It’s difficult to get your business listed in the local 3-pack in Google but not impossible. Due to the factor of chance, no one can guarantee you’ll make it into the top three. However, you CAN increase the chance you’ll make it into the local 3-pack by optimizing your business for the local 3-pack. There are certain ranking factors that determine which business shows up in the local 3-pack. The five most important criteria for ranking in the local 3-pack are:
Reviews of your business are an important ranking factor for the local 3-pack. It makes sense that Google wants to display businesses that have reviews because they help users make a buying decision. Encourage your customers to leave feedback on review sites like Yelp. Don’t ask for positive reviews because it’s against the terms of service for some review sites.
Having quality sites link to your website will improve your chances of ranking in the local 3-pack. One way to attain meaningful backlinks is to ask other businesses you have partnerships with or do business with if you could write a testimonial for their websites. Another method of receiving backlinks is to write guest blog posts on influential blogs.
Your website should be optimized for the local 3-pack. In order to drive local traffic your way, Google’s spiders (technology not actual spiders) need to determine where your business is located. Show the spiders where your business is from and which areas it serves by optimizing your website for those locations. For example, if you run a California business that serves the San Diego area, you should create a unique page for each city in that area that’s designed to attract customers from those cities. If you only serve one city, then you’ll only need one optimized page for that city.
Don’t copy and paste the information for each page and change the city name. Write unique content for each city. Also embed Google Maps on every page and add a schema markup on your name, address, and phone number to improve optimization.
Enter all information asked of you in Google Maps: business address, hours, and phone number. Many businesses don’t list their hours, which makes it inconvenient for searchers. They have to go the extra step of calling you to check when your store opens and closes. Use a schema markup on your website to display your business hours on your Google Maps listing.
Submit your website to relevant directories. The keyword is relevant. Don’t have a directory service automatically add your business to hundreds of directories because this sends a spam signal to Google. You don’t want to appear spammy when trying to work your way up into the local 3-pack. Yelp and YP.com are examples of quality business directories you can add your business to. You should also aim to become accredited by the Better Business Bureau, a reputable organization where customers can post complaints.
It doesn’t seem like it matters, but you must type your name, address, and phone number EXACTLY as you did on your website. If you wrote “5th ave” as “5th ave” on your website, but “5th avenue” in a directory, then that inconsistency can interfere with rankings.
With dedication and following the tips listed above, you stand a chance at ranking in the local 3-pack. Don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d like. Continue implementing the above tips, which are great for your business anyways.
Contact us for a guiding hand in optimizing your website for the local 3-pack.