Google give you Google My Business for free, make sure you make the time to take them up on it, you can generate a lot of phone call and visit with a local page. When you type in a search query, Google listed seven local businesses on your device, they will be relevant to your search term, known as the Local Pack. These are Google Places listing, nearly every established business has one, so unless you are a new business make sure you are claiming your business.
By claiming your business, you will need to add all the relevant information and to this listing and your company’s photos to start appearing in the pack. Once claimed Google will send a postcard to your business address to verify ownership and you can then start appearing in the Local Pack.
Google used to display seven results in the local pack after ads but before organic results. Google Places is a free service so getting your business displayed before any organic result is pretty powerful stuff for any small local business.
The new Google update has now changed this 7 pack to a 3 pack! Mainly because of mobile devices and Google being a mobile first company, this now means you have to be on your game to get into that elusive 3 pack.
As you can see having reviews are really important in Google’s opinion and the more and better reviews you have will really make a difference to your listing places.
Now all the other local listing are situated in the more tabs, which means you have to rely on searches to take an extra step to reveal all the local businesses.
When 3 become 2
New update from Google is now 3 will become 2, there will still be a 3 pack but is going to be an advert including in the new 3 pack. So now you have to be top 2 to be on display!
How to get in the Top Pack
Currently there is still a top 3 until the gods at Google decide to roll this out. OK so how do you get in those top 3? You might be lucky and be the only service in your area doing what you are doing, whoop! I think as long as you are in that top 3 it doesn’t matter too much, people will normally look at all of them and it is not like Adwords where it can costly to be at the top.
If you are ranked 4-7, it is going to be an annoying update! Don’t get left in the digital dust.
There are lots of things you can do to improve your listing:
- Reviews – Get them, don’t fake them, ask people who use your service, send emails with a link, people take notice of reviews, even bad ones. Make it your mission to get reviews, they are critical to your listing and getting new business. This should be your number one priority.
- Photo’s – have some nice and interesting photos, they don’t have to be professional. as long as you have more than just your logo. Here’s some examples
- Build Citations are a big part of ranking, make sure you add your business to as many directories as possible to rank higher.
- NAP – Name, address and Phone number, check these are all exactly the same on every listing, this can be a problem if you use a 0800 number for example, Google prefers area codes for local business. Make sure all of this information matched your website info exactly, you would be amazed to see how businesses get this wrong.
- Put your address in your footer on your website, it will appear on every page and make sure you have a contact page with your NAP information. Even down to using st or street, it matters.
- Check your hours are correct and update them if not.
- Update your listing once a month, I may be wrong but changing a picture can make a difference.
- Never use your phone number for more than one business, Google will get suspicious, Always try to use a local landline to stand the best chance.
- Have a great website. is your website linked and relevant to your listing, make sure it all matches, remember consistency is the key here. duplicate or contradictory information will end up in low rankings.
- If you have more than one location make sure you have them on separate pages and add maps for consistency, Google will provide a code from maps to embed on your website.
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