What is the Google 3-pack and why is it so important to local businesses?
The struggle to engage and win over new customers is a constant battle faced by most small business owners. A business website is often mistakenly seen as an easy way to reach potential customers, however as most webmasters know, this alone is not enough and unless you are comitted to continually updating and optimising it you are likely to find that you aren’t ranked anwhere near as highly by the search engines as you would like to be.
For local businesses with a website the Google-3 pack is what you need to know about and what you need to be aiming for. The 3-pack is what users are shown when they carry out a local Google search. It appears at the top of page one alongside a map of the area pinpointing the exact location of the business. Optimising your website in order to get it into the Google-3 pack will benefit your business in many ways. Not only will you be displayed at the top of page one but these top 3 results are also highlighted in order to stand out. With statistics showing that majority of searches now start from a mobile device rather than a desk top, the 3-pack has also been designed with the mobile user in mind and diplays perfectly on the screen of most smart phones.
In order to get your business ranking in the Google-3 pack there are certain things that you will need to do. The 3-pack ranks businesses rather than websites and as such in order to stand a chance of getting your business listed you will need to submit your business to Google my business. When you submit you must make sure that you also include as many details about your business as possible. What services you offer, what business catagory you are in along with images, logos and contact details that match those on your website.
What else can you do to get your business into the 3-pack?
1 – Ask your clients/customers to review your Google my business page. In a competative environment if you have good reviews it will put your business in a better position than one without.
2 – Try and get your business listed in as many local directories as possible. This is a good way to achieve good authoritative backlinks to your site which Google likes to see.
3 – Make sure your website is optimised for local keywords. Make sure that your page titles, headings and content include words that help Google understand where exactly your business is located. Just make sure you don’t over do it. It needs to be read naturally otherwise you could be penilised for spammy content!
4 – Make sure that you are consistant with business details. Your name, phone number and business address, opening hours must be the same wherever you are listed. This includes your social media accounts and all directories. Also – make it easy for people to access more information by providing links that will take them back to relevant information on your website.
It isn’t easy getting your business into the Google 3-pack but by following the above tips you will be greatly improving your chances. It’s important to remember though that once you get in, you can easily fall back out again. The tips above will kickstart the process but you need to stay on top of it and make sure that you are constantly keeping your business website updated if you want to stay in the top 3.