We all know what a six-pack is, but are you familiar with the three-pack? No, it’s not a trio of beer that you can buy for about $5. The three-pack is the holy grail of local SEO marketers.
If you’ve ever searched Google for a local business — say, a sandwich shop or a tailor — you’ve seen a three-pack. It’s the three top rankings that accompany a map on the SERP (search engine results page) after you hit “enter” while Googling.
As you can imagine, those three businesses compete pretty hard for that prime real estate. Most folks will skip right over the sponsored links that appear above the three-pack, and start with those highlighted businesses.
So how can you harness local SEO strategies to get one of the three spots on that search-engine podium?
3 Tips for Hyper Focused Local SEO Strategies
#1) Claim Your Business
Google wants local business owners to provide up-to-date, accurate, and thorough information about their store location, hours, business category and more.
Why? It’s not out of the goodness of Google’s heart; the search engine giant also wants to provide searchers with this information in order to cement its status as an authority.
If you own a store that relies primarily on foot traffic, it’s imperative that you claim your business on Google (and on other directory sites like Yelp, Yahoo Local, and Nextdoor). Make certain that the info you submit is consistent across the web.
Double- and triple-check your NAP (name, address, and phone number). Google won’t rank your site very highly, particularly in mobile search results, if it isn’t sure if your phone number is 555-1212 or 555-1213.
#2) Do What It Takes to Get Reviewed
Some folks just love to post reviews online and will do so for any place they visit, whether it’s a convenience store or a Michelin-starred restaurant. Others need a little encouragement to provide feedback. One of the best ways to garner reviews is to ask outright.
You can do this by posting a review page on your website or displaying a Yelp sticker on your front door. Some companies even print a call-to-action on their receipts. No matter how you encourage reviews, it’s equally important to have a review-response strategy in place.
Good reviews are easy to respond to (a heartfelt “thanks” and an invitation to return are generally all you need) but when a customer is dissatisfied with their experience, you’ll need a gentler touch. Need help crafting that message? Social media and SEO experts know just what to say and how to say it.
So why are reviews important? Well, potential customers will look at them, to be sure. But experts believe that online reviews make up at least 13% of the local ranking signals that Google takes into consideration.
That means they’re among the most effective local SEO strategies you can undertake.
#3) Get On Board with Mobile
Have you noticed that lately, when you search for a product or service, one of the first autocomplete options is “…near me“? You’re not imagining things.
Those searches have doubled in the past few years, largely because of the rise of mobile connectivity. Not only that, but Google’s infamous “Mobilegeddon” made it crystal clear that having a mobile-optimized website is also a ranking factor.
Yet mobile isn’t just good for Google; it’s likely to make or break your actual conversions. People don’t enjoy having to pinch, scroll, and zoom their way to information on a website that’s designed for desktop.
Provide potential customers an easier way to get the on-the-go details they need — largely the same information that we covered in tips 1 and 2 — and they’re simply more likely to patronize your business.
Are You Local-Focused?
What have you found to be the most effective local SEO strategies? Share your experience in the comments!