Google’s local listing update – which now shows only three listings for local search results instead of 7 – has some digital marketers worried about losing visibility for their website and business listings. What is the Google 3-pack, and what does it mean for your local listings? The “Local Pack” is now 233% more important to your local SEO efforts. While we can’t guarantee a spot in the top of Google’s new “3-pack,” we can give you some tips for increasing your chances of appearing there in local searches for your types of products and services. Here are 3 steps you can take to give your business a chance at showing up in Google’s 3-pack.
1. Claim your business on Google, if you haven’t already
You can’t climb to the top of Google’s local listings without having a listing in the first place. If you don’t have a business profile on Google, now is the time to create one. If you already have a listing, make sure it’s verified and accurate. Google will soon remove all unverified business listings.
How to do it: Google’s local listings are now managed through the Google My Business platform, a central location to manage all your business information on Google. Go to the Google My Business platform and check on your listing (or set it up if you have not yet done so).
2. Complete your business information on Google My Business
The goal of Google’s updated local pack is to show Google searchers the most relevant, up-to-date content that meets their search criteria. To make sure you’re doing this, include all pertinent business information in your listing. Add your hours of operation, a brief, keyword-optimized description about your business, and appropriate business categories, because that’s part of what Google is looking at when determining what businesses surface in the local results.
How to do it: Log into your Google My Business account and click “Edit.” If you haven’t updated your information in awhile, now is the time. Refreshing your content can help refresh your listing.
3. Optimize your listing and overall web presence for local SEO
Now that you have a verified listing with accurate information, it’s time to optimize it for search. Google considers how relevant your business is to the search terms, where your business is located in proximity to the searcher, and how your business looks online. Google also favors listings that provide searchers with as much information about the business as possible. In addition, Google has added a filter on some searches where users can narrow results by star rating, so it’s increasingly important to focus on your online reputation.
How to do it: Add a profile picture (usually your business logo) and a cover photo to your Google My Business listing and make sure you are adhering to Google’s best practices. Additionally, a mobile-friendly website, keyword-rich content, and an active social presence are all factors that play into your local SEO efforts, which Google takes into consideration when displaying local search results. Plus, regularly monitor and respond to reviews on your Google page and other relevant review sites to help your listing show up and impress searchers.