optimise google 3 pack

Optimising Google 3 Pack For Business

Optimise Google 3 Pack For Any Business

Optimising Google 3 Pack is the ultimate goal for any local business. Having your business feature in the first 3 results in Google search engine results page SERPs for a keyword is far more valuable and cost effective than any paid marketing campaign.

Listing in the local 3 Pack speaks volumes for your brands reputation and performance. It creates a trust relationship between you and the searcher when they are looking for a business that can deliver on their needs. 

What is Google 3 Pack? 

Google 3 pack also known as Google’s Local 3 Pack came into play when Google started featuring Google Map results with the leading local search results.

This quickly became recognised as a good move and Google named it the Local Pack. Originally – this was 7 local businesses relevant to the search terms entered by users. After some extensive analysis this was reduced to 3 local businesses and this is how it still appears today.

The Local 3 Pack offers your business the most visibility in initial search results by location as seen below. 

local 3 pack search

Ranking for a competitive keyword in the Google 3 Pack can be a scary prospect especially if digital marketing space is not your natural forte. 

However if done correctly it can be a very successful platform for any local business. 

Where to start and how to get it right?

You can find everything you need to get started and maximise your chances of being featured in Google Maps 3 Pack right here. It is not something that will happen overnight but the return is certainly worth the investment of your time.

The key to success is not to try and cut corners with this. Stick to the rules and you will be able to use Google 3 pack to benefit your business long-term.

Below is a guide on what you need to do: 

1: Verify and optimise your GMB listing 

Numerous researches have been completed on this and the general consensus is that Google My Business – GMB signals are grouped as the most important factor when it comes to Local 3 pack ranking.

According to Moz Lab – Google My Business – GMB signals are the most important ranking factor when it comes to Local Pack or Finder Ranking Factors.

Verify & Optimise your GMB listing

One of the very first and most important steps you should take is to make sure that the GMB listing of your listing is verified. This is absolutely easy so there is no excuse – all you need to do is follow this link and simply add or claim your business on Google Maps.

This will be a lot easier from a desktop computer so try to avoid using your phone for this step. It gives more control of how your business features when appearing in Google search and allows you to modify information to maximise your results. 

Verify GMB listing

Once this step is completed then your GMB listing is setup and you can commence to optimise Google 3 pack for maximum benefits.  

Here are a few things you can do to get your Local 3 pack ranking heading in the right direction: 

  • It is important to rewrite your location pages to optimise your GMB. If you have a GMB listing with multiple locations – you can improve your rankings by rewriting the location page for each of the listings which will make you eligible to rank for additional queries.
  • You should also keep a close eye out for spam competitors that are ranking above you. Make sure you report any GMB listing spam, review spam and edited listings that are keyword stuffing – these are all effective tactics and will boost your own ranking. 
  • Positive and recent reviews go a long way to secure you a good position in your Local 3 Pack Ensuring as much completeness and engagement as possible with your GMB page is a crucial step of optimising for Google 3 Pack. You should always respond to reviews – no matter if it is good or bad in order to send the right GMB signals to Google. 
  • GMB posts are a great way of encouraging more engagement and leads from potential customers already interested in a particular brand. This will help you with link building which is good for Google’s algorithm.

 2: Link building 

Link building is a very effective way to optimise for the Local 3-Pack ranking just as link building is important for general SEO optimisation. Google has the power and resources to analyse all data related to your business and website.

This means that the more authoritative and trusted your business website is – the better your chances of being featured in the Local 3-Pack are. 

A key thing to remember when it comes to the Local Google 3-Pack is your website is still an essential tool for maximising your ranking.

One of the key metrics Google analyses when generating the Local 3-Pack schema is the inbound link authority of the business so keeping this up to date is imperative. 

Local Link building

In an ideal situation you will have plenty of high authoritative links to and from your website. Although link building can be quite complex – we have put together a few basic elements that search algorithms analyse when generating the Local 3-Pack. 

Top Basic Elements:

  • Inbound link authority – link authority is one of the most important link-building factors because it tells Google and its search algorithms that other people find your website and its content valuable. 
  • Inbound links from other local relevant websites – links from other local authoritative sources is another great way to up your ranking. Google assigns local relevance to links from nearby sources so you need to find ways to link your business to the most authoritative websites in your area. 
  • Link quality – as previously mentioned – the better the link quality, the better this will be for your ranking in both generic results and local searches. A great way to optimise your ranking is with quality high engaging content. Guest blogging and affiliate networking strategies are a brilliant way to build a catalogue of quality content whilst also generating large numbers of quality backlinks if you do not already have a catalogue of content on your site. 
  • Link diversity – since the latest Google algorithm update – search engines have now included back links in their analysis and ranking process. It is important to build links organically from a wide variety of sources to stay relevant in the eyes of Google. 

3: Local citation building 

A local citation means having another website reference your business, name, address, contact details etc. Citations are regarded highly by Google so it is important to get yourself listed where possible.

Citation signals like NAP consistency, citation volume, etc accounts for more than 10% so it is not something to be overlooked.

Great examples of websites that help boost your ranking are TripAdvisor, Yelp or Bing since they need to display your business NAP – Name, Address and Phone Number

link citation building

In simple terms – the more times your business or website is referenced elsewhere – the more authoritative and credible your business will become across to Google.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to optimising local citation building: 

  • Citation consistency – it is important that once you have built up your citation portfolio – ensure that your listing is consistent for the next. If your business NAP differs from one listing to another it reflects badly in the eyes of Google and could result in your website being labelled as spam and could affect your ranking in Google 3 Pack
  • Citation authority – just as inbound links from trusted websites are beneficial to your website as these will help boost your local ranking. As mentioned previously – building citations from high ranking and trusted websites such as Yell and TripAdvisor are a great source of local ranking success.  
  • Citation relevance – relevancy is another factor you need to consider during this process. Relevant domains in your geographic area – local newspapers, blogs, local directories, etc. will earn you brownie points in your local ranking. 

4: Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly 

It should come as no surprise that that your website needs to be mobile responsive in today’s digital world.

A huge 4 out of 5 people searching for local information are doing so from their mobile phone. Viewers expect instant results so if your website is unable to provide this then they will move swiftly onto a competitor.

This is on the increase since the younger generations are making their way through so our advice is to make your website mobile friendly as soon as possible.

A good way to test and see how your website is fairing is by using Google’s mobile friendly test. 

device and mobile friendly

There are a few things to bear in mind when creating the optimal website for your mobile users: 

  • Page speed – this is extremely important for both your users and for Google’s mobile bots. Google will penalise any site that has a slow page load time and users are not forgiving if they have to wait. A few ways to optimise your page loading times is via browser caching, reducing redirects, minifying code, optimising images and reducing side bar ads.
  • Do not block CSS and JavaScript – in crawl bot technology – if information is blocked then the site will be penalised. CSS, JavaScript, and images are all key fundamentals that will help Google bots digest and rank your site accordingly. 
  • Utilise the experts or use a mobile optimised theme – your website needs to offer the best user experience possible which means ensuring the foundations of the site are solid. 
  • Do not use Flash – todays mobile browsers no longer support Flash so avoid it at all cost. If you really want to include special effects then use HTML5 instead but bear in mind that this will impact your page load time. 
  • Use a responsive web design – a responsive web design will automatically adapt to the needs of the user. It will deliver the same content but in the format that is required of it either on mobile, desktop or any other portable device. 

5: Content is King

The content on your website is just as important for your Local 3 Pack ranking as it is for your general SEO ranking so ensure that it is clear, relevant and informative.

The inclusions of specific keywords are essential but remember not to overstuff it and write for your user – not Google since Content is King

content is king

Here are a few things Google will take note of – when they are analysing your sites on-page content: 

  • Length of content – in the eyes of Google the length of content is an indicator of the quality of content. Remember – Google is smart so the content still needs to be relevant and authoritative not just written for the sake of being written. 
  • Local relevant content – to feature in the Local Google 3 Pack it is important that your content has local relevance and references to the areas surrounding your business. A great way of doing this is by using in-content links to local sites or references to the local areas of interest.

6: Using a NAP footer on your website

Using a specific schema mark-up will help Google’s bots crawl your site and understand its structure. This is not essential but every little helps when trying to feature in your Local 3 Pack.

A very easy way of achieving this is by including a NAPname, address and phone number in the footer of your website and must be consistent with your GMB profile.

name address phone number - NAP

7: Reviews – Reviews – Reviews 

Reviews are worth their weight in gold when it comes to your websites online ranking.

It is not just about how many five star reviews you have but it is also about how you manage those reviews and how you interact with your reviewers both positive and negative.

Reputation management is extremely important and should not be overlooked or judged differently. 

negative or positive reviews

Here are a few elements you should bear in mind when focusing on reviews: 

Responding to reviews – make it your mission to respond to all reviews both positive and negative. This not only encourages trust between you and your customers but also sends the right signals to Google. 

Encourage keyword reviews – obviously you cannot control what your customers have to say but try and encourage them to leave reviews about the specific product or services they have purchased as opposed to generic non-specific reviews. Google will look favourably upon this.

Purchase follow-ups – a great way of encouraging product specific reviews is as part of your follow service. This can be done easily through a CRM and can offer links to key review websites including Google. 

Do not ignore negative reviews – as mentioned – it is important to answer all reviews especially negative ones. A bad experience can be undone by excellent customer service and will be reflected positively by Google. 

8: Social Proofing 

Social proofing is essential on your journey to being featured in the Local 3 Pack. Google will analyse your social signals before it ranks your business. 

General rule of thumb – the more people engage and talk about your business via social media or other platforms – the better the local SEO. 

boost your brand's social presence

Here are a few social signals that Google looks out for when ranking for local search:  

Social media growth – a steady social media incline with regards to interaction, following and influence is a big positive when Google’s algorithm is ranking a local business.

User influence – the more shares, likes, retweets and brand mentions your business can get the better when it comes to local ranking. Ensure you are maximising your opportunities when it comes to your social presence. 

Consistent messaging and branding – make sure your branding; tone of voice and posting schedule is consistent. 

Consistent brand information – do not forget the importance of ensuring all of your brand information is consistent and point towards the right NAP. 

Customer engagement – as mentioned – it is important to ensure all reviews are replied to and this includes social media reviews and feedback.

It is important you are doing this across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

The key is to discover which platform will work best for your business and target audience. Make sure your business information is consistent across every platform. 

Get Started with Google 3 Pack

Remember – this is just a general guide and it is important to do your own research when it comes to what will work best for your business when trying to rank in your Local Google 3 Pack. Now it is time to put what you have learnt to good use.

At Best-Digital Marketing Services – as a digital marketing agency, we want to work alongside you to help improve your business and we have vast amounts of experience with different industries in achieving SEO goals.

We strive to build long lasting relationships with our clients and act as an extension of your business to bring overall digital marketing success. We aim to work effectively to help maximise your digital marketing efforts. 

To find out more about ranking in your Google Local 3 Pack call us now on 07794 113 607, email us or visit our website

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Optimise Google 3 Pack For Business