Let’s keep talking about local SEO, but this time with a focus on Google Local Pack.
It’s one of the most efficient ways to be visible online, boost your web-to-store traffic, and get ahead of the competition.
How to get there and why is it important? You will find out in this article.
- What is Google Local Pack?
- What is a Google Local Search?
- Why is Local Pack important?
- How can you improve your ranking in the Local Pack?
- What are the other local SEO criteria?
What is Google Local Pack?
When an Internet user does a local search (“restaurant Lyon 2e”), here is what Google search results show:
This is what we call Local Pack, 3 listings highlighted by Google after a query including a geographical dimension.
They appear right above the SERP, the traditional organic results referenced by the search engine. Thus, the Local Pack relegates the famous “blue links” to the background.
In practical terms, the Local Pack includes the list of the 3 addresses Google deems more relevant to answer to a local query. The ones whose Google Business Profile listings (former Google My Business) are the most optimised and whose e-reputation is better nurtured.
In one click, the potential client can view the listing and see the point of sale on a map, or find other places on Google Maps by clicking on “More places”.
Good to know
Google launched the Local Pack in 2015. Before, above the SERP there were 7 business listings without any map.
The map allows the users to find their way around without effort. The transition to 3 results is certainly due to a desire to be user friendly for mobile browsing.
What is a Google local search?
In order for the Local Pack to come up, Google first needs to identify the search as local.
How does Google determine if a search is local?
If a user’s query includes one of the following items, it will be considered as “local” by the search engine:
- A search with the words “close to me”, like “bakery close to me”. It’s also applicable for synonyms such as “nearby”
- A search which includes the name of a city, a street, or a neighbourhood targeted by the user. “Bakery Paris 10e” for example
- A more vague search without any precise geographical indication, such as “bakery”. In this context, Google uses the Local Pack to make local recommendations
As you will probably have seen by now, a great amount of searches are considered as local by Google.
Why is the Local Pack so important?
And why should you be interested in it?
The search engine shows a Local Pack for 93% of local searches, no less. And 50% of local searches become a reality with a visit to one of the points of sale detected thanks to Google.
It is thus paramount to have a good local SEO to boost your traffic and sales.
A strategic location on the search engine
So, the Local Pack is the best way to be visible in the search results. The Internet users cannot miss it and automatically refer to it.
It is practical, customised, and designed to ease the users’ purchasing path.
Unlike the SERP results, the Local Pack has also some call-to-action buttons, thanks to the Google Business Profile listings.
In 3 clicks, the potential client can visit your website, call you, make a route request or even write to you if you use Google Business Messages.
This is where your business should be in order to gain maximum visibility. The Local Pack is massive and draws a large part of the traffic linked to local searches.
Why? Because it gives the Internet users what they are looking for straight away: ideas of places close to the target location. Moreover, the Local Pack has the advantage of being visual and practical: in just one click, Google provides them with all the information they need.
This is the real power of the Local Pack which gathers Google Business Profile and Maps in the search results.
How can you improve your ranking in the Local Pack?
As it often happens with regard to local SEO, the optimisation of your Google Business Profile listings is key.
Before hoping to be in the Local Pack, you need to make sure they are up-to-date and as comprehensive as possible.
Being part of the 3 lucky ones is an award earned by the most efficient Google users. It is the crowning achievement of a smoothly run local SEO strategy.
Basic reminder of the Google Business Profile optimisation
It is necessary to specify as much information as possible about your activity to get your listings to the top of Google search results. Here are the most significant parameters:
- Name of your business, telephone number, address, opening hours…
- Main category and additional categories
- Link to your website
- Products and services
- Special hours
- Google Posts
- Google Business Messages if you want to use the conversational commerce to interact with your potential clients
It’s the best way to be well referenced by Google. And to have a chance to be in the Local Pack.
What are the 3 most important criteria for local SEO?
According to Google, these 3 are the most decisive criteria in terms of local SEO:
- Proximity – the closer the points of sale are to the user who does the search, the greater is their chance to move up in Google search results.
- Relevance – Google determines the extent to which your business corresponds to what the user searches
- Reputation – or the offline popularity of a local business. In general, the search engine favours the popular places that are known to a large number of people
The relevance of the clients’ reviews for the ranking
The other essential criterion regarding the local SEO is the e-reputation. Being able to rely on a lot of positive reviews and having a good score is paramount. For that, we cannot recommend you enough to use the review management.
Furthermore, reviews are very reassuring for Internet users. No surprise in that, businesses that have 5 stars are much more appealing than those whose score is lower.
What are the other SEO criteria?
We have already said it, improving one’s local SEO is a precondition for hoping to have a spot in the Local Pack.
Here is a summary of other factors that make a difference:
- Well manage your Presence Management
- Create top-quality local content
- Optimise the user’s experience
- Have a mobile-responsive website
- Take care of the Internet network of your contents
- Optimise the images and the metadata
- Do not neglect the importance of local citations
For more information and advice about this matter, you can check out our article dedicated to the optimisation of a website for the local SEO.
In conclusion, a spot in the Local Pack can be earned. In terms of local SEO, it’s the Holy Grail and it is necessary to perfectly optimise one’s website and Google Business Profile listings to hope to access it.
In any case, we hope this article will help you make a place for yourself in the Local Pack!