Google Local Pack has taken several different forms. In 2009 it was the Google 7 Pack.
Then on August 7th, 2015 it became the Google 3-Pack. But what does this mean to you and your local business?
Essentially, it’s all about how Google chooses to show businesses like yours in the local search results.
First, What the Google 3 Pack Looks Like
In image 1, you see the Google search results for “pizza restaurant in D.C.”
You can substitute your type of business and city to get these results in your area.
Notice what is displayed:
- 3 local businesses providing the service or goods searched for
- The names of those businesses
- The rating of those businesses both numerically and a star rating
- The number of reviews compiling the rating
- Cost of goods or services estimate using dollar sign ratings
- A brief tag line
- The address
- And business hours.
Gone is the phone number which used to appear in the 7 Pack, and the 10 Pack before that.
If you can’t be found in the top 3, then you might be found when clicking the “More places” as seen in image 2.
Notice how the results also appear essentially in the order of highest rating to lowest?
The star rating isn’t the only factor, so the order isn’t precisely the order of highest rating to lowest. Nonetheless, your online review rating is a big factor in whether or not you get into the first page, Google 3 Pack results.
The online reviews get compiled, and averaged from numerous different online review directories including:
- Google reviews
- Bing reviews
- Yellow Pages
- Trip Advisor
- And many, many more.
Essentially Google can compile reviews from any website with reviews presented using the Schema.org markup. Even sites not using the 5-star review system.
The bottom line is, these ratings and the accuracy of the information about your business provided on the review directory determines how good or bad your business is presented in the 3 Pack results.
Impact for Mobile Users
The 3-Pack design also isn’t just about ratings or changing the number of businesses presented. It also reflects Google’s emphasis on mobile design.
These results specifically provide a much more mobile-friendly presentation for Google results. Now, if Google is so interested in their own results mobile-friendliness, do you think they might be looking at yours?
Of course they do. A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land,
“We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users. This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews and prices, for searches that have multiple results for a given location.”
So What’s the Big Deal About the Google 3 Pack?
Well, first and foremost, if you are not in the top three, the chances of your business being on the first page results next to zero.
That being said, this version of local results does provide more opportunity for a local business to appear in the first page local results.
Still, if you weren’t on the first page previously, you likely still only found on later pages today, and almost no one goes to the subsequent pages when searching.
Why is page one so important?
Its’ simple. Searchers use the results on page 1 of search results 90% of the time. Only a mere 10% ever go to the second page. 90% of the clicks go to the organic results on the first page.
This is big because most viewers treat the 3 Pack as organic results.
Key Factors in Getting to the 3 Pack
First, remember the top three results in the 3 Pack do rotate based on the actual location of the person searching.
For example, searching from one nearby zip code can easily produce different results for a consumer searching from just 1 zip code further away.
Google determines this by your IP address when searching, and if a mobile or desktop user allows their location to be revealed when they search. So if you check your business results from your business location, and then check again later from your home, the results will likely be different.
Some factors to help you reach the 3 Pack and the Real Organic Results.
First, I suggest you review our earlier post on the 5-step ranking strategy. Now, here are considerations…
- The number of prominent local directories your business appears in.
- The accuracy of the information about your business in those directories.
- The number of online reviews your business has.
- The distribution of those reviews across the various relevant directories.
- Social signals from consumers (ie, how much they like your page on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
- Backlinks from relevant or related sites.
These are essentials you must consider.
In terms of value, your ratings have the greatest value as you can use them to market your excellent reputation.
By marketing your reputation, you get new customers, and you keep old customers returning. This means revenue for your business.
How Do You Know If You Have Problems?
That’s the easy part. There’s two ways to do this.
One would be going manually to each directory and finding out if you have a listing and reviews. Then trying to fix them yourself. This method wouldn’t be so easy.
Another way would be to use our Free Local Market Authority Analyzer.
This way, in about 30 seconds or less, your directory listings get located and analyzed for you.
You get delivered up to 30 or more locations reporting information on your business. You also see where the errors are located. You also get a detailed report of all the good and bad reviews affecting your online star rating. All of this, and more is free.
So if you haven’t recently reviewed your websites authority online, then you might want to use the Local Market Authority Analyzer now.
How Can You Protect Your Good Reviews?
Good, recent reviews provide the most revenue generating results online.
They act almost like personal referrals.
Our Local Market Authority Accelerator is a video solution you can easily use to leverage those excellent reviews. The Local Marketing Authority Accelerator not only ensures customers focus on your best reviews, it also helps bury those random bad reviews from search results.
To learn more, you might want to do our quick 4 question “quiz” to see if this would help your business. Just go here now, and answer the four questions and you will know if the Local Market Authority Accelerator will help you get more customers.
It’s free to take the quiz, and we don’t collect your details from the quiz.
You decide what’s your next step without any interference and without any obligation or risk.
If you would like to know more, you can.