We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the Google local 3-pack. White Peak’s clients come to us for help with digital marketing, and Google has created a game-changer with this new ranking feature. So what is it, how will it affect your business, and how can you use it to your SEO advantage?
What is the Google Local 3-Pack?
Essentially, the 3-pack is just a new way for Google to display their local search results on page 1 of the SERP.
When you search for a type of local business or service, Google gives you a “Top Results” panel. Previously, Google would group together the top 7 results for a local search. Now, they only group the top 3 results together. These 3 results are known as the local 3-pack. If the user wants more results, they have to scroll down, or navigate to the second results page.
The appearance of the “Top Results” panel is different now too. Rather than a phone number for the business, users are more likely to see business hours and address information. There is, however, a button that users can click to call the business. That way, mobile users don’t have to navigate to the web page in order to make a call.
The local 3-pack affects mobile and desktop searches. Check out the results we got when we searched for “ice cream” with an iPhone:
You’ll see that Google showed us a map with the locations of several local ice cream shops, followed by the top 3 listings for ice cream nearby.
Now look at our results from a desktop:
Not much different, right? Google still showed us a map and 3 local results. The only difference is that we can see the Wikipedia entry for ice cream to the right. (Along with the nutrition information to feed our ice cream guilt. Thanks, Wikipedia!)
Why Does the Google Local 3-Pack Matter to Your Business?
If you’ve been paying attention to SEO strategies, you probably already knew that SERP rankings have a big effect on your site’s traffic. Research shows that the results on page 1 get 67% of the clicks. On mobile, many users don’t want to scroll down past the results that show on their first screen let alone the first page. And since the 3-pack is taking up the bulk of the screen on page 1 of the SERP, you can see why that little panel would be valuable real estate.
How to Get Your Business into the Google Local 3-Pack
The most important step you can take to get your business or website into the local 3-pack is to have consistent contact information listed across many websites.
Does Google have your NAP?
Google wants to make sure they’re giving their users accurate information, and Google considers your name, address, and phone number (NAP) to be the most important. Check every website that lists your NAP. This could include your own site, social media pages, consumer ranking sites like Yelp, and local directories. If your information is incorrect, fix it immediately.
Also, it’s a great idea to get your business listed in as many directories as possible. If Google sees your NAP across many sites, it assumes that your business is worthy of a bump in their results rankings. We’ve seen small, local businesses beat out big chain stores in Google rankings simply because they got themselves listed in a ton of directories. Check out community web pages, your local chamber of commerce, city squares, and local business guides. Regularly update all of your social media pages, and make sure you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and any other relevant sites.
Mobile Friendly Site
Finally, it’s super important to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Mobile is taking over the world of SEO. If you want your business to rank, you’ll have to keep up with the changes. Check out our other blog posts on mobile SEO for more information, or give us a call. The SEO and digital experts at White Peak can help you get your business noticed.