How to appear in the local pack
Whether you’re managing your own business’s listings or your doing it on behalf of your clients, you want your Google Business Profile (GBP) listings to appear in the local pack as often as possible. The local pack is a section of Google search results that includes a map and a list of local businesses or organizations. It is designed to help users find the most relevant and accurate information about local businesses and services in their area.
Getting into the local pack
So, how can you increase the chances of your client’s business appearing in the local pack? There are a few factors that determine whether or not the local pack will appear in a search, and by understanding these factors, you can optimize your client’s online presence.
As the local pack is designed to provide information about local businesses, so it will only appear in searches that have local intent. The business then has to be relevant to the search query. Make sure that your client’s GBP is correctly categorized and includes detailed information about their products and/or services, location, hours of operation, and attributes. The more information you can provide Google with to assist in determining relevance, the greater the chance that your clients’ locations will be placed in the local pack. The different items you need to maintain/monitor includes:
- • Location data (Business Name, Address Phone Number)
- • Hours of operation
- • Google Posts content
- • Google QA (both questions and answers are referenced)
- • Business description
- • Review content (both reviews and responses are referenced)
- • Products (managed via Merchant Center)
- • Services listed in GBP
- • GBP attributes (handicap accessible location, etc.)
All these small attributes included in a GBP account for 36% of what makes one rank, meaning that anything that can be filled in, should be filled in. The next highest grossing factor is reviews at 16% of what makes something rank. With those being the two largest areas of focus, your optimization strategies should overcome the vast majority of local competition.
The local pack is tailored to the user’s location; this means that the closer your client’s location is to where the user is searching from, the greater the odds are they will appear in the local pack. Make sure that your clients’ business addresses are listed correctly on their listings. You should also consider including your location in the description of your business, review content (when possible), and other places within the listing that Google allows. This will help Google understand the location of your clients’ different store fronts and include their listings in relevant searches. It is also important for you to understand ranking from different location around the city, having tools at your disposal that track ranking within the maps channel can help elevate your campaigns.
Google also takes into account the popularity of a business when determining whether or not to show the local pack. Google will determine popularity by a few factors; review score/volume, number of interactions on the GBP (website clicks, phone calls, website visits), but also brand awareness in the community will all be considered. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your clients’ listings and make sure to respond to all reviews in a timely and professional manner. This will help increase the overall rating of your business and increase its chances of being included in the local pack.
By understanding the factors that determine when the local pack appears and optimizing your client’s online presence accordingly, you can increase the chances of your client’s business locations appearing in the local pack and attract more customers to your client’s different storefronts around the country.