed helps Google understand your business better and increases its trustworthiness.
2. Do Some Google Business Profile (GBP) Optimization
Google Business Profile (GBP) is built specifically for local businesses to reach users within their operational areas. Geolocation is everything, as GBP strives to give Google display the most relevant local businesses when you search for a product or service.
Set up a GBP, as it will publish the critical information about your business for potential customers and clients to find. That information is always useful to display online and is essential for featuring on the local map pack.
Optimizing your GBP listing involves the following:
- Providing accurate and up-to-date business information.
- Selecting the most relevant categories for your business.
- Showcasing high-quality images.
We’ll discuss these in more detail a little bit later.
3. Ask for Customer Reviews and Ratings
Today’s online environment permits users to share their experiences with products and services with random strangers online.
You need people to buy your products and genuinely review them on social media and review sites. When you get any online reviews, respond to them promptly and professionally. It shows you value their feedback, and it also helps to improve your search rankings.
Remember, reviews create a valuable social proof of your brand’s trustworthiness, and so do ratings. Every positive rating you get helps your brand rank higher on relevant search query results and improves your odds of featuring in the Local Pack.
Moreover, before choosing a business from the local pack, customers usually consider its overall reviews and ratings. Therefore, request your loyal clientele to review your business on platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc., and make that process as accessible as possible.
4. Earn Local Backlinks and Citations
For any publisher to link back to your site, you must have valuable and informative content. Backlinks from reputable local sites are essential for featuring in the Local Pack.
Achieving multiple citations, mentions, and links from online publications, like online directories, social media profiles, and review sites, scores you extra points for local SEO. Ensure all your citations have consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information to avoid seeming unreliable to Google.
To strengthen your local backlinks and citations, try working with other local enterprises that aren’t your competitors and participate in community events.
5. Execute On-Page SEO Tailored for Local Searches
Optimizing your website’s on-page elements is crucial for ranking higher in the Local Pack. Here are some tips to help you:
- Use location-specific keywords throughout your website’s content, titles, and meta descriptions.
- Offer accurate business and contact information on all your web pages.
- Embed schema markup so search engines better understand your business NAP information.
- Make sure your official website is fast, responsive, and mobile-friendly.
6. Publish Local Content
Creating informative, high-quality content specific to your local area can help attract more customers and improve your local SEO. Consider creating city or neighborhood guides highlighting popular attractions, events, and eating places.
You can also collaborate with other businesses in the area to create content for each other’s websites, such as guest blog posts or featured interviews.
7. Use High-Quality Local Images
Visuals can make or break a customer’s impression of your business. So, showcasing high-quality images on your Google Business profile and website is crucial.
Capturing your products and services, team members, and the overall atmosphere of your business can help attract potential customers. Additionally, adding location-specific keywords to your image titles, alt tags, and image descriptions increases your odds of appearing in Local Pack.
Final Thoughts on Google Local Pack
The Local Pack is a valuable tool for local businesses to gain visibility and attract more customers. Remember to regularly update your NAP information, create local content regularly, and showcase high-quality images to maintain a strong local presence. Also, you’ll need to track and analyze your web traffic and adjust your strategy depending on the feedback data. If that sounds too much work for a busy business owner, consider hiring a local web presence manager. But before you do, find out what local presence management is.