Google dominates the game of online search — that we all know. Google is the prevailing search engine that has monopolized the industry successfully with virtually no comparable competitors.
So, what does this mean? Well, it’s imperative that your business gets found on Google. You’ll want to be ranking for all of the most relevant keywords for your business.
When you search for a business on Google, where are your eyes drawn? Chances are it's the top three results that appear at the top. This is known as the Google 3 Pack.
What is the Google 3 Pack?
The Google 3 Pack is the formula Google uses to display the top three results for local SERP results. It displays the local 3 Pack of Google Maps before organic results. The 3 Pack displays across all devices — including mobile phones.
Back in 2015, Google reduced the local pack results from 7 to 3 in order to provide users with better information about the top local search results. The goal was to deliver higher quality search results with more information, but fewer and more exclusive options.
Google lists 3 factors that it takes into account when determining local rankings: relevance, distance, and prominence. Your business has to excel in all three categories to earn a place in the Google 3 Pack.
With near me searches on the rise, it’s critical for local businesses to rank here. But how do you get there? Here are some tips on how to get your business to rank in the Google 3 Pack:
Google 3 Pack Ranking Tip #1: Optimize Your GMB Account
The first step is to register or claim your Google My Business page. After you claim your page, you must verify your business. Once this is complete, you can begin customizing it. Add a quality description with keywords and ensure that your business is in the correct category. Be as specific as possible.
Be sure to upload a variety of quality images. This will result in higher online customer engagement — more clicks, calls and direction requests. Businesses with more than 100 images on GMB get 520 percent more calls, 2717 percent more direction requests, and 1,065 percent more website clicks than the average business.
Make sure all the information is correct and uniform across all business directories. This includes the products and services that you offer as well as your hours, name, address, and phone number. Not only does Google take note of this for your ranking, but this information will also be displayed on the sidebar and has to be correct for potential customers.
In addition to your GMB account, optimize your website and take advantage of your social media profiles. Make sure that your information is up-to-date and that you regularly engage with your followers. Doing this will establish yourself as a local business and build your online presence.
Google 3 Pack Ranking Tip #2: Get More Reviews
Reviews are a pain point for many businesses and we understand why. For some, it’s the issue of how to get more GMB reviews and for others, it’s not so much how to get more reviews, but how to get customers to leave positive reviews. The struggle is real. But that can change.
The best way to get reviews is to ask customers. It can be through text message, email, printed on a receipt — whatever works best for your business. Be selective about when you request reviews. Timing is important. Try to send the review request right after you complete the service so the experience is still fresh in their mind.
If you send out your initial review request and do not receive a response, it’s okay to send a follow-up message. In many cases, they simply forgot to write a review the first time you asked. Make sure that you include your Google Business Review link in each message you send. The easier it is for them to find it, the more likely they will leave a review.
The more reviews you get, the better it will be for SEO. It’s important to understand that it’s fine to have negative reviews. It makes your business seem legitimate and reliable — no one is perfect.
Lastly, don’t forget to respond to reviews! Your customers are reaching out for a reason and want to communicate with you. Don’t ignore them. By responding, you are building your customers' trust and encouraging them to interact with your business in the future.
Increasing your reviews won’t only prove to be vital for your SEO, but it will also drive your sales. About 92 percent of consumers regularly read online reviews and then use those reviews to make a purchasing decision.
Google 3 Pack Ranking Tip #3: Drive Traffic to Your Site
One of the ways to get included in the Google 3 Pack is to increase the number of visitors your site receives. The goal is to direct as much traffic as you can back to your website. In some cases, this will happen organically, but sometimes it requires intervention. There are a variety of effective ways to do this including signing up for citations, listings and business directories.
Citations are a source of backlinks and are a local search ranking factor. Websites that are optimized with strong backlink profiles are more likely to rank highly in relevant local searches. By earning local backlinks, you will raise your organic ranking.
A business listing site and online business directories both allow businesses to promote their business online and relay important information like services, contact information, location and even communicate with customers. The best part? Business can take advantage of these tools for free.
Google 3 Pack Ranking Tip #4: Create a Mobile First Website
Having a mobile responsive website is no longer luxury, it’s a necessity. You need to have a mobile first website. This means having a page that is designed for the mobile device and appeals to the mobile user. It should include:
- A responsive design (on all devices);
- Big, tappable CTA buttons;
- Click-to-call buttons;
- No tiny links;
- No lengthy forms;
- Quick checkout process;
- Concise content;
- Fast loading speeds; and
- An easy to read webpage.
The website should be targeted towards the mobile customer and not the desktop user. Prioritize mobile versus desktop content. Include important information upfront for your mobile users and deliver more detailed, comprehensive and optional content for desktop users.
By doing this, during the process of mobile first indexing, your mobile pages will be crawled first and this will boost your local ranking.
It’s Time to Get Found in the Google 3 Pack
In order to fully maximize the online reach of your business, you need to rank on top of search results for your target keywords – you have to be featured in the Google 3 Pack.
Since the 3 Pack appears on top of search results 93 percent of the time, you can maximize your visibility by getting your store featured there. This process is arguably the easiest and most cost-efficient way to attract more customers to your business and increase your bottom line.
These tips are a great start, but with help from GoSite's Placement feature you will be able to streamline the process and see drastic results in no time. We provide all the tools necessary for your business to get found, drive more traffic to your website, take control of your online presence and quickly climb your way to the top of the Google 3 Pack.