The map pack is another term you might come across when searching for local SEO strategies and ways to get ahead in your local market.
It plays a major role in your Google local ranking and can make a real difference when it comes to getting found by clients.
But what is the map pack exactly, why is it so important, and how can you be part of it?
What is the map pack?
The map pack is the selection of three businesses that show up at the top of Google’s search results page when you search for any local business. It’s also sometimes known as the Google 3-pack or the local pack.
Instead of simply ranking these businesses at the top of the first results page, Google goes a step further and shows the business name, average review score, open hours, services/products, a link to their website and directions to their physical location and a mini map with their location highlighted.
This map pack shows up in the top position on the results page for local searches 93% of the time.
Naturally, getting that kind of visibility on page one of Google’s results page is a huge boom for any business. It gives customers a quick and easy overview of the business and a shortcut for contacting them or visiting them in person making them much more likely to select one of those three businesses.
In fact, one study found that almost half (44%) of customer clicks went to the local map pack.
How you can get into the map pack
It largely comes down to good local business SEO. That is, meeting Google’s requirements for distance, prominence and relevance.
Distance refers to how far your business is from the searcher, so there isn’t a lot you can do to improve this. Simply ensure your business address is correct across your Google My Business listing, website and anywhere else online (such as social media).
As for prominence and relevance, those you can work on.
Prominence refers to how well the business is known generally. For this reason, a major coffee chain may be more likely to enter the map pack than a new locally owned establishment.
However, to improve prominence you can also focus on building up your positive reviews on Google, which will ‘prove’ that your business is well known and loved.
Additionally, prominence is related to standard SEO strategies, such as incorporating keywords throughout your website, improving your site speed and updating your site regularly.
As for relevance, this refers to how well the search terms match your business. For this aspect, your best bet is to do everything you can to improve your Google My Business profile. This helps Google to better understand what your business is all about and what it has to offer, therefore giving you a better chance of being ‘relevant’ for customers searching for what you offer.
To improve your GMB listing, start by double checking all the existing information is correct and matches the information listed elsewhere as conflicting information can damage your chances.
Next, add high quality photos to your GMB listing regularly, update your business hours whenever they change (even if you’re only closing for an afternoon) and keep your information about products and services updated at all times. Of course, never miss a chance to ask for a review from your happy customers.
Seek help from a local online marketing company
Local Web offers local online marketing services, where our entire focus is to help you rank better in local search results. Focusing on all aspects of SEO and local search can greatly improve your chances of being featured in Google’s map pack, and therefore increase your potential views and click-throughs from new customers.
Reach out today to learn more about how Local Web can help make that happen for your business.