In order to get your business listed in Google’s local 3-pack, you will need to make sure any SEO efforts are ticking the right boxes. Not only are local SERPs incredibly competitive, Google has also made some recent changes that make it harder to stay visible.
For example, the mobile 3-packs now feature paid ads as well, bringing the number of organic listings down to just 2.
Even so, it remains fairly simple and straightforward to improve your local SEO. In fact, the following tips and tricks for best practice should help you achieve meaningful results.
- Take advantage of link building opportunities
With recent research revealing that link signals (such as inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, number of links etc.) account for 29 per cent of ranking factors, this is arguably the most important part of local SEO. As a result, you should prioritise link building opportunities.
It may take some time to build a repertoire of valuable content worthy of continual clicks, but connecting and collaborating with notable influencers should help speed things up. SEO experts also say that you can build excellent backlinks with the local press, Yelp and similar directories, as well as local business websites.
- Resolve NAP inconsistencies
Did you know that certain studies have found on-page signals including NAP (your name, address, and phone number) to be the second to third most important ranking signal for both local pack ranking and localised organic rankings?
Therefore, it is crucial that your NAP (name, address, and phone number) remains the same on every website where it’s featured. You can discover whether this is the case with rank tracking software, which monitors your citations. Whenever you do stumble across NAP inconsistencies, contact the site owner and ask them to update their records.
- Conduct keyword research like a local search
Ever since Google got rid of its location search filter, simulating local search results from a different city has become more complicated. However, it’s not impossible if you do the following:
- Add the “near” parameter to the URL – After entering a query, modify the URL by adding “&near=cityname.”
- Use the “uule” parameter – Append each search with a base64 encoded form of the “Canonical Name” of a location called the “uule” parameter.
- Target specific GPS coordinates – Let an algorithm geotarget your keywords via GPS coordinates.
- Optimise your Google My Business listing
Another pivotal ranking factor when it comes to local pack racking is your Google My Business listing. It’s really easy to organise and optimise too:
- Claim your listing with Google
- Verify your account (this will require an accurate street address and phone number)
- Make sure your business details are up-to-date. You’d be surprised at how many businesses put the wrong or erroneous opening hours and incorrect category listings.
- Link to your website
- Upload high-quality images of the business, which will also impress clients and customers
Make the effort to encourage customer reviews and build citations for local listings too.