The change from Google’s 7-pack, to a reduced 3-pack has had a major impact on local SEO. Many businesses struggled to get featured when there were seven spots available. Now getting into the top three can seem like rocket science. The good news is that this goal is not impossible.
However, it does take time, skills, and knowledge to get it done. Being seen by local consumers just as they’re searching for your type of product or service is the most targeted type of marketing known today. But getting there can be tricky unless you really know what you’re doing.
To help you get started down the right path, here are three helpful tips:
1. Get more citations
When it comes to ranking your local listing, one thing Google pays close attention to is how often a company is mentioned in other sources. In other words, it looks for “citations” to validate your business. A citation is a mention of your business name along with another piece of business information anywhere on the web – with OR without a link back to your website.
The additional information could be your phone number, website URL, or physical address – combined or individual. In order to count as a citation, the information must be an EXACT match to the information on your Google My Business listing.
Citations help prove to the search engines that you are a real company; therefore, the more of them you have from quality sources, the better your local listing rankings will be.
2. Add photos to your listings
It’s no secret that consumers love photos. The more, high quality images you have on Google local listing profile, the more appealing it will be to potential customers. This goes farther than Google; Yelp has even published advice on how to optimize your business listings, claiming that photos make a massive difference. It even goes as far as to say that according to research from Review Trackers, consumers spent 2.5 times more of their time on listings that featured photos.
3. Get as many reviews as you can
Reviews are an important part of getting noticed online these days. Consumers love writing reviews about businesses and they also like reading them. Google has taken note of this. It wants to promote the best local businesses and what better way to determine who those businesses are than through positive user reviews? If you want to really increase your rankings, encourage your customers to leave reviews whenever you can.
Getting your business to show up on Google’s 3-pack is a lot more challenging than it was with the 7-pack; obviously, because there are less spots. The tips above will help, but you will need to continually keep up with local search changes and ensure all of your company’s information is listed correctly and updated going forward. Not only that, but make sure you make smart use of categories and strategic keyword placement within your profile to give it strength.