Important Local 3-Pack Ranking Factors You Should Know
What Is a Local 3-pack?
Local 3-pack represents the top 3 organic listings that occupy the ‘zero’ position for local-intent searches.
These results show up based upon the proximity with the searcher’s location. Moreover, they steal the ’zero’ position for 93% of local queries.
What makes the local 3-pack more prominent is their insightful amount of information. These listings showcase a business’s site, address, ratings, phone no., and business hours.
Moreover, businesses ranking for the local 3-pack gain approx. 100% more clicks.
Read: What Is A Local 3-Pack & Its Benefits?
7 Most Important Google Local 3-pack Ranking Factors
1. Quality of Your Google My Business Listing
Moz reports that the quality of your GMB profile has 25.4% dominance in defining the local 3-pack results.
Moreover, your GMB listing is the official digital brochure for your local business on Google. And Google uses this listing to draw insights for the local 3-pack results.
So, it is high time you make your GMB signals stronger than ever.
Here are the crucial elements that you need to optimize for a quality GMB profile:
- Consistent NAP :Make sure you haven’t added a variant but your original business name. Moreover, showcase your updated address & contact details.
- Category: Choose appropriate business categories along with highly-relevant sub-categories. Simply check your competitors’ sub-categories for inspiration.
- Services/Products: Highlight your range of products or services along with images & pricing.
- Description:Add your business USPs, capabilities, experience, and specialties within 100 to 200 words (max. 750 characters). Do not forget to add your location and product keywords to the description.
- Service Area Business: Akin to a home care business or online business, you might not serve on your business address. Here, you can choose your preferred service areas (area, town, state). You now become eligible to rank for these locations.
- Hours: Add business hours or service hours for each day of the week and keep the info updated.
- GMB Reviews: Your GMB reviews form another crucial local 3-pack ranking factor. So, ensure to request GMB reviews through your feedback generation strategies.
- Images: Adorn your profile with images of your products, venue, food menu, staff, ambiance, etc.
- Posts: You must create engaging Posts like discount offers, events, CTAs, new launch insights, etc.
- FAQs: Add answers to common user queries to enhance the profile’s relevancy.
Here’s an example of a well-optimized GMB profile:
2. Google My Business Reviews
Google assures that it stays the most trusted source of information for businesses. And so, it considers user reviews as crucial signals to compile the local 3-pack results.
That said, you must earn abundant reviews for your business.
Some ways you can win GMB reviews regularly:
- Attract reviews while the customers are in your store through feedback forms. And add a barcode of your GMB profile to these forms. The customers can scan it and rate you on GMB.
- Attach your GMB profile and Yelp profile to feedback request emails
- Offer discounts or other incentives to customers in return for their feedback.
- Encourage more reviews by appreciating the positive ones and responding to the negative ones. 89% of consumers love to read a brand’s response.
- Create feedback reminders for the repeat visitors on your website (Eg. “Post a review about your latest purchase and get 15% off on the next purchase”)
- Request local influencers and niche bloggers to review your offerings. This will also trigger their fans to follow the trend.
Here’s an example of encouraging positive reviews by responding to them:
Read: 10 Tips to Get Local Reviews for Your Business
3. Valuable Backlinks
Backlinks have been closely related to the authority of a business. These links indicate how many referring domains vouch for a business.
And the quality and relevance of these referring domains go a long way in crafting your domain authority.
So, while local citations remain a bigger impact on your local SEO performance, links also hold a crucial value.
Some tips to attract backlinks for better local SEO performance:
- Produce resourceful content for your business and share it across social platforms. Your content will likely draw referral traffic and backlinks as it reaches more web admins.
- Collaborate with local PR agencies to attract media mentions along with backlinks.
- Next, you must try the sky-scraper technique. Use SEMRush or Ahrefs to check the most rewarding content for your competitors. Produce a competent version of your content and promote it to steal backlinks.
- Your competitor research also sheds light on guest posting opportunities.
- Also, use Google Alerts and Mention to check your product or brand mentions. You can also request these webmasters to add links to these mentions here.
Here’s an example of creating Google Alerts for ‘Taco bell’:
4. Local Citations
Your location authority remains an important consideration for local 3-pack results. And your local citations add significant value to your location authority.
So, here are some of the sorted popular directories and review sites where you can list:
Make sure you make these listings consistent and insightful.
Next, to build on your local citations in the US, use this list.
Express Update and Neustar Localeze are crucial data aggregators that can help you draw citations from valuable sites.
Lastly, don’t forget to check the competitor’s mentions. This unveils the missed listing opportunities for you.
Here’s an example of an insightful listing on Yelp:
5. On-page SEO Signals
The on-page optimization signals constitute a crucial ranking factor for local 3-pack results.
So, here are some important on-page optimization elements you need to implement:
- Analyze important product-specific and location-specific keywords to add to your content. Use Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush to find and finalize your focus keywords.
- Add an intriguing Meta Title for each indexed page. And optimize it with the page focus keyword.
- Add a descriptive and click-inducing Meta Description for each page.
- Add location schema markup to the website to grow your location-relevancy.
- Ensure you have added the same business name, contact info, and address to your site, GMB, and other listings.
- Your site performance is crucial for winning a competitive edge. So, check the performance and possible errors on PageSpeed Insights. Next, fix the errors highlighted by the tool.
Also, compress media files, minify HTML and JS, and enable asynchronous loading for gaining better speed.
- Lastly, optimize for the exceeding mobile traffic.
Today, the mobile platform powers more local searches than the desktop platform. And 88% of local searches through mobile devices result in in-store visits within a week.
Use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test tool to check and fix your site’s mobile optimization.
You can use XML-sitemaps to generate a sitemap for your website:
6. Proximity, Personalization, and Behavioural Factors
You must optimize other crucial factors like proximity, personalization, and behavioral factors.
Here are some optimization considerations for these signals:
- Mention your multiple location addresses in your site to rank for these locations.
- Add all these outlet addresses to your GMB profile if you have multiple outlets.
Here, you just need to login to your GMB account and click on the “Add a business” tab, as shown below:
Here you can choose the “Add a single business” or “Import businesses” foe adding single or multiple locations, respectively.
Here you need to add all the business details and address of each outlet. Finally, request verification for all the newly added outlet listings.
- Create location-specific keyword combinations to grow your page’s relevancy
- Add localization factor to your content, currency, language, etc.
- Also, ask your developer to add a map of your location to your site.
- Ensure your phone number is clickable for the mobile users
7. Visibility and Credibility
Google considers your business visibility and credibility when compiling local 3-pack results.
Here are tips for growing your visibility and credibility signals:
- Collaborate with niche-specific bloggers and influencers and request them to vouch for your business.
You can even ask them to try your products or visit your business and share honest reviews. These mentions are crucial unstructured citations for you.
- Use HARO to connect with PR professionals who actively search contributors for their stories. Pitch your contributions for relevant stories, and you can gain PR mentions for your business.
- Actively produce localized content and share it on your social profiles. Build engagement on these profiles and connect with social media influencers to grow brand reach.
Here’s an example of an Instagram influencer promoting a business:
Google Local 3-pack Ranking Factors – FAQs
Q1. How Your GMB Profile Impacts Local 3-Pack Rankings?
Ans. Your GMB signals have a25.4% share in defining your probability to rank in the local 3-pack rankings.
So, optimize the info on your GMB profile and attract valuable GMB reviews.
Q2. Why Businesses Invest Extensive Efforts to Rank for the Local 3-pack?
Ans. Local 3-pack results gain the highest CTR for local search queries. Moreover, they reserve the top 3 spots for 93% of local queries.
Q3. How to Gain a Position in the Local 3-pack Rankings?
Ans. Use these tips:
- Build comprehensive GMB listing and verify it
- Grow local citations and positive Google reviews
- Attract unstructured citations, PR mentions, and relevant backlinks
- Enhance site’s mobile experience, speed, and SEO metrics
- Focus on localized content and area-specific personalization
Q4. Why did I fail to Rank in the Local 3-Pack with an Optimized GMB Profile?
Ans. GMB optimization is just one crucial factor for local 3-pack rankings. You must also optimize for other important factors like:
- Local citations on authoritative sites
- Backlinks and unstructured citations
- On-page optimization signals
- Google reviews and trust signals on the site
- Proximity from the searcher’s location
- Localization and personalization
Some key considerations to optimize for the local 3-pack include:
- Optimize categories, the description, images, product info, etc. on your GMB profile
- Make GMB reviews an important part of feedback generation strategy
- Optimize listings on Foursquare, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and several local directories.
- Check competitor’s content, keywords, and mentions, and imitate them smartly
- Optimize your site speed, mobile compatibility, meta tags, location schema, and other on-page elements.
- Create exclusive content, grow its reach through social engagement, and gain relevant links.
- Grow engagement on GMB by creating Posts, Offers, CTAs, FAQs, etc.