Whether you are looking for a new restaurant, a medical professional, or are simply looking for the nearest grocery store, Google not only provides you with a list of websites relevant to your search, but they also provide you with the top three businesses near you, their address, and the map so you can easily find their location.
This small map with the top three businesses is known as the local pack. The local pack—which used to display seven businesses—now displays three businesses, their address, phone number, and rating below the small map. This map is specific to your location so Google is providing the best results located near you.
So, how does Google decide which business goes into the local pack and how can you get your business there? Below we have outlined reasons why your business is not showing up in the local pack, and how you can better your chances of being seen by visitors.
Why Your Business Isn’t In the Local Pack
Unfortunately, there is no button that puts your business in the local pack. Google has a pretty complex algorithm, which decides which business goes in the local pack and in what order. Some reasons why your business may not be in the local pack include:
Let’s say you own a jewelry store. Your business is located on one side of town while your home is located on the other side of town. If you are at home and you search jewelry stores, Google is going to populate stores that are closest to your location. If you go to your in-law’s home—located the next town over—your results will be completely different and Google will show you jewelry stores in that specific location.
Needless to say, everyone’s local pack is different. While you cannot control where your customers are located, you can control the quality of your Google My Business page and website to help your business be seen by others.
Your Google “My Business” page needs to be complete and verified to increase your chances of being ranked in the local pack. Name, address, and phone number—also known as NAP—needs to be complete and accurate in order to follow Google’s guidelines. It’s also important to keep your business’s information consistent across all platforms. Use the same address, phone number, and business name to eliminate any confusion for both search engines and for users.
Not only is it important for your information to be accurate and complete, it’s also a great idea to stay active on your account. Team photos, product images, blog sharing, videos, and Google+ posts all show users and search engines that you are active and you can be trusted.
Google’s number one priority is its users—which is why it populates the most popular results at the top. The more traffic your website gets, the more likely it will be at the top and potentially in the local pack. Some ways to increase traffic to your website include:
- SEO. Search engine optimization is simply a technique used to increase visitors to your website by analyzing and strategizing keywords and rankings. By investing in SEO, you can guarantee your site is search engine-friendly and using the best keywords in your area.
- Social Media. Does your business have social media accounts? Social media is a great way to increase the number of links to your website—which is a great way for more people to visit your site and gain popularity.
- Email. Email marketing is another great way to increase the number of people click through your website.
If you take a closer look at your competitors who are in the local pack, you may notice that some of them—if not all—have reviews. Reviews tell users (and Google) if you are a trustworthy company. To increase the likelihood of being in the local pack, ask your customers to leave a review after they have received your service.
How to Get Your Business in the Local Pack
There is no guaranteed way to get your business in the local pack. However, by completing your Google My Business profile, staying active on your account, and investing in inbound marketing strategies, you can increase the likelihood of being seen in the Google map in the search results and reaching more potential customers.
Want to learn more? Contact PHOS today and learn how we can help your business grow online.