Google’s local pack is prized digital real estate for local businesses. Found sandwiched between AdWords ads and organic website listings at the top of the search results, it consists of local business listings for relevant searches. Granted, if your business operates globally, there’s little to no benefit of securing a listing in Google’s local pack. But if your business operates locally and relies on walk-in traffic to generate sales, getting your business listed here can attract countless new customers to your establishment.
Local Pack Listings: What You Need to Know
Local pack listings are pulled from Google’s local business directory. Known as Google My Business (GMB), this directory allows owners of local businesses to create free listings that are displayed in Google Maps. When properly optimized, however, GMB listings can also appear in Google’s local pack.
It’s important to note that Google typically only displays three GMB listings in the local pack. Whether you perform a local search on a desktop computer or mobile device, you’ll probably see three listings in the local pack.
Claim Your GMB Listing
The first step to getting your business listed in Google’s local pack is to create and verify your GMB listing. Anyone can create a listing for a business even if they don’t own or otherwise manage that business. As a result, some listings may contain inaccurate information. Verifying your business’s GMB listing tells Google that you are the rightful owner, giving you full control over the information displayed. Once verified, no one else can modify your business’s GMB listing.
Complete Your Listing
After verifying your GMB listing, you should complete it by adding as much information about your business as possible. Google explains that listings with complete and accurate information are likely to rank higher than those with incomplete or inaccurate information.
Double-check the name, address and phone number (NAP) displayed on your business’s GMB listing to ensure it’s accurate and up to date, and don’t use different versions when promoting your business on other websites or channels. Alternating between different NAP formats creates confusion as Google won’t know which version is accurate.
When performing local searches on Google, you’ll probably discover that all local pack listings have one thing in common: they have a lot of customer reviews. This makes sense considering that businesses with lots of reviews are usually more popular. To capitalize on this, encourage customers to visit your business’s GMB listing and leave a review. As the reviews begin pouring in, your GMB listing’s rank should increase and, hopefully, appear in the local pack.
Paid AdWords Listings
The optimization tips previously mentioned will increase your chances of ranking organically in Google’s local pack. However, Google’s paid advertising platform, AdWords, can also get your business listed here. Creating a new campaign with the location extension and linking it to your business’s GMB listing will help you secure a listing in Google’s local pack. Of course, you’ll have to pay for clicks whereas clicks from organic local pack listings are free.
Google’s lock pack is a powerful marketing tool for local businesses. Rather than allowing your competitors to take up this space, follow the tips here to secure a spot and dominate your business’s niche.