All You Need to Know About Google Local Search

Local search is one of the most important aspects of marketing today, especially for small businesses. It has become a great equalizer that allows small and mid-sized businesses to stand toe-to-toe with large corporations with a massive budget. Marketers refine their ad campaigns and techniques to ensure their clients get on the local-3 pack, which was the local-7 pack a few years ago. When the change from 7 listings to 3 listings was made, the industry wasn’t happy but the market has now adjusted to it.

google local 3 pack

What’s Local-3 Pack?

Local 3-pack is essentially a list of three local businesses displayed at the top of the search engine results page. They’re a part of a list of a number of businesses located in the vicinity of the search engine user and are placed organically on the list. The search results depend entirely on the IP address of the search user. For example, if a user searches for web designers in Sydney, they’ll find local businesses close to their exact location based.

If they move to the other side of the city and search the same keyword on a different Internet network, the order of the local-3 pack results would change as well. This means most businesses can get a chance to shine on the SERPs and get the attention from a wide audience. You would still need to make sure your SEO is on-point and your website quality and content are up to Google’s standards.

What Do You Need to Know About Local-3 Pack?

  • Only Three Results – Prior to the update, 3 to 7 businesses would be featured on SERP but now the number is limited to three. Because of this, the competition is stiff it’s a challenge to get into the local-3 pack. 
  • No Phone or Address Details – The earlier version of local search allowed business owners to include their phone and address details into the link. Google no longer permits this, so search users need to find your contact details on their own. This equalizes the playing field and ensures that the company’s contact details are somewhat protected from abuse. 
  • No Links to Google My Business – In earlier versions of Local search, My Business fly-out cards were usually attached to the links but that’s no longer the case. Now the local cards are removed and you see Google Maps and other local competitors when you click on the listing.

How does this Affect You?

Changes in local search have a big impact on the industry, no matter what the changes are. When local-3 pack was announced, people were nervous but now most marketers have adjusted to it. Here’s a brief explanation of how these changes affected businesses:

  • Top Three Results are Never Static: Now the top three results are never static and that has an impact on how much visibility businesses experience. 
  • Search Users Will Stick to Organic Results – Because all results are displayed on at the top of the SERP, the search users would be more inclined to click on the organic results rather than paid ads as they get access to all information they need quickly. Search users prefer organic results and as all local-3 pack results are organic, you’re website would experience a surge of organic traffic if it’s on the three pack. 
  • You Will Still Get Noticed – As mentioned before, users are directly taken to the Google Maps, which has 20 listing. This means even if you’re not listed on the 3-pack, you might be listed on the 20 links on Google Maps. The users will definitely look beyond the first three results so there’s a chance that you might get noticed. 

What do You Need To Do? 

If you’re not listed on the first 20 results of Google Maps, you will have to implement a solid SEO strategy climb the ranks and be successful. However, if you’re already on the list, here’s what you need to do:

  • Write a Good Snippet – If you want to stand apart from the 20 other competitors, ensure your My Business page is detailed and you have a compelling snippet with all the information your client needs to know.
  • Google Reviews – Google+ reviews will boost your rankings and ensure you have better reputation in comparison to your competitors. The star rating would attract your prospective customer’s attention.

These are just some of the many steps you can take to improve your rankings and be more visible on local 3-pack.

About Nathanael Vanderkolk

Nathanael Vanderkolk is the Director of the Smart SEO Company, a SEO Agency in Sydney, Australia. Smart SEO Sydney has a keen awareness of the latest approaches to online marketing. Follow him on , Facebook and Twitter.
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