Having your business rank on Google’s local pack is an incredibly effective way to bring traffic onto your website and your Google My Business listing because it’s always shown above organic search results and they include an interactive map that allows users to gauge how close they are to them right away. In order to be featured in local packs, you have to first take the proper steps to beat out your competitors. Just getting your company to consistently keep ranking in the local park can be challenging, especially when your competitors have been around longer than you have. Over the course of this article, we will share and discuss our findings on what has the most impact on getting your business to rank in the local pack and how you can apply them to your business.
Claim and Maintain your Google My Business Listing
One thing is certain, without a Google My Business (GMB) listing you’ll never appear on Google’s local packs because they are filled in completely based off of GMB listings. That also means that they are generated differently than organic search results and just because you can get your business to rank well in organic results that does not mean that your business will rank well in the local packs. For a more in-depth look at how Google My Business can factor into your search result rankings check out our blog post “What is Google My Business and How Can it Contribute to SEO?” but here we will review the best course of action to make your GMB listing as strong as possible.
Claim Your Business on Google My Business: This will be the very first and most important step you will want to take towards ranking in local packs.
Ensure There Are No Missing Fields in Your Listing: Forgetting to make sure that areas such as your name, address, phone number, or hours in your listing will negatively impact your chance of ranking in the local packs and also make it difficult for potential customers to get in contact with you.
Encourage Your Customer to Review Your Business: Though Yelp strongly discourages businesses from asking their customers to give them a review, Google actually encourages it as long as it is done organically. Google, however, does not want you to offer customers benefits like free services in exchange for a positive review. If customers take the time to review your business, be sure to reply to their responses as it’s one more thing that can strengthen your GMB listing and increase the likelihood of ranking in local packs.
Also be sure that there are no inconsistencies between your Google My Business listing and information on your page or other listing sites. For example, if you are listing your business as “Fresno DUI Lawyer: Ken Smith Attorney at Law” in your GMB, but your URL and name on your website is actually “Ken Smith Attorney at Law”. Google will often see all those extra words in your GMB listing as spam keywords and attempts at manipulating search results, which could negatively impact your chance at ranking in Local Packs.
Local Citations Boost your Credibility
Now that your Google My Business listing is up to date, it is time to focus on other local listing sites. Getting your business listed on websites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yelp, Angie’s List, and other home service oriented listing sites can improve your authority in your local area and increase your chances of ranking in local packs.
Your User’s Location Has a Major Impact On Local Pack Results
We have all heard the old saying, “Location, location, location” and it has never been more relevant than right now. Where a user is searching from can have a major impact on what will be shown in the local pack. Google has determined the city “centroids” and will alter the local pack ranking based on how far away a user is from the city centroid. Google any major city and wherever the name of the city is displayed on the map is where Google has determined the city centroid is. If you want to determine how far your business is from the city centroid is you can zoom in on where the city name is, click on a business, and then generate directions to your business. This will let you know how many miles from the city centroid you are. It seems like how far your business is from Google’s determined city centroid can have an effect on search queries like “electrician in *city” because the map seems to stay closer to the pre-designated centroid. Unfortunately, there’s little that can be done about this part of local packs, but luckily this is not the only factor that determines where you end up in local packs. With the other tools of Google My Business under your belt, you can make large strides towards consistently ranking in local packs and dominating that valuable space on search results for your business. It is not impossible to do on your own but as a business owner seeking the help of a professional SEO company like ours could greatly benefit your business so that you can put your time and energy where you really need it.
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