Local search engine optimization (SEO) is an increasingly important part of capitalizing on potential organic traffic from search engines. With the changes that Google has made to local searches in recent years, the 3-pack is an especially coveted set of three listings which often appear under a map of the area and are displayed with key information including average review stays, the website URL, and directions. These three listings are especially prominent and so get a very high percentage of the clicks.
There are really three key things that you should focus on to improve your chances of making it into the trifecta. First, is relevance. How closely does your listing match with what people are actually searching for in terms of both keywords as well as content? Second, distance is important. You should really focus on getting into the top three for locations in which your business is central because it will be almost impossible to do it for search terms that are too far from where your business physically is. Finally, prominence or how well-known your business is is important.
The first thing that you should set up when starting your local campaign is setting up your Google My Business profile. This is a key way to give the search engine vital information directly including things like your store hours, physical address, phone number, etc. Be as complete as you can with your profile. Being as specific and detailed as you can help you rank better and may also help increase click-through from potential visitors. You should also verify your location so that you show up on Google Maps– this is key to making sure that Google can calculate your distance from whatever search term a user may have used. Finally, your name, address, and phone number (NAP) listing need to be 100% spot on. These three will show up in numerous places including other websites which pull data from Google. You should also make sure that your NAP is consistent across various platforms including other business directories, Yelp, and Google.
To increase your prominence, you should really invest in organic SEO. Both on-site and off-site measures are important here and there are a long array of resources available online to help you figure out what to do. Stay away from shady methods like keyword stuffing or building spammy links as that can only hurt you these days.
The final thing you will need to figure out is how to improve your click-through rates. Ranking higher is always the number one way to do this, but when it comes to local SEO, other factors can matter too. It should be obvious to users that you are in fact local. You should also have a good description and maybe some images as well as reviews from good customers if possible. These things will help set you apart from your competition and will make your listing more appealing that those around it. Do this and you are bound to capture a good share of your local searchers.