Google is the world’s largest search engine, used by millions of people each and every day. Search engine optimization (SEO) and specifically local SEO are extremely important to getting seen by the right people on this platform. The reason local SEO is so important is that 97% of users searched online to find a local business. Customers want to find you, it’s up to you to make sure they can.
Getting into the Google 3-Pack is the best way to improve your visibility to local customers. This 3-Pack is the top 3 results for a Google local search on a search engine results page (SERP).
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Google Optimize is a free conversion rate optimization tool (CRO). You can use this tool to test different versions of pages on your website. Using metrics such as email sign-ups, bounce rates, etc., will test the performance of each page. Some of the tests you can use are A/B testing, redirect, personalization, multivariate, and banner.
Using Google Optimize is smart because it’s free, will empower your decisions with data, personalize your website to drive action, and improve your return on investment (ROI) from other marketing efforts such as advertising. It’s essential to make informed decisions about your website so that through website traffic, you can grow your business. As an added bonus, most CRO tools cost money. However, Google optimization is free and provides the same value as a paid CRO tool. Some other reasons to use Google Optimize include:
Empowering Your Decisions With Data
Google Optimize will help you make informed decisions about your website through data. You can use Google Optimize to experiment with your webpages. How are your purchase rates doing with a redesigned website? How is your bounce rate and time spent on a page? You can measure all of these things and more. You no longer have to guess or debate because Google Optimize does the work for you.
Personalize Your Website to Drive Action
Personalization is expected by customers. People expect brands to use their shopping or browsing history to provide product recommendations. With Google Optimize, you can set up to 10 personalized experiences for your target audience. One example would be a “Welcome Back” message to previous and returning website visitors.
Improve Your ROI From Other Marketing Efforts
Google Optimize can help you improve your ROI efforts from other digital marketing strategies such as PPC, email marketing, and social media marketing. You can use Google Optimize to test your landing pages for a PPC campaign. You can try different calls to action (CTA), the layout of the landing page, offers, etc. Also, using Google Optimize, your email marketing efforts can be personalized for each subscriber.
Compatibility With Other Tools
Another benefit of Google Optimize is that it is easily compatible with other tools you are likely already using. These include other Google tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google BigQuery. It can also work with Firebase and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Local Google Searches
Have you ever been looking for a school near you? Do you need a local plumber or electrician? Perhaps you’re looking for a specific restaurant, grocery store, or movie theater? All of these are examples of local searches on Google and are some of the most popular searches online.
In 2015, Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) were launched in test markets and by 2018-2019, Google was slowly adding new cities to the platform. These ads differ from Google Ads because Local Service Ads point you directly to people searching for locally offered services. You don’t even need a website to use Google Local Service Ads.
How Do Google Local Service Ads Work?
First, a potential customer enters a topic or question in the Google search bar such as “Hardware store near me.” Google then uses their keywords and location to match the services they’re looking for, within the area they’re searching. Local search ads appear at the top of the search engine results page above the traditional paid ads. Also, local ads appear alongside other similar and relevant businesses.
Many businesses are eligible for Google Local Service Ads. Some of these include:
- Pet Groomers
What’s the Difference Between Google Local Ads and Other Google Ads?
Google Local Ads are location-based, meaning they only target customers within a specific location. Unlike Traditional Google Ads, Local Ads don’t have to be concerned about ranking factors. Google calculates your rank based on proximity to your customers’ location, review scores, and responsiveness. Traditional Google Ads are ranked by their quality score, landing page, relevance, etc.
Google Guarantee Badge
Google Local Ads have a certification known as a Google Guarantee Badge. This badge gives your business a green check showing potential customers that your business is reliable and trustworthy. To apply for a Google Guarantee Badge, you must operate Google Local Service Ads and provide up-to-date licenses and certifications for your business. After you’ve provided the necessary documentation, Google will perform a background check and look at your online reviews. If customers are not satisfied with your services, Google can take away the badge and refund customers the cost of the job. It’s vital for your business to maintain high standards.
How to Optimize for the Google 3-Pack
There’s no magic formula to get your business listed on the Google 3-Pack. But there are some ways you can increase your chances.
Manage Your Google My Business Profile
First, you should make sure that your profile is up to date and accurate, especially your location since that’s one way Google determines which businesses show in the 3-Pack. Next, you should add business categories to your listing. This also helps Google source correct business types for local searches. Finally, make sure the information on your website (name, address, and phone number) match what’s listed on your Google My Business profile. If they differ, it will confuse customers and may even lead them to believe you are not legitimate. To improve your profile even more, you can add photos of your business location, your products, or your services to draw in customers.
Get 5-Star Reviews
Besides “near me,” many Google searches include phrasing indicating that they’re looking for the “best” business. Google will display in Maps only businesses that have 4 stars or above on their Google My Business listing. Unfortunately, a business with a 3.9 star listing wouldn’t make it into the Google 3-Pack. That’s why it’s essential to encourage great reviews from your customers as much as possible.
Some ways to keep your ratings high are:
- Asking and reminding happy customers to leave a review
- Link your Google My Business listing with a review request in your email communication with customers
- Add a link to Google My Business on the testimonials page on your website to encourage customers to leave a review on Google
Prioritize Local SEO
A well-thought-out local SEO strategy is the best place to start with local SEO. The on-site SEO factors for your website such as your website content, metadata, and how your website is built should be adhering to best practices. Also, make sure your off-site SEO factors like local listings are sending the right signals.
A few tips for your local SEO strategy include making sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a responsive design for all types of devices. You should also check the meta tags on your website, especially those on your home page, to make sure they include your business’s location.
Run Local Search Ads
While optimizing SEO for your ad to show in the Google 3-Pack, you may also consider running paid ads to get your business more exposure. In some cases, PPC ads can show up in the Google 3-Pack. Some steps to make this happen include:
- Enable location extensions in Google Ads.
- Set up or optimize your Google My Business listing.
- Bid by location and use location targeting.
- Optimize your keywords to include location.
Getting Into the Google 3-Pack
If you are able to get your business placed in the Google 3-Pack, it will be very beneficial to your business. It will build brand awareness and your web presence, which translates into increased sales. If you are struggling with getting this placement or don’t know where to start with your local SEO, reach out to SEO Design Chicago today.
- What is local SEO?
- What is the Google 3-Pack?
- How can you optimize for the Google 3-Pack?
- What is Google Optimize?
- Why is using Google Optimize smart?