How to Make Your Local Business Rank Higher in Google Local 3-Pack
by Al Gomez
By being in the Google Local 3-Pack, Google is choosing your business to be the most relevant to the user. Not only that but it also gives you a big leap in the local searched. Why does this matter? Research shows that 76% of mobile internet users search locally and 28% of those users will make a purchase. This goes to show the importance of implementing local SEO or Search Engine Optimization for your local business.
How to Rank Higher in Google Local 3-Pack
Ranking in local SEO requires a few new set of rules compared to organic SEO. However, local and organic SEO share the same goal in order to win. Rank high for greater exposure. When you are ranked high or in the first spot of Google Local 3-Pack, you are well on your way towards more leads and enhanced sales.
Start Improvements within YOU
Simply offer great products or services
Your business exists for the customers and providing them what they need is your job. By improving your products’ or services’ quality, it becomes an automatic magnet for loyal customers. Simply offering the best of your products and services that won’t render some complaints will enhance customer retention and encourage new customers.
Have an excellent customer service
Online businesses don’t have some sales clerks at hand. Therefore, when customers have questions regarding your product or service, they will have no one to turn to. This is where customer service comes in. Having an excellent customer service, you make happy customers. And satisfied customers can provide more sales for your business.
Do a Good Job on Your Website
Add accurate Local Address and Phone Numbers on your website
If you want your customers to find you, your business information such as address, phone numbers and business hours, should be as accurate as possible. Don’t just put in a city and a state, you have to set a full and complete address.
Additionally, if your business has multiple addresses, you will want to put it in as well. Make sure that these kinds of information are consistent in all of your web pages. Your web pages’ footer is an ideal place for your contact information without disrupting the user.
Do on-site optimization
There is no such thing as over optimizing your site. If you think that you optimized it, you might want to optimize it again. Never forget on-site optimization.
- Optimize your Title Tag by doing keyword research and inserting most-searched keywords that are relevant to your business.
- Add your NAP(Name, Address, and Phone number) in your HTML. This makes search engines verify the information you submitted to them as long as it is consistent.
- Default URLs usually are a mix of words and numbers. Optimize your URLs into easy-to-read URLs.
- Sites with the proper use of H-tags(H1, H2, etc.) are more likely to rank compared to sites without H-tags.
- Improve your meta tag descriptions. This gives search engines a summary of the content of your page and makes it easier for them to feature your page as a result.
Use local structured data markup
By implementing structured data markup on your website, it helps search engines understand the information on your page. This results in providing the users more helpful and relevant information about your site. Application of structured data markup on your page can enhance your CTR(click-through-rate), showcase your customer reviews, and boost brand authority.
Write Local Content
Having a blog plays an essential role in marketing your business. When ads are out and ad blockers are in, content marketing is one of the effective ways to do it. Therefore, in order to appeal to local search, produce local content relevant and specific to your city. You can write about local events, roots of your business, and even local customer experiences.
Add local keywords to your content
Inserting common and generic one to two keywords in your contents won’t improve your rankings. Instead, you can incorporate local keyphrases or longtail keywords to boost your rankings in the local search. Research keyphrases that are relevant and targets your localization. You can use keyword planning tools such as Ahrefs, semrush, keyword planner, google suggestions and many more.
Claim your spot online
Claim and fill out your Google My Business Listing
According to the Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, having your business listed in Google My Business is one of the highest factors that Google is taking into account. Having 19.01%, it shows that refraining from listing your business in Google My Business can significantly affect your rankings. If you haven’t done it yet, it is never too late to add or claim your business there.
Build New Citations
Building citations for your business are essential. Although they don’t link back to your site and give it the link juices to help you rank, citations and business mentions are as important. You can build new citations by claiming and adding your business to other web-based references such as Yelp, Facebook, and more. You can check other local citation sites you’re missing to add your business.
Utilize valuable competitor backlinks
When push comes to shove, there is one thing you can do. Get more backlinks. Backlinks enable you to know why you and your competitors are ranking for any search term given. Reverse engineering your competitors’ backlinks are one of the most effective, not to mention still legal, way to earn backlinks and outrank the competition. You can use Ahrefs or SEO Spyglass to do this quickly.
Consistency is key
Ensure Consistency of NAPU (not just NAP but NAPU)
We have always read and heard the experts saying that we must be consistent in adding accurate NAP (Name of Business, Address, and Phone) in your local listings but mind you if you got a local website, be consistent with your URL, especially when dealing with multi-location sites.
This is just a simple rule:
- N- Name added should be the exact registered business name
- A- Address must always be complete, it should be the full address, not just the city and state
- P – Phone number added must be local, right and working
- U – URL reflected must be the exact local webpage address and never forget this cause it can help in gaining traffic
Monitor local listings
Knowing the status of your local listings or local 3-pack can help you figure out redefining your strategies. And this just, monitor listings either through manual search or through a rank tracker. Having a partner tool makes our lives convenient especially when having multiple keywords, like the one in the screenshot. We’re using Rank Tracker by Link Assistant and mind you this is not a paid post or a promotion but we love this tool, it’s easy to navigate and a lot more accurate than the other tools that we use before.
- Increasing Rankings – Be thankful, you’re strategies are working, just continue a great job and never forget to monitor the trends
- Decreasing/Loss Rankings – Just don’t panic, all you need to do is redefine your strategies and find out what’s not working. Always check the competition
- Not Ranking – Be aggressive and find out the barriers to entry. Recheck your work and never forget to check your top 3 competitors.
Continue earning local backlinks
Aside from claiming your local citations, we can get on local 3-pack through gaining local links. These links can be gain from relevant local sites i.e. from local publications, organization, suppliers and more.
How to find them
- Get your top 3 competitors through local search
- Use some backlink checker tools to find them, i.e. Ahrefs, SEMRush or SEO Spyglass
- Enter the URL of competitors in backlink checker tool, you can filter and see its dofollow links. Just export the file and hola you found them!
Optimize your Google Map Listings (h4)
To maximize the opportunity of local 3-Pack, it’s essential that you never forget to optimize your Google map listings. Your local listing presentation matters here. And must answer, if you’re the searcher or prospect customer when searching locally what information you need?
How to Optimize:
- Again, always starting adding the right information: Address and Phone Number
- Don’t forget to add store hours. It can be a decision making factor like a customer prefers to visit on weekends and you are open on weekends than your competitor.
- Earn for favorable star ratings and reviews. Yes, stars are lovely to see on local 3-Pack. See the one below:
Promote your website via social media
Although social media votes is not a ranking signal, social media promotion can help increase brand awareness and visibility. You can also share your local citations to solicit reviews and ratings.
Therefore, share your local site on your social media account and your local citation sites The key to getting attention, always feature what sets you apart from competitors.
Be thankful when you received positive and high ratings.
Earn some positivity
Have some positive Google+ reviews
Google reviews are a pretty big deal when it comes to local SEO. Therefore, it is essential for you to earn them. Make sure to ask your customers to leave a review and make it easy for them. Moreover, be sure to address negative reviews personally and never automate your responses. Avoid buying or making fake reviews, not only will this negatively affect your reputation when caught, you will also be penalized. Don’t risk it.
Earn some positive reviews on other local citation sites
Don’t just earn positive reviews on Google, wherever you have your business listed on, you will want to to have your customers leave a review still. According to research, 92% of consumers read reviews online and you can bet that those reviews can influence their impression of your business. Make sure to get those positive reviews up and negative reviews down.
Be Aware of the Trends
To stay ahead in the competition, always open your senses with the Google local algorithm update. Like what happened last year, we’ve met the Hawk, and expect for more of its friends this year.
Be prepared. Work on strategies that have a long-term effect and abiding the quality guidelines.
Monitor the competition. Be aware of what your competitors are doing.
And lastly, be great. Having great products and services is equal to earning positive reviews and ratings. Make your customers happy leaving reviews and ratings.
You might find these tips too technical. Don’t worry we have SEO Expert who can help you.
February 6, 2018
January 15, 2018