Accessibility helps build the success of almost any business or service. From retail stores to medical facilities, a searchable digital presence provides customers or visitors with quick access to a business’s location and contact information. When people find a business or service more quickly, they will likely use that service more.
At Connective, our team approaches marketing of every level with knowledge and creativity. We understand what works when it comes to building a successful business. Here, we explain a critical component of any business’s web presence and SEO performance: the Google Three Pack. This all-important ranking system helps dictate how likely a user is to find your business or service in a local search. Keep reading to learn more about the Google Three Pack and what it can do for your local business or service.
What is the Google three pack?
The Google Three Pack describes how Google displays search results when users perform searches using local intent. When users make queries for local results, Google returns a list of structured results. This list typically includes paid advertisements, the Google Three Pack, and organic search results, in that order.
Underneath the paid advertisements, the Google Three Pack constitutes the first local links a user sees when making a local search query. In previous years, this section offered up to seven slots and utilized a different ranking system. As of 2015, Google shortened this search results section to only three spots. This limited availability, combined with the pack’s placement, makes the Google Three Pack a coveted spot for businesses and services looking to expand or improve traffic.
Placing your business or service in the Google Three Pack requires planning and work. Optimizing your business’s digital presence for the Google Three Pack doesn’t have to be confusing, even if you’re just getting started with concepts like targeted marketing and SEO. Keep reading for a full run-down of Google Three Pack basics, from SEO to positive online reviews.
Understanding search results and SEO
Business owners or other providers looking to improve access to goods and services will find it beneficial to understand the goal of search engine optimization (SEO). Knowing how to build excellent search engine rankings from the ground up helps save time and money when preparing digital content for a business or service.
Search engines like Google use algorithms to sort through billions of web pages and find the most useful, relevant results. This process uses keywords, ranking systems, and other factors to return results in a fraction of a second.
Search engine optimization (SEO) of digital content refers to preparing that content to rank well in search engine results. Businesses and marketing experts achieve SEO by using relevant keywords, high-quality content, accessible page design, and other strategies.
For more about how to optimize your website or other digital content, keep reading or reach out to us directly at Connective today.
What’s in the Google three pack?
In the Google Three Pack section of results, users receive three relevant local businesses, a map of their locations, and information about each company. Google selects these three companies or services based on the relevance of each to the search terms used and the quality of each business’s digital presence.
In general, listings appearing in the Google Three Pack section of search results have positive traffic, excellent reviews, and reliable content. When users click on one of the Google Three Pack listings, Google offers more detailed information about that listing. Additionally, the user receives an expanded list of businesses similar to the one chosen. Google sorts all results based on relevance and location.
Benefits of the Google three pack
Services like the one provided by the Google Three Pack prove helpful for businesses and customers alike.
For individuals, the Google Three Pack provides a curated list of readable, engaging, and informative results. These brief but targeted search results cut time out of the search process and improve user satisfaction.
While bringing users the concise and specific answers they need, the Google Three Pack benefits businesses by directing target audiences to the services and locations that meet their needs. This direction improves business traffic and boosts brand recognition, contributing to success.
How to optimize for the Google three pack
While there’s no magic trick for placing a business in the coveted Google Three Pack, businesses succeed by paying attention to specific factors. Companies and services achieve this ranking by understanding their brand and product, knowing their customers’ needs, and utilizing other strategies.
At Connective, we help businesses market themselves successfully. Below, we’ve listed some key areas that any business needs to focus on to boost organic search engine rankings.
Understand the product or service
Optimizing a business’s digital presence begins with a complex, working knowledge of the company itself. Some questions to consider during this phase include:
- What products or services does the company offer?
- How do customers view the company?
- Who are the company’s competitors?
- What do the company’s customers need?
- How does the company’s product or services meet those needs?
- What is unique about the company or its products?
Knowing the answers to these questions prepares a business owner or marketing professional for answering questions, deciding on keywords, choosing brand voice, and more. These elements are essential for creating high-quality content optimized for search engines.
Know your keywords
Keywords form perhaps one of the most vital components of search engine optimization. Keywords help search engines find a business more quickly. Additionally, keywords let customers know that your company or service is relevant to and capable of meeting their needs.
To brainstorm about keywords, begin by answering the questions listed in the section above. What words appear most often in those answers? Write those words in a list, and consider adding:
- Terms related to your city, state, or locality
- Words related to any intended uses or applications of the product or service
- Any terms a potential customer may use to search for a business
- The name of the company, service, or products involved
While maximizing keyword-based relevance is critical, businesses generate increased positive interactions by creating engaging, genuine content that includes keywords in an organic, readable fashion. Make sure all keywords appear in a natural context without seeming forced.
Register for Google My Business (GMB)
Companies must register for a Google My Business (GMB) listing to rank in the Google Three Pack. While this might seem like a complicated extra step, the GMB dashboard offers handy tools for managing your business listing on Google. Follow these tips to optimize your GMB during setup and save time.
Include up-to-date information
Make sure to update all contact information for your GMB business listing and keep it active. We recommend double-checking phone numbers, brick-and-mortar addresses, web addresses, and email addresses for spelling and correctness.
Expand the info section
Make the most of a GMB by including an informative, well-structured information section. Information in this section should be concise and direct. Businesses should consider including:
- Hours of operation
- Phone Number
- Web contact
- Web addresses (if applicable)
- A list of services offered
- A business description
- Relevant photographs
- Any special notices or restrictions
Choose a category, attributes, and more
Businesses creating a GMB choose the level of detail provided during the setup and maintenance of the listing. Companies that include a business category, related company attributes, and other features help improve searchability and potential relevance for user queries.
Google offers countless business or service categories, so businesses should choose the best fit for the services or brand. Choose attributes that attract a target audience and support brand messaging.
Reach out to marketing or SEO professionals for tailored advice regarding GMB optimization. These experts have the experience and practice to streamline the process, generate traffic, and help your business get listed in the Google Three Pack.
Optimize your website
With a well-rounded understanding of the business or product in question, optimizing a website for improved search engine rankings becomes easy. Improved website traffic helps increase a business’s Google search ranking. Pay attention to the areas below to help ensure the best results and expand your business’s chances of listing in the Google Three Pack.
Improve page loading speed
Try not to bog down a website or individual webpage with too much high-resolution content. Be mindful that not every internet user has access to standard high-speed internet and may access content on a mobile device.
Optimize pages for mobile usage and fast loading times to generate repeat and more frequent new website traffic.
Create high-quality content
Perhaps the most crucial step in improving search engine rankings and website traffic centers on including quality, engaging content.
Good website content pulls users in and directs them where they need to go, providing them with the answers, information, or services they seek. Businesses that provide useful content understand their target audiences. Questions to ask when crafting content include:
- What does the audience or customer base want to see?
- To what tones or images does the audience respond?
- What does the audience need or want?
- How does the business meet those needs and wants?
- How can the business improve?
- And more
Include optimized images
Images create visual aid and enhance the aesthetic of any website. When using pictures or other graphic elements, website designers should optimize those elements for fast loading times, mobile browsers, and varied audiences. Avoid offensive symbolism, abrasive colors, or irrelevant imagery.
Make the most of outbound links and backlinks
When a business website provides quality, relevant content, that business gets linked to more often. This type of linking—called backlinking—is one of the metrics used when Google determines the quality and relevance of a website or business listing.
Successful websites and listings receive many backlinks. Frequent backlinks tell Google that the service or website actively generates positive results among visitors and users.
One of the ways to generate more backlinks involves using outbound links. Outbound links help direct website traffic to partner organizations, relevant google pages, and more. Utilize outbound links to establish brand relationships, keep customer traffic moving, and establish a well-connected brand image.
Another critical step towards achieving a Google Three Pack listing involves cultivating positive, genuine customer reviews. Positive reviews help establish a trustworthy brand image, generate more traffic, and reassure customers as they choose a particular brand or company.
Aside from the above benefits, positive Google reviews also increase a business’s chances of ranking high in Google search results. For local searches, positive online reviews help a business rank in the Google Three Pack, increasing business visibility and improving traffic.
Gently encourage visitors and customers to leave reviews by offering convenient reminders on receipts, gift tags, or at the bottom of correspondences. Incentive programs, such as discounts, may help but could generate false perspectives. Focus on providing quality, reliable, responsibly-priced goods and services, and let customers do the talking.
When responding to reviews, keep a polite and professional tone. Maintain brand and company policies but ensure all customers feel heard, regardless of the tone or content of any review. Adopt a best practice by avoiding negative responses that engage in competition, name-calling, or other unprofessional communication. Business owners and media managers should approach negative reviews to improve the situation and rekindle the customer experience.
Include local search ads
Using local search ads gives businesses a paid option for appearing in the Google Three Pack ranking. This option allows your business an opportunity to rank into the Google Three Pack featuring a local pay-per-click (PPC) ad. To utilize this option, a company must first:
- Enable location extensions through Google Ads
- Optimize and verify the business’s GMB listing
- Use location targeting and bid using location
- Optimize keyword usage to include location and related words
- And more
To find detailed information about the use of Google Local Search Ads, reach out to a professional for guidance.
Other ways to improve your business’s search ranking
Beyond the most straightforward methods of improving a business’s search engine ranking, let’s review a few more options. When hoping to rank in the coveted Google Three Pack, every kind of optimization helps. Consider the factors below to keep search rankings high.
Keep listings up to date
Avoid frustrated customers or confused clients by ensuring all websites, phone, email, and other business-related listings stay up to date. When creating GMB listings or linking to contact information on a website, double-check spelling and test all links to ensure they function.
When business locations, hours of operation, or policies change, update all listings as soon as possible to avoid any issues.
Add a blog
Blogs provide businesses of all types with a different way to engage with customers. While many visitors to business or service websites prefer the fastest route to services, others look for information or discussion about a business or service. Blogs allow businesses to:
- Provide background information about the company
- List technical details about a good or service
- Discuss industry standards, requirements, and processes
- Inform customers about product usage, maintenance, and more
- Interact with the customer base in a professional, relaxed manner
- Improve brand image through quality, informative content
- Answer questions efficiently and cost-effectively
- And more
Blogs also offer a fantastic way to increase keyword usage and improve the SEO of a business website. Marketing and web content professionals train to know what works, what doesn’t, and why. Reach out to a pro for blogging advice that best suits your business.
Utilize local listings
Another way to improve search rankings includes increasing the number of listings a business has. To improve local search rankings, utilize every appropriate local listing or other popular directories to get your business’s name, services, and features out there.
The more often a business or service appears in local directories, the more likely a customer will use that business or service. Increased traffic pays off by generating clicks, foot traffic, reviews, and more.
Boost the business’s reputation along with its search engine rankings. Choose appropriate press venues through which to discuss the services, products, or skills offered. Digital media press has the bonus of mentioning the business name, services, and location along with additional backlinks. These features help boost a business’s organic search engine rankings and its local rankings.
A great way to generate press and increase the backlink count focuses on interviews. If you offer a product or service, complete an interview with a relevant media outlet to generate interest, backlinks, mentions, and more.
Provide an extra boost to your business’s local search engine rankings by generating press with or providing interviews to a local media outlet.
Increase the accessibility and appeal of information on any business website by condensing the data into an engaging infographic. Infographics allow an audience a more relaxing method of viewing and absorbing detailed, specific information. Infographics also make great learning aids for instructions, safety measures, and other elements necessary for the safe consumption of consumer products.
Create eye-catching titles and headings
Well-written, creative page, blog, and article titles help draw attention to a business listing or website. Many search engine users judge the content and quality of search results on the title and description alone, so it’s worth spending some time to get this element right. For a boost to local rankings, try to use location-related keywords to help increase your chances of ranking in the Google Three Pack.
Along similar lines, quality headings help break up monotonous content and guide readers toward the products, services, or information they seek. Use headings as dividers to direct the customer’s eye and draw attention to popular services or products.
Use meta descriptions and tags
Using location-related keywords in the meta descriptions and tags of a business website improves the chances of ranking in a Google Three Pack.
Meta descriptions should provide concise descriptions of your business, website, or content. Ensure that all descriptions are well-written and engaging to provide maximum benefit for search engine rankings. Keep it short, informative, and unique.
Analyze the competition
To generate ideas for keyword, SEO, and ranking strategy, analyze other websites and businesses. After deciding which keywords and search phrases work best for the business’s brand and growth needs, search those keywords in Google. Include any location-related keywords, and be sure to take note of any local businesses that appear in the search results.
Questions to consider when analyzing your competition include:
- What methods are these businesses using to achieve higher search engine rankings?
- Do these businesses generate positive reviews?
- About which features, products, or services?
Understanding what the competition is doing right or wrong can provide unexpected insight and creativity.
Professional optimization for Google three pack results
Optimizing for general and local search engine rankings is complex work. Professionals receive formal education and extensive in-field experience to produce quality, reliable results. The process of optimizing a business’s digital presence or website for local listings like the Google Three Pack, however, requires a team effort. It takes both professional skill and local knowledge to build a brand that locals trust and support.
At Connective, we have the professional skill to match your local knowledge. Tell us what makes your local business unique, and we’ll showcase it for you with quality digital business listings, website content, and more. Let us take your SEO to the Google Three Pack level.
We’re a focused, professional team offering a suite of competitive, adaptive digital services. To learn more about quality SEO, web development. PPC, and other services, explore our user-friendly website or reach out to us today. Choose our relaxed contact form or jumpstart the conversation by calling 818-570-5620.
Everything You Need To Know
Frequently asked questions
Google has created a new pack of local results to present relevant search queries for users based on their location. This Google 3-Pack will display the top three SERP’s in order, making it easier and more convenient for people who are looking specifically at locations near them.
Ranking in Google local 3-packs can be tough. So, the best way to rank higher is by optimizing your My Business page and other internet profiles such as Yelp!, Facebook, Twitter etc.; being consistent with NAP (Name Address Phone) details; taking advantage of all available tools for managing citations; getting more reviews from customers/clients about you business online via different review sites like TripAdvisor or Merchant Circle – just make sure they’re legit! The last thing would be creating relevant content that relates back to your locality so people know what you do and where it’s situated.
Google’s 3-pack can help increase your potential customers’ connection to you by making it easier for them to visit your website, call a business number, and see how close you are. All of these features make the customer more likely to engage with businesses on Google Search.
The first step to optimizing your Google+ Local Page is making sure it’s completely filled out and up-to-date. Next, you need cultivate reviews on your Google+ account in order obtain better rankings for local searches. Finally, make sure all of the listings throughout the web are accurate and consistent while also cultivating locally relevant links to boost visibility even more!
Google wants to see your website the way a user would. To do this, create unique and accurate page titles that accurately describe what you want users to find when they search for them on Google’s list of results. Also make sure descriptions are relevant in listings by using meta tags such as description or title tag along with adding structured data markup so it can be recognized easier by Googlebot which is how all sites updates happen automatically rather than manually updating each listing individually (this often takes up too much time).