It’s no longer enough to rank on a SERP; you now need to make sure your listing maximizes its position. SERP features, rich results and rich snippets can be used to optimize your listing and grab more space and attention on the Google 1st page so that your listing stands out. The local 3-pack is not just about appearing in the 3-pack, but also how you appear versus your competitors.
What is Google Local 3-Pack?
The Google 3-pack is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a pack of three local search results. These results are sourced based on a user’s query and their location.
Google Local 3-Pack is a collection of the top 3 most relevant results for your Local Search. If you search for things like: “seo company” or “service or product in [your location]”, Google understands that you’re looking for local business and it’s going to provide a Local 3-Pack card at the top position in search results. Not only do many people search for businesses “near me" or locally, but they also search for the “best” businesses.
Based on your geo-location, Google will surface the most relevant local search results in your area. The top result, above other organic results is called Google Local 3-Pack and will look something like this:
As you can see, the Local 3-Pack is displayed above other organic listings and it takes up a big part on Google’s results page.
The Google Local 3-pack shows up in the first position on Google 93% of the time.
The Local Packs were introduced alongside Google’s algorithm update in 2014, called “Pigeon.” The aim was to provide more relevant search results for queries that included localized keywords.
Initially, Local Packs featured 10 results, later they were cut down to 7 and finally were reduced to only 3. This was done to optimize search results for hyper-local areas and better fit small screens on mobile devices. Thanks to these updates, with Local 3-Pack, even small business can outrank global or national companies for relevant local searches.
Structure of Local 3-Packs
For most local businesses, a typical Local Pack includes the following elements:
Location on the map
Ratings (based on Google My Business)
All this is meant to help users find exactly what they’re looking for without scrolling or searching down the page.
Local Teaser Pack vs Local 3-Pack
Besides the regular Local 3-pack, some local-intent searches might offer another type of local result called Local Teaser Pack.
The results look similar to the Local Pack, but with a few more elements added. Local Teaser Pack also includes:
Why are Local 3-Packs essential for your Business
The Pigeon update and new Google SERP features known as Local Packs have opened up a whole new world of possibilities for you. Google’s 3-pack appears in 93% of the time for local related searches.
When people search for products or services in your area, you want your business to be the first thing that comes up. To run a successful business in your local space, it’s essential for your site to appear in the Local 3-Pack. It’s a prominent feature in SERP and takes up so much screen space with local map position. People actually have to scroll down to see the #1 organic ranking!
This means if you can put your Business among the Top Three Results in Local Packs, you’ll Dominate the Google Search Results Page.
Another major reason for the Local Pack comes from the fact that 4 in 5 consumers use smartphones to look for local businesses. It’s super convenient, you don’t even have to visit any of the listed sites! Simply make a call to book a service straight from SERP or add it to your navigation app if you want to drive there directly.
And perhaps the most compelling reason to get your Business on the Local Pack is that people searching for local services are ready to buy them! It’s very simple. If you’re searching for a product or a service near you, you are probably looking to utilize their services immediately os soon.
Over 88% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a related store or contact service within a week, so you can see why it’s essential for your site to be locally at hand.
Local SEO can potentially bring you higher ROI (return on investment) than any other marketing strategy. It reaches the largest market of likely customers.
To get local SEO top results, you need to understand how Google ranks sites for location-related queries. When deciding who to rank in the Local 3-Pack, Google takes 3 major factors into consideration:
Relevance – This represents how well the results match the term that a user searched.
Distance – How close the user is to the location of your business. This is determined by the search term if it contains a location. If not, then Google will consider the last known location of the user.
Prominence and trustworthiness – This factor is determined by your company’s reputation. Google tries to reflect the true popularity and credibility of a business, both in the offline and online world.
Based on these factors, Google is using aditional sorts of signals to determine which businesses deserve to rank in the Local 3-Pack. Since the coveted spots in the Google Local Pack are subject to its algorithm, positioning in the 3-Pack is ever-changing and cannot be guaranteed. However, there are steps to improve your chances of indexing in this ultra-competitive (yet free!) real estate location of Google SERP.
SERP features, rich resuts and rich snippets are prominently displayed in Google SERP and can potentially drive more visitors to your site or your business. Your site may appear in many different Google SERP features like the Local 3-Pack and Knowledge Panel.
It’s important for your business to invest in a strong SEO and local strategy, because you can increase your chances of appearing in the Google rich snippets and boost your visibility for local searches. Certain markets and verticals are highly competitive, where the 3-pack is already full of heavily reviewed local businesses. In these cases, just publishing and optimizing your Google My Business profile will likely not be enough to get your business in Local 3-pack for competitive search terms.
There is no easy fix for this situation except to really step up your organic SEO game.
Local SEO works hand-in-hand with Organic SEO. You will get the best results by having a website that ranks well. You might consider finding a digital marketing partner to help you execute these strategies and keep up with the ever-changing Google algorithm.
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