At this point in the game, nearly everyone has heard of Google’s Local Pack, or at least encountered it. Google’s Local Pack is a search engine optimization tool that connects local customers with the businesses they want to engage with. Google is all about making the user experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible, and the Google Local Pack meets user expectations by making it easy to find and interact with the right local business at the right time.
The question isn’t so much about why it’s important to rank in Google’s Local Pack (here’s a hint -visibility), but rather more about the “how” of getting your local business to show up in the results. Like all things SEO, appearing in Google’s Local Pack takes a bit of strategy and perseverance. Here’s what you need to know.
First, Why Should You Care About Google’s Local Pack
To understand how important the Local Pack is to SEO, take a minute, grab your phone and do a quick Google search for any type of business near you – make it something simple like take-out pizza. When you look at the search results, what you see is a “pack” of local businesses featured at the top. It’s super easy to engage with these businesses because all you have to do is click. Plus, there’s an incredible amount of information in those little boxes that can help steer you in the direction of a choice.
Now, take into consideration that more and more local searches are coming from mobile devices. When it comes to mobile results for a local search, Google’s Local Pack is front and center. In fact, you don’t really see any other businesses at all unless you put in a little effort, and how many consumers are actually going to do that?
So, it’s not impossible to gain some visibility online without showing up in the Local Pack, but it sure does make doing so exponentially more difficult. Ranking in the Local Pack is a surefire way of putting your business in front of your local audience, and it’s key for getting traffic moving in your direction. Now, with all that said, let’s take a look at how you can optimize your chances of ranking in Google’s Local Pack.
3 Tips for Ranking in Google’s Local Pack
As a business that’s trying to carve out a space in the digital space, you’re probably already familiar with some best practices for SEO. This is a great start, but local businesses need a more targeted approach to search engine optimization. We refer to this approach as local SEO, and it’s how you’re going to earn the visibility your local business needs to thrive in your community.
A major focus of your local SEO efforts is going to be targeted toward appearing the Google’s Local Pack. If you need to know why, skim back up and revisit what has already been said. At the end of the day, doing everything you can to appear in the Local Pack is crucial to your success. Yes, you’ll need to put in a little effort, but it’s worth it. Here are 3 tips for ranking in Google’s Local Pack to get you started.
Start with the Basics – Create a Google My Business Profile
One of the most important things you can do to optimize your local search presence and appear in Google’s Local Pack is taking a few minutes to claim and fill out your Google My Business Profile. The more complete your profile the better, because it helps Google determine if you’re the best fit for a search query’s needs. It’s pretty simple, you just need to fill out some basic information about your business, add a picture or two, and then spend some time generating reviews and optimizing your profile in other ways. The key is to get started by claiming your listing, if you haven’t already.
Get People Talking
When search engine users are looking to engage with a local business, they want to know what other people have to say. Often, they’re considering visiting a local business for the first time and reviews play a major role in their decision. After all, when a local business is a relative unknown to a consumer, it’s a risk to take a chance on them if you don’t know what you’re getting into.
Google reviews are important, both for providing your audience with trust and confidence, and for helping Google recognize that your business is authentic. The last thing you want to do is go out and purchase or generate a bunch of fake reviews, but you do want to invest in a review generation strategy to get people talking about you online.
Google also doesn’t mind if you point-blank ask for reviews as long as there isn’t anything deceptive about your approach. So, go ahead and ask, and then take the time to respond to all the reviews you do receive.
Optimize Your Location Pages
If your business has more than one location, it’s important to optimize each location page for local SEO. This helps Google zero in on clues that will help them pull your pages and rank your site in response to local searches. For instance, if you have a primary location in Smithville, but also have locations in Middleville, Google isn’t going to know to place your Middleville location in local search results unless you do something to tell them to.
Each location page should provide unique content that’s relevant to that local audience. You also need to focus on implementing a locally relevant keyword strategy for each location page, then include a local phone number, map, and work on generating a few reviews that are specific to that location.
Gain the Visibility You Need with an SEO Agency That Understands the Google Local Pack
This is only the beginning of the ways you can optimize your digital presence to appear in Google’s Local Pack. As the premier Boston SEO agency, we’d like to help you discover the success that’s waiting for you with a targeted approach to local search engine optimization. We’re ready and waiting to generate results for your local business. Contact GoingClear Interactive and speak with one of our SEO experts today.