How Can My Business Get Listed in the Google Local Pack?
Google is continuously tweaking the way that is displays its SERP (search engine results page) in order to improve the user experience. While this is great for users, it does create a greater challenge for businesses that do not know how to stay ahead of these changes and remain visible on Google, especially in the Local Map Pack.
If you are someone who is wondering “how can my business get listed in the Google Local Pack?“, we can help. As experts in search engine optimization, we understand how complex the Google Local Pack can seem to someone who is not experienced in SEO. That is why we have created this step-by-step guide to help make the process easier for our clients.
What is the Google Local Map Pack?
The Google Local Map Pack is the map section on Google’s search results page that displays businesses that are ranked based off of proximity, relevance and prominence. Given that the Map Pack is primarily a local feature, the geographical location that users are searching from is most important. The business information displayed in this section is also geared toward users searching for specific products or services.
For example, users who type in “Abbotsford digital marketing” will be given three suggestions that are determined by the amount of information that Google can collect on the business, what the business’ reviews are like, and how close the business is to where the user is searching from.
How to Get Your Business Listed in the Google Local Pack
In order to get your business listed in the Google Local Pack, you will need to:
1. Create a Google My Business Page
Start by checking to see if your business has already been added to the Google My Business (GMB) listing by typing your company name into the “Business name” box. If there is already a listing the matches your business—likely created from parsed data from other listings—you will need to claim it and verify ownership. If there are no matches, you will first need to register your company.
2. Verify Your Business’ Address
In order to verify your business on GMB, you will need to fill out an application to have a verification code delivered to your physical address in the mail within 14 days. Once you have received the code, it will need to be entered into the respective field in your GMB account.
In some cases, you may also be given the option to verify your business’ location via phone call or text. If either of these options are available, you will be able to select them at the start of the verification process. Depending on the option selected, the code will then be either sent through an automated phone call or texted to you.
3. Optimize Your Business Listings
Once a business has been registered and verified, all of the company’s information will need to be filled out, as each piece of information can influence search visibility. The fields that will need to be filled out include:
- Business name—Only enter your business name. Do not add any location markers or keywords as this is considered keyword stuffing.
- Category—Choose the primary category that is the most accurate to your business (e.g. “Pizza delivery” instead of “restaurant delivery”) as well as secondary categories. Selecting the right categories is one of the most important optimization steps.
- NAP (name, address, phone number) data—Make sure that the information listed here matches the information on your website. If you have several locations, include the hours for each location and a local phone number.
- Pictures—Make sure to add a logo and cover photo to help users quickly identify your company.
- Reviews—These are listed along with the business’ contact information and can help contribute to your online reputation. Be sure to respond to all reviews, both good and bad.
- Business citations—Refer to the company’s description that appears in business listings, such as Yelp and Yellow Pages.
- Posts, messages, questions, and answers—These are powerful tools for optimizing a business listing, as they contribute to the overall local ranking of a business.
Learn more about how to optimize your Google My Business listing.
4. Optimize Your Website for Local Search
Optimizing a website for local search so that it ranks well organically can also help to rank the GMB listing in the local map pack. This means that you should not only optimize the content on the website but also pay attention to the website’s technical health and link authority.
- Content optimization—The best way to ensure that a business is associated with a certain location is to include the name of the town, region, province, and, in some cases, the district in the content throughout the entire website.
- Website SEO health—Since the technical foundation of a website (crawlability, speed, mobile responsiveness, security, etc.) can significantly impact the website’s rankings, it is important to correct any technical issues that arise as quickly as possible.
- Website link authority—Building up quality local links to the website’s domain is an integral part of boosting a website’s local authority. Consider trying to earn links and citations from locally authoritative sources.
For small businesses, getting listed in the Google Local Pack can mean the difference between being incredibly busy and being incredibly slow. To learn more about how you can get your business listed in the Google Local Pack, get in touch with the SEO experts from FirstPage Marketing today.