The most common type of local pack is a list of 3 businesses featuring contact information for that business with links to the website or Google Maps page for that business. Placement in this pack is important not only because of its prominence in search but also because of the ease of using these results when searching using a mobile device. Google has been consistently reducing the number of businesses listed in the Local Pack on the first page of search results (from 7 to 3) over the last 2 years. We will review the factors that will help to get your business listed in the Local Pack and how to effectively manage your Local Pack Map Listing.
Business information generally included in the local pack are the Name, Address, and Phone Number of Business (NAP). Other information may include business hours, star rating, and whether the business is currently open.
How to get into the Local Pack
In Local Packs, Google shows business listings, not websites, so to be featured in a Local Pack, you need to get a Google My Business page.
One of the prerequisites of getting into the Local Pack is to be ranked within the top 10 results for your local search query, which generally requires a great deal of effort be devoted to SEO optimization of your website.
Step 1: Claim and Optimize your Google My Business listing.
- Be sure to be consistent with NAP to the information listed on your website.
- Fill in correct business information.
- Add Photos.
- Make sure that you are listed in the proper category.
- Match the keywords in your Local Pack Listing to those featured in the H1 tags and page titles of your website.
- Verify your google listing.
Step 2: Optimize your website for local SEO
- Scan website for on page SEO. Use Google Search Console and a site scan tool like SEM Rush.
- Verify NAP on the website – BE EXACT.
- Create local citation sites(ie. Merchant Circle, Yellow pages online, etc) and be sure to match NAP on website and local map listing.
- Obtain locally relevant backlinks. Be sure to avoid spammy links.
- Add structured data markup.
As you can see from the list here, what used to be a simple process has become complex, time-consuming, and requires more than a little knowledge of Search Engine Optimization. Because of the increased competition for the placements in the local map pack, not only must the list be fulfilled, but it requires more backlinks, more citation sites, and more exacting on page SEO and content strategy to gain rankings.
Eric Van Cleave is co-CEO of Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California SEO, and Digital Marketing Firm.