While the ways to go about doing it are always changing, the endgame always remains the same in search engine optimization: to get to the top of the search results pages, which is why getting into the local 3-pack is so important now if you’re a local business.
It’s also why it’s so important to keep pace with any changes to the local pack, and lately, there have been a few, but as a full-service SEO company in NY and NJ that’s been at it for a while, trust us, if you can capitalize on those changes, it’ll be worth your while.
Before getting into the most recent changes, let’s go over the origins of the 3-pack itself. Not long ago, it was a 7-pack, a panel at the top of the results page containing the top 7 results for a local search. Then, the search engine cut it down to just the top 3 results, hence the 3-pack.
Recently, Google started testing displaying a single line from a review with results in the local pack, along with the review stars which were already displayed there. The search engine has also started showing gas prices in the 3-pack to mobile searchers. To learn more, check out these posts from Search Engine Land: Google tests displaying review snippets in the local 3-pack and Google displaying gas prices in the local 3-pack.
On top of those changes, Google now offers additional filters within the local pack as well, allowing the searcher to further adjust the results within it based on the query, the searcher, the location of the searcher, etc. For more on that, check out this post, Google local results get additional search filters on mobile.
What can you do?
Take it from us as longtime NY / NJ SEO experts, don’t let these recent changes blur the fact that all the basics still apply. Your on-page optimization still needs to be on point, and you still must optimize your Google Places listing and build local backlinks.
Your name, address, and phone number still need to be accurate and consistent everywhere; appearing on local listing sites is still essential to earning trust; and mobile-friendliness, of course, is more important than ever as well.
From there, it’s also now more important than ever to do what you can to earn reviews from customers, fans, followers, etc. For more on that, check out this post, Learn How to Manage Your Customer Reviews the Right Way.
Basically, just keep doing things the right way.
We know, it’s easier said than done, but the bottom line is, while getting into the local pack hasn’t been made any easier because of the recent changes, it’s as worth fighting for as ever before.
Getting into the pack takes solid local SEO practices, positive reviews, social shares, etc. So, whether you actually make your way into it or not, simply trying to will inherently improve your search performance.
About Us: Climb The Search, a leader in SEO in NJ / NY, offers the total search marketing package, including inbound marketing, website design, and social media marketing. At CTS, we help businesses grow, every single day.