How do businesses appear in the Google 3-Pack and why do you need it?
Are you wondering why your business isn't showing up in Google's search results? You need to be in Googles three Pack! But how do you get there?
As a small business owner one of the most important things you can do for your business is to get into Google's coveted 3 pack! Business owners do not realize the power of this and how it can add thousands to their bottom line!
That’s because the companies displayed in the 3-Pack get many more phone calls and visits than companies that don’t show up in the 3-Pack .. and more calls and more visits lead to more customer engagement, more sales and more revenue.
Before we start, first you must understand that Google’s algorithm (the rules and guidelines that determine which business listings they display at any given time to any given individual) is in constant state of change. So really its not a given that the steps outlined below will get you into the 3-Pack. this is especially true if the 3-Pack is already filled with competing companies in the same town that have been working on the web presence consistently through time. this means keeping their Google business profiles accurate and up to date and consistent throughout the online world.
However, if you follow the steps below you more than likely will improve your chances of getting your business listed in the Google 3-Pack .. especially where your competitors are not actively managing their Google business listings and actively encouraging their best customers to review them online. Here are the steps to take.
Step 1: Claim and Verify Google Business Page.
But what if you don’t have one yet? Well then, the first step is to create your Google My Business listing. Here is a link directly below. Just select your business type, and then follow Google’s instructions to set up your Google Business Page.
If you are a local business, you should select either Storefront (if customers come to you) or Service Area if you provide services at the customer’s home or business location.
Step 2: Now it’s time to optimize Your Google Business Profile. Here’s how.
Your Google business profile has two parts: Your Google page (which is what most people will see) and your Google Maps Listing.
New Google business pages set up through the Google My Business platform are automatically linked to their Google Maps listing. However, older G Pages or G Local Profiles may not be linked to their Google maps listing.
To see if your Google Business Page & Map Listing are linked, login to your Google My Business Dashboard, click on the page you want to manage, and click on the Gear Icon at the top right side of your Google Business Page. (See illustration below).
A new page will open where you can customize the settings for your Google Business Page.
Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and look for the Profile section. If your Google Maps listing is connected to your Google Business page, you will see the message, “This page is connected to Google Maps.”
If your Google Business page is not connected to your Google Maps Listing, you will need to go to go to Google Maps and type in your business address in the search bar. Your business name should show up at the address you have typed in.
Click on your business name and then click on the small gear icon in the lower right side of the page to access the Google Maps link. A new screen will pop up with the link to your Google Maps listing. Copy that link and go back to your Google page and paste the maps listing into the space provided at the bottom of the Google page edit screen.
After you have linked your Google Map to your Google Business Page you need to optimize them. Go to Google Map Maker, position your map pin at your front door, edit your map categories, edit your business NAP (Name, Address Phone) data, and remove or edit inaccurate information. (One word of advice…make sure that your NAP is consistent with all your online properties)
When you are happy with the accuracy and completeness of your Google Maps listing, return to your Google listing. Make sure that your Google Map categories are identical to your Google Business Profile categories, and be sure to populate the “About” section of your Google Business page with good, keyword rich content.
Make sure your website URL is linked in your Google Business Page, and that your business hours and other optional information is populated.
Google Maps Might Take a While. Be patient!
Sometimes Google may impose up to a 2-month waiting period for new Google Business listings before they begin to rank. If you have recently made significant edits or changes to your website, Google Page, or Map Listing, you might find yourself stuck in the 2-month incubation period. If you’ve followed the steps above, and you can’t get into the Map rankings, you may be in an incubation period, or you may be competing with other businesses that are jockeying for position on the Google 3-Pack.
Step 3: Local Directory Listings
Google’s “Pigeon Update” in July of 2014, placed increased importance on local directory listings as a factor in local search results. The best place to begin your local directory submissions process is with the top four “data aggregator” companies (Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup and Neustar Localeze). These companies disseminate business listing data to more than 300 other business directories all around the web.
Because accurate local business directory listings are an essential component of your Local SEO efforts, this task should be delegated to an experienced professional Local SEO expert. This is not the place to save money by doing it yourself. It is a time consuming process and it’s essential that your business name, address, and phone number be consistent and accurately submitted to each directory.
You should also create and manually submit your business directory information to popular business directories like Yelp, Yellowpages, Yahoo! Local, Manta, and Superpages.
Make sure that your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) is consistently listed in every directory. The more Google sees your accurate NAP information, the more credible you are as an established business in Google’s eyes.
Step 4: Update and Maintain Your Google Page
Google has confirmed that the frequency, engagement, and quality of Google posts is a ranking factor for Map Listings, and can help you get in — and stay in — the 3-Pack.
You can improve your chances of getting into — and staying in — the Google 3-Pack listings by regularly posting new content and photos to your Google page.
Any content you post on your Facebook page can be shared on your Google page as well.
Step 5: Seek and Monitor Citations in Other Websites.
When other websites mention your business name in its entirety, this is known as a “citation. Google assigns “points” for each citation it finds for your business. The more points you acquire, the more prominent you become in Google search results.
Step 6: Get some reviews!!
If you look at the local 3-pack you’ll notice that the highest business listed usually has some reviews. If the most number of reviews is say 2…then you need more than that!
Step 7: Consider Hiring an Expert to Do It For You
It all seems overwhelming, doesn't it? Not to mention time consuming. You are supposed to be running your business aren't you? Perhaps you should hire a professional marketing company to do the heavy lifting. There are so many steps to getting your business listed properly in Google and other business directories to expand your company’s digital footprint and maximize the likelihood that your customers will find you online, call you, visit you and buy from you. You need to do it right. If you are looking for expert help, we're here for you!