Google Maps 3 Pack SEO rankings for your Minnesota small business

Have you noticed how three local businesses show up under a map of the local area when you search for a nearby service on Google? These organic results comprise what is known as Google Maps 3 Pack. Ranking in this key space can be invaluable to your company because it suggests a reputable, strong local presence. Here are a few Google Maps 3 Pack SEO best practices that you can use to get your business into this coveted zone.

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

This important first step will definitely attract loads of traffic to your website. You should include as much information as possible in your listing. The good news is that this is no feat with Google. All you need to do is fill in the necessary data about your company in a simple, straightforward manner. Companies are no longer required to enter a description.

When you optimize your Google My Business listing, the most important point to consider is that the phone number listed by you matches that on your site and is a local number. Even the best Google Maps 3 Pack SEO can’t help you if this isn’t the case. Why? Read on to find out.   

Here are several important things to check on in the listing:

  • Up-to-date payment details
  • Specific categories for your business
  • Fresh, good-quality images of your company

Also, make sure your listing hasn’t been “hijacked.” This happens when someone adds your link to their website.

Claim your listing under https://www.google.com/business and remove duplicate listings. Use the real name of your company. Use a city or state name (Minnesota) or a keyword only if it’s part of your business name.

Make sure you’re using the right main category and use that same category for all your locations if you have multiple. The company name and address on your listing should match those on your site as well as on other directories.

Add your business hours. This is a crucial thing when it comes to Google Maps 3 Pack SEO.

Choose a login email that is the same as your domain instead of your personal email; [email protected] is better than [email protected]

Use a profile photo, a cover photo, and other relevant images. Studies have shown listings with images are more memorable.

Finally, link back to specific location pages on your website. Link back to your homepage if you have only one location.

Google Maps 3 Pack SEO: The Right Content Marketing Strategy

Keyword research is the driving force behind any content marketing strategy. Keywords let businesses monitor their competition, inform them about what their potential customers strive to know, and offer a constant source of ideas for quality content.

Of course, the approach to keyword research is always changing, and it’s every company’s duty to stay on top of trends. Search engines are getting smarter and keyword research tools are becoming more advanced. Just as the Google Maps 3 Pack SEO world is changing, so should we.

Here are a few SEO trends that are changing the keyword research concept and how we create, develop, and optimize content along with it.

It’s Not Enough to be at the Top

When it comes to keyword research, this is the trickiest and one of the most frequently asked questions. How much traffic is being at the top of Google going to bring? Is it worth the hassle? In brief, we’d say that yes, it is, but today it’s harder than ever. Search engine results pages used to provide more visibility before. This should be considered in the process of keyword optimization.

Google Maps 3 Pack SEO and General Click-Through Rate

A recent study on the click-through rate found that the top position attracted just over a fifth of all clicks, while the second and third positions attracted respectively 10% and 7.5%. These shares of the total are lower than ever, which is probably because Google keeps changing its search results page.

Clearly, not all searchers click on a result, so how is click volume calculated? A lot of tools show keyword search volume, but that isn’t enough for 3 Pack SEO purposes.

We’ll answer that question right away.

There are a few major SEO intelligence platforms out there that help identify keywords with lower competition by integrating a keyword difficulty metric. Three of them are Ahrefs, Serpstat, and SEMRush. They also help identify keyword intent.

Natural language processing and text analysis tools kike Watson™ Natural Language Understanding can extract categories, entities, and concepts from any piece of content.

Google Maps 3 Pack SEO’s Best Friend

Ahrefs shows the total number of clicks for any number of search results. The tool shows just how remarkable the discrepancy between search volume and clicks can be. In the past, we used to use the percentage breakdown to estimate the clicks. Now, this doesn’t work because not all Google search result pages are the same. The search giant abandoned clear 10 blue links quite a while back. Elements like local packs, featured snippets, and shopping results distract users’ attention and clicks.

Google Maps 3 Pack SEO Best Practice: Search for “Best () Near Me”

The tool Serpstat’s clustering feature can help you identify relevant concepts. Serpstat analyzes Google’s search results to find overlapping URLs instead of grouping keywords by a common word like “shops” (as in “good organic food shops”) and being deprived of important keywords like other clustering would.

Clustering works by grouping huge keyword lists into categories and subcategories, thereby making sense of them. These categories can help a business structure its content, turning many of the subcategories into subheads. Clustered keyword lists also help people come up with better, more insightful, and more structured content.

Content marketers have never had as much insight into the intentions, struggles, and interests of audiences as they do today. They enjoy unprecedented variety and depth of tools. All a company really needs to do is test these tools and select those that fulfill its requirements.

Social Media Networks and Tools

Networks and tools give keyword analytics opportunities to study trends, natural language, and real-time keyword context, among other things. A variety of tools Google Maps 3 Pack SEO experts will tell you about will give you good insight into keywords. One such tool is Postchup, which provides information about Instagram hashtag – related concepts to include in your content. It also offers sentiment analysis and shows what objects can be seen on those Instagram updates, which helps you make better visual marketing decisions.

The bottom line? Set targets based on the full complexity of opportunities available on each search result page for your prime keywords instead of focusing on the top results position. Search pages with a local pack require that your business be verified in Google. If it isn’t, it can’t come up on top of local maps. If a page uses a featured snippet, target your content to use that opportunity. This may include using definitions, subheads, or question-and-answer format.

If video results are shown, create a video to grab the chance. If Google images are highlighted, focus on visual content.

It’s no longer sufficient to create a single content asset in order to achieve search visibility because even the highest position may not come with all the visibility you were hoping for. It’s necessary to approach each search result page in a different way and come up with more ways to rank in multiple sections.

A recent study on local SEO ranking factors found that having your city name in URLs, title tags, and in page copy, among other optimization tactics can still affect rankings.

Have Unique and Quality Content on Each Location Page

It’s certainly difficult to equip tens of different locations with unique content. Yet, if you want to rank, content is indispensible. Unique, quality content for a page could be as simple as putting up pictures and descriptions for the respective location or writing a short history of it. More tips on this later.

Make Sure your Citations are Correct

According to some specialists, citations are not as important to Google Maps 3 Pack SEO as they used to be. In every event, do spend some time making sure the data on your business online corresponds to that on your website.

Don’t forget local Google Maps 3 Pack SEO serves the purpose of getting you to rank locally. Use a local number because if your company is appearing in a Local 3-Pack, the searcher will probably be in the area. Also keep your name, address and phone number consistent across your Google My Business listing, website, review pages, and citations.

The Role of Backlinks

Build backlinks to authority directories related to your niche. Use citation builders like MOZ Local and BrightLocal. This is important – backlinks rule the world of Google Maps 3 Pack SEO.

Other ways to get backlinks include:

  • Having a robust social media presence
  • Getting your site listed in local directories centered on your line of business
  • Contributing content to high-ranking websites.
  • Using link-building tools like Ahrefs and Whitespark.

Google Reviews: The More, the Better

Like there’s no such thing as having too much money, there is no such thing as too many reviews. Here are some ways to get more reviews:

  • Call your clients and write what they say as a review for your website. Ask for their permission first.
  • E-mail clients and ask for a review on Google for a service or product.
  • Tell them a Google Maps 3 Pack SEO expert told you a review would do wonders for your rankings. Your clients will appreciate your honesty.
  • Ask for the review within a few days of a transaction. Don’t wait longer than this.
  • Use a service like Yotpo or CustomerLobby to be more effective.

Consumers have been using online reviews very often in recent years. Google is well aware of this trend, and when it comes to ranking in their Local 3-Pack, they greatly value positive Google reviews. You can push up into the Local 3-Pack by asking customers to leave you a review even though your goal should always be to achieve a great reputation organically. Please remember that the sooner a review is left, the better.

Encouraging reviews is also important because Google relies heavily on your company’ star rating when ranking businesses in the 3-Pack.  

Be Mobile-Friendly

It’s important to keep in mind that four out of five internet users own a Smartphone. People are spending more and more time on websites even though the main use for mobile web activity still revolves around apps. The number of mobile searches using the words “near me” has skyrocketed in recent years. With this in mind, it is of paramount importance that your business dispose of a mobile-friendly website.

Being mobile-friendly is imperative if you want to position yourself in this space because Google Maps’ Local 3-Pack also takes a website’s mobile responsiveness into account in terms of ranking.

Google Maps 3 Pack SEO for Multiple Locations

Let’s go a bit deeper into the issue of multiple locations. If this is the case and you’re interested in each separate ranking, take measures to make sure each page appears original and different. Don’t just copy and paste the location across your pages. There are ways to supply customized, unique content for each separate location, including content or quotes from your employees, customer reviews, and images of your location.

Final Google Maps 3 Pack SEO Tips

Your website can appear in the local 3-Pack if you utilize some of these Google Maps 3 Pack SEO practices. This will in turn lead to a much-needed boost in traffic. Any good SEO expert will be aware of these and other methods. You might find that hiring a consultant or agency to help you with such matters can save you a lot of time and energy while also hiking up the traffic for your business and site.