The Map Pack
The Google Map Pack, also commonly known as the “Local Pack” or the “3 Pack,” is a group of three highlighted Google-Maps-based search results featuring the most highly ranked business listings based on the factors that determine local ranking. The Local Pack displays businesses that have signed up with Google and have taken ownership of their Google Business listing. While organic search results are taken from Google’s index of websites, the listings in Local Packs originate from the Google Business directory.
Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) containing a Local Pack often get the majority of clicks, and the Google 3-Pack wins with 93% of all searches. Getting 44%-61% of the total clicks, the 3-Pack can position your business to be seen by consumers as the most relevant of it’s kind.
Go for the 3-Pack
Inquirers gravitate towards businesses that they can find quickly and easily. The 3-Pack (Map Pack) massively improves your brand’s online visibility and gives customers a quick glance at your business. If you appear on the 3-Pack, it means your business will always be seen on the first page of Google search results.
Google 3-Pack influences buying decisions.
Studies show that almost 80% of local search is done on a mobile device, translating to direct purchases within 24 hours after searching! You can expect phone calls to increase if people see your business in the Map Pack.
The Map-Pack makes things easy with the click-to-call feature. According to recent studies, 70% of mobile searchers use this button to get in touch with businesses. While utilizing this feature, searchers can call your business directly from the search results with one click. Additionally, consumers can get details about your company, obtain driving directions, and links to your social media platforms, all directly from your listing.
Another reason to go for the Google Map Pack is the chance to showcase your customer feedback. Once consumers click on your 3-Pack listing, Google displays a summary of your business reviews. At first glance, the consumer can see your overall ratings directly from the results page. Once you click the listing your business reviews are displayed for your customer to scroll through. The more reviews your business has, the higher your chances of ranking in the 3-pack.
How to Rank in the Google Map Pack
The information displayed in the GMB listing and hence in the 3-Pack can come from different sources:
- The owner of the business
- Information taken from the business’ website
- User-provided information such as reviews or uploaded photos
- Information from other sources such as social profiles etc.
- Structured Data taken from Wikidata, Wikipedia, and even the C.I.A. World Factbook. Data from these sources is part of the information that appears in Google’s Knowledge Panel in the search results.
The three main criteria that Google claims to use in its algorithms to show results that best match a user’s query are prominence, relevance, and distance.
- Prominence reflects how prominent a place is offline. For example, an important museum or store will be given more prominence. Google also uses certain information on the web to assess prominence, such as reviews, links, and articles.
- Relevance refers to the algorithms attempt to surface the listings that best match the user’s search query.
- Distance refers to Google’s attempt to return those listings closest to the location terms in a search. If there is no location term, then “Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about their location.”
Now that you have a better understanding of what the Maps Pack is, let’s find out how you can rank in it.
Here are some valuable tips to consider:
1. Start with “Google Business”
Listings on Google Business appear when a customer searches for a business either on Google Maps or in Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). You can create a Google Business listing if your business has a physical location or if you visit your customers where they are.
Primary factors that impact a business’s chance of appearing in local search results include…
- Accuracy of the listing
- Proper categorization in business directories
- Correct NAP (businesses name, address, and phone number) across all platforms
- Having a crawlable website
- Citations (mentions of the local business on other relevant websites).
First, create a Google Business profile (GBP). To find out if your business is already part of Google Business, type the name of your company in the “Business Name” box.
If you see your business name, claim it! Seeing it there, even if you didn’t create the listing, means it was likely made through data from other listings.
Next, verify your ownership. If there are no matches, then you can register your company.
2. Verify Your Address
To verify your company’s address, fill out a Google Business application form, and after 3 to 5 days, Google sends you a verification code in the mail via USPS. Once you receive your code, enter it into your Google Business account.
Another way to do this is to use the Gmail account that you used for registering your GBP. This Gmail is the same account that is in your Google Search Console and Google Analytics. When that is done, Google links your account to your business location and automatically verifies your address.
3. Optimize Your Listings
The next order of business is to optimize your listings. A lot goes into optimizing a Google Business listing and doing so takes considerable time, effort, and consistency. Read our Blog Post: Quick tips for Optimizing Your Google Business Profile (GBP) Right Now, and consider SCL360MEDIA’s Online Reputation Management.
The first step to optimizing your Google Business listing involves filling in the important details about your business. The information that you provide will affect your brand’s search engine visibility.
You will need to provide information on the following fields:
- Business Name
- NAP data
- Business Citations
Ultimately, your listing information is just scratching the surface. If you really want to fully optimize your GBP and appear on the Maps Pack you need to tend to your listing regularly.
Optimizing the back end of your photo and post data, adding geotagged location data, actively obtaining, tending and responding to all reviews, and updating content weekly, are some ways you can increase your local ranking and get on the Map Pack.
Furthermore, you’ll want to sync your business directory information across the entire web for the most accurate search visibility and highest local rank. If you don’t know how to do this, it’s included in our Online Reputation Management services.
4. Optimize Your Website
Lastly, you need to optimize your website content. To do so, include the name of the state, town, region, and district of your business’ location.
You also need to look into the SEO health of your website (there are free SEO Review tools online). This concerns the technical condition of your website.
Ask yourself these questions to diagnose the condition of your site’s SEO…
- Is your website mobile-friendly?
- Is your website secure?
- How fast is your website?
- Is your website crawlable?
- What does your link authority look like?
- Is the contact information on your site consistent with that of GMB and Yelp? (This includes format consistency.)
Google Business and your website work closely together to create a seamless and integrated experience for the consumer. If a website’s information is inaccurate to that of the GBP information or vice versa, Google’s algorithm will detect it once it has crawled your website. If your site isn’t crawlable then you’re faced with a big problem, this is how search engines, like Google, get their information. If you aren’t there to crawl, then your site won’t rank despite the hard work you put into it.
We Can Help
Ranking high in the Google Map Pack is doable but takes some hard work on your part. If you don’t have the time, energy, or headspace to stay on top of what it takes to rank on the first page of Google results, we can help. We offer an Online Reputation Mangement service that provides your business with solutions in line with your business goals: ranking on top. We do it all, from professional content creation to review management. Make this investment into your business, sit back, and watch your numbers grow!
*There are many studies showing a range of results, depending on the industry and nature of the search.
There are many ways to optimize your ranking on Google. If you have a physical location, then you most likely have a Google Business account, whether it was created by you, or by listing directory information. By taking ownership of your GBP, you’re able and encouraged to manage and optimize it, consequentially raising your Local Ranking. By taking the time to optimize your website as well, you are connecting one more avenue from your business to search engine directories. Google Business works with your website to create the richest directory of information possible. By optimizing your website, you are not only increasing your chances of ranking higher within the indexes but in the Map Pack as well. Ranking in the Map Pack is challenging but well worth the effort as businesses get more calls, clicks, website interactions, and sales.
Make it a 2023 goal to boost your Local SEO game and get your business on the Map Pack. We believe in you, good luck!