Google Local Pack: what is it?

Google Maps is a tool that we easily take for granted.

Looking for a tasty new restaurant? Google Maps shows the hottest spots near you.

Need a local plumber? Google Maps will show you the providers with the best customer reviews.

Google Maps offers a huge advantage to users looking for businesses – and businesses looking to attract customers.

That’s why Google Map Pack is prime real estate for businesses looking to increase online and local traffic.

What is the “Google Local Pack”, you ask?

In this guide, we’ll explain all about it, the most important features, and how to use them to drive leads to your business.

What is Google Map Pack?

The “Google Map Pack” (or Google Local Map Pack) is a prominent section in Google’s local search results that shows the top-ranked local listings for your location or the search location.

In Google Map Pack, businesses are listed with their geographic location, contact details, hours, and other useful information.

Users can click on a listing to learn more about the business, call the contact number, or access Google Maps navigation to the physical location of the business.

Google screenshot, September 2022

How it works

The Google Map Pack is displayed as a set of three or more Google Maps results when a user searches for a local business. Google calls the search result that its algorithm interprets as most relevant to their search.

These Google Maps results will typically appear above traditional organic search results, as the algorithm understands that the user’s search intent is to find a physical location.

The Google Map Pack makes it easier for users to find the specific business they are looking for or browse businesses in a particular category (eg restaurants, retail stores, etc.).

The Map Pack provides contact information, address, website link, hours of operation, prices, photos, customer reviews, and more.

Local Map Pack Stats You Need to Know

Almost 1 of 3 of all mobile searches are location-specific, and Google is the primary search engine users use to find local businesses.

In reality, 99% of consumers surveyed by Brightlocal have used the internet to find local businesses in the past year.

With this in mind, optimizing for Google Map Pack is one of the best local SEO strategies businesses can use to drive local traffic.

It starts with building an online listing and website, then optimizing the search terms your target audience uses to find businesses like yours.

As mentioned, the Google Map Pack also has the advantage of featuring customer reviews.

And with 94% of consumers say positive reviews make them more likely to use a business, this is something businesses should consider.

Want to know why Google Map Pack is important for SEO? Read on and check out more local SEO stats on Search Engine Journal.

Why Google Map Pack is important for SEO

The Google Map Pack occupies prime real estate in Google’s local search results. This is an important placement for companies because first place gets the highest click through rate of all lists.

To rank well in the Map Pack, businesses often need to employ local SEO strategies.

The Map Pack is important for SEO because it can be a strong driver of organic traffic if properly optimized.

Optimizing for Google Map Pack brings many benefits, including:

  • More organic traffic – Higher placement in Google Map Pack often means higher click-through rate, driving more traffic to your business website.
  • More local traffic – A high ranking in the Map Pack means your business is one of the first listings users see when searching for a business, which means they are more likely to navigate to your physical location via Google Maps.
  • No more phone calls – Coming to the top of the Google Map Pack could attract more users and encourage them to call your business directly. This can lead to more leads for your business.
  • Competitive advantage – Ranking higher than your competitors in the Map Pack could attract more customers, leading to more customer reviews and overall more visibility for your business. In a competitive market, this can make all the difference.
  • More mobile traffic – The map pack takes up most of the visual space on a mobile phone screen, so users are quicker to respond and more likely to check your list on the go.
  • Business SEO – Users often ignore businesses that don’t meet the parameters for a specific location, which can be a huge problem if you have a large business. Geo-specific listings of your physical locations can be an important traffic driver for your business.

Google Map Pack fields and features

Google Maps offers a range of Features for businesses and consumers – most of which serve to provide a better user experience.

The goal of Google Maps is to make it easier for users to find and interact with the business they are looking for in local search.

As a marketer or business owner, you should know some important features of Google Map Pack:

  • Company Name – The name of the company; when clicked, the hyperlinked business name directs users to the full Google Business Profile SEO
  • Evaluation – Number and quality of opinions; usually displayed as a number (out of 5) and stars
  • Price – The assumed cost of a company’s services or products; usually displayed as a series of dollar signs (e.g. $$$)
  • Address – The physical address of the company
  • Opened closed – Specifies whether a business is currently open or closed, based on its opening hours
  • Hours – The opening or closing hours of a business; include day and times (open to closed)
  • The description – A concise description of the business (e.g., “Seasonal Italian cuisine and wine pairings”)
  • Service options – Specifies whether a business offers in-store pickup, online ordering, on-site dining, delivery, etc.
  • Label – A characteristic that designates the type of business (for example, “Italian” or “Men’s clothing store”)

There are many other features included in the comprehensive Google Business Profile listing including website link, phone number, photos, rush hours, driving directions, customer reviews, and more.

Additionally, users can contribute to Google Maps to update listings and add additional information.

How do I rank in the Google Map Pack?

There is no single, guaranteed way to rank in the Google Map Pack.

On the contrary, ranking in the Map Pack requires a combination of local SEO strategies to improve its local ranking.

Here are some fundamentals of ranking in Google Maps:

Create a Google Business Profile card

The very first step is create or claim your Google Business Profile listing.

This can involve finding and “claiming” an existing business listing or creating a brand new listing for your business.

Google Business Profile is a free platform that allows you to showcase your business information and basically rank in the Map Pack.

However, your ranking position will depend on how well your listing is optimized, how many positive reviews your customers have, how well your website is optimized, and various factors.

Once you’ve created or claimed your listing, you can start optimizing it for Google Maps by following local SEO best practices.

Optimize your listing and get reviews

To optimize your listing, you’ll want to fill in as much information about your business as possible (accurately!).

This means adding your address, phone number, hours of operation, website link, business description, tags, photos, and all of the “features” mentioned above.

Additionally, certain characteristics are important ranking factors for your business, such as the number and quality of reviews and keyword usage.

Google itself offers a host of Resources to help you complete your form.

Follow the Google Business Profile SEO Guide for more tips on optimizing your GBP.

Embed Google Maps on your website

Once you’ve created your Google Maps listing, you can embed map on the Contact page (or similar page) of your website.

Having a map for your business can make it easier for users to find and navigate your physical location.

Also, optimizing your website for local SEO can help you rank in local organic search results.

Local SEO can help you increase your local map pack listings and organic rankings. This gives users multiple opportunities to find your business before your competitors.

Optimize for the Google Local Pack to get more traffic

The Google Map Pack helps users find relevant businesses and easily find coordinates for their favorite local getaways.

If you are a business owner, optimizing for Google Map Pack is one of the main ways to drive more local and online traffic.

Local SEO is the main method used to optimize the map pack, but involves a variety of strategies.

The first is optimizing the Google Business Profile, which is the primary way your listing is hosted.

Other strategies are used to then optimize your keyword list, get more reviews, and ultimately rank above your local competitors.

Want to rank higher in the map pack?

Learn about the latest local SEO strategies and tips.

More resources:

Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock

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