The Google Local 3-Pack
If your goal is to get your business noticed when local consumers -- your potential customers -- are using Google to search for businesses, you need the Google Local 3-Pack in your marketing mix.
Type ‘’kitchen cabinets near me” into Google, and see what happens. You’ll get a list of kitchen cabinet companies in your area, the ones closest to you. These companies are listed at the top of the page in a special list, together with a map showing their locations.
And these listings are called THE LOCAL 3-PACK.
The screen shot below shows cabinet companies close to the author’s location. Try it using “kitchen designers near me” or “kitchen remodelers near me” and see what comes up for you. This is your competition, and getting your name listed in the results is your goal.
When Does The Local 3-Pack Show Up?
Any time Google determines a search has “local intent”, it will show a Local 3-Pack on the results page. How does Google determine if a search has local intent? Generally speaking, the following types of searches have local intent:
• Search phrases that contain a geographic reference, such as a city name or zip code (like “kitchen cabinets in
• Search terms that contain the phrase “near me”
• Google also uses your IP address and knows where you are
How You Can Get Your Business In On the 3-Pack Action
1. Claim Your Google My Business Profile.
Before you can show up in the 3-Pack, you must have a Google My Business profile.
2. Optimize Your GMB Profile
Just claiming your profile won’t be enough to make your business start appearing in the 3-Pack. You have to improve your business information as much as possible:
- Have accurate information: your NAP (name, address, phone number), business hours, etc. (See our blog post about NAP.)
- Add photos of your business, finished projects, and the products and services you provide
- Enter a company description that is linked to corresponding pages on your website.
- Optimize your description using keyword phrases that potential clients are searching for online.
3. Get Reviews on Your GMB Profile
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to increase your chances of getting placed in Google’s Local 3-Pack is to get reviews. As a business owner, you should constantly be asking for feedback from your customers.
Google 3-Pack listings now show stars starting with just one review instead of five. Before February 2017, you had to have five reviews on your Google My Business page for your listing to display with the number of stars.
4. Get Local Reviews On Other Sites, Like Yelp, Houzz, Etc.
It’s also important to get online reviews on other sites, like Houzz.com, Angie’s List, etc. Google can “see” these reviews, and positive reviews on these sites increase your chances of placement in the Local 3-pack, as well.
5. Get Your Business Listed in Local Directories
Being active on local listings sites also contributes to good results in local search. Sites like churches and community bulletin boards, as well as listings like the website for the local Chamber of Commerce, get Google to trust your business.
6. Add New Listing Profiles
Add your business profile on the many listing sites gradually over time - not all at once. Some of the most familiar are:
When Google sees business listings for your company on sites that match the information on Google My Business and your website, it verifies that you are a genuine business and increases your chances of getting into the Local 3-Pack.
7. Be Consistent Everywhere
Did you have a different address or phone number in the past? If you’ve been in business for a while, it’s very likely there is out-dated info floating out there in the Internet ether. When Google sees inconsistencies, they question whether you are still in business.
Google looks to make sure your company information is accurate, correct and consistent everywhere it appears. If your info is in the right format in many different listings, then you will rank higher because Google can be sure that it has the right contact information for your business.
8. Be Mobile Friendly
When it comes to mobile local search, make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Google gives preference to sites that are mobile friendly. It’s a good idea to target mobile users, and now there’s O reasons for doing so.
9. Have a Great Website
These days, the educational value of your website is more important than ever in determining your placement in the Local 3-Pack. Your site should contain videos, articles, photos and information that potential customers will find helpful. Google wants to send their users to websites that offer value.
Some Things Change and Some Things Stay the Same
The way Google shows local search results has changed in the past few years. But some methods for increasing your visibility in local search results have stayed the same, and they’re not likely to change.
Having a great website that provides potential customers with useful information is not likely to go out of style. The importance of getting regular online reviews isn’t going to disappear anytime soon either. In fact, it’s only going to become more competitive as businesses get better and better at asking for reviews.