As a local business owner, you probably know the importance of ranking high in Google for local keywords. The higher your business ranks for local searches, the more exposure and traffic it will receive.
However, Google reduced the number of local businesses it displays at the top of its search results from seven to just three in 2015. With less digital real estate, there’s greater competition among brick-and-mortar businesses for Google’s local 3-pack. So, if you want your business to appear in the coveted local 3-pack, you should follow these tips.
Add and Verify Your Listing
You should first check to see if your business is listed in Google My Business (GMB). Your business will only appear in Google’s local 3-pack if it’s listed in GMB. Once your business is added to GMB, you must verify your listing. This tells Google that you are the rightful owner or operator of the business. As a result, you’ll have complete control over your GMB listing while also preventing other users from changing your business’s information.
Google supports several methods of verification for GMB listings, including postcard, phone, email and instant. The most commonly used verification method is postcard. Google sends you a postcard containing a code in the mail. Once you receive it, you enter the code online to verify your business’s listing.
Add Complete Business Information
After verifying your business on GMB, you should add complete your listing by adding information about your business. Google prioritizes complete GMB listings over those with missing information. Therefore, you’ll have an easier time ranking in the 3-pack if you add information like your business’s background, products, prices, hours of operation and more.
Encourage Ratings and Reviews
According to Search Engine Journal, customer ratings and reviews heavily influence rankings in Google’s local 3-pack. Each positive rating or review signals trust. Not only will increase your chance of ranking in the 3-pack, but it also encourages other users to buy your products or services. One study found that 88 percent of consumers trust reviews such as this as much as recommendations made by friends or family.
These are just a few tips to help your business rank in Google’s local 3-pack.