The reason it’s called the 3-pack is because only 3 business are shown within the search results. This information is being pulled from the map directory. There are many more businesses within the map directory than the 3 being shown.
That is why it’s so important to have your business map listing within the top 3 results. Otherwise, it will be hidden within the map directory where almost no one will see it.
Map listings are beneficial because they show your business name, phone number, hours of operation, photo’s, reviews and a link to your website. They’re also mobile friendly, allowing visitors to quickly find relevant information about your business and click to call you from any mobile device.
If you’re a little confused by the maps listing, you’re not alone. Initially it was called Google places and then it was google plus local and now you run everything from Google my business.
Today, the first step in getting ranked on the Google maps is to have a claimed and optimized Google my business listing. You can get started at google.com – forward slash – my business.
That’s where you can go in and claim your listing on the Google map listings. Your Google My Business page may be claimed by you already. If not, it’s a relatively simple process. Usually there’s some type of verification where Google needs to know that you are indeed the owner of the business and what they’ll do is they’ll send a postcard in the mail to your office and you’ll have to wait a few of days. Once you do this, you go to google.com/business. You enter your company’s name and address. On that postcard there will be a pin code. You’ll enter that pin code, and now you’ll be in control of your google map listing.
Once you are logged into your Google My Business page, there are some best practices you want to be aware of and that you want to think about as you optimize your google my business listing,
Basically, you want to make sure the form is filled out completely and you want to make sure you’re not breaking any of Google’s rules, which could be preventing you from ranking on the map.
The second factor that’s going to determine whether you’re in the three pack or hidden with the other maps listings is really driven by the number of citations or web references to your company. If you’ve got more online citations or web references to your company’s name, address, and phone number, and you’ve got more real authentic reviews from your real customers and your true service area, well then you’re going to be more authoritative than the competition and that’s how you start to rank on page one in the map listings in your market.
Google looks at the directories and says, okay, if you’re here and you’re here, you must be relatively authoritative. The more directories you’re in, the more google can bounce across the database and say, okay, this company is in 100 of the top online directories versus one of your competitors is in 10 or 20 directories.
The other big factor here is you need to be listed with the same name, address and phone number in all of those places. A common problem is that a business might be listed with one phone number on one directory and a different number or a different address on a different directory.
It’s very important if you want to rank well in the map that you figure out what your name, address and phone number it going to be online. It’s almost like your thumbprint across the web. Have it written down somewhere, put it in a file, and then go to all of the online directories and make sure that it’s consistent everywhere online.
The third really important element to getting ranked on the map listings is having more recent 5-star online reviews than your top competitors have across the web on sites like Google, Citysearch, and Yelp. Your Google reviews are the most important. We find that all other things being equal, the company that has the most 5-star reviews, tends to rank best in the map listings. So what you want to do is put a strategy in place where you can get reviews from your real customers and your true service area.
We use and recommend the 5 Star Review System and nearby now. These systems make the whole process of getting 5-star reviews a lot easier. After you ask the customer for permission, you send them a link that takes the customer to the review website of your choice. 5-star reviews are critical for getting ranked in the Google map listings and they’re also critical for conversion. When people see those great 5-star reviews it makes them much more likely to choose you versus the competition.
So, let’s go back to the checklist. Have you gone to google.com/my business? Do you have the login and control of that listing? Have you properly filled out and optimized your Google My Business Page? Are you optimized for the category Pest Control Service and any other category that might apply to your business?
Are you listed in at least 70 of the major online directories with your name, address, and phone number listed consistently in all of them? Do you have more 5-star reviews than your top competitors and do you have a proactive system where you’re requesting and getting more 5-star reviews from your customers on a daily basis? If not, circle the things that you need to address. That covers the basics of getting in the Google Map 3-pack.