30 Jun Understanding Google Local Listings
Google has been making updates to its search result listings to better serve local searches for years. In doing so, Google has introduced a “pack” local result. This is typically a listing of three businesses, although there are also 5 packs and 7 packs, which helps to provide the most relevant results for a searcher.
If you haven’t seen a pack result yet, here is an example:
Pack listings are extremely valuable real estate because they carry so much information and tend to show up at the top of search engine results. A pack listing includes your business name, address, phone number, and a link to your Google + page which has a link to your website, reviews, photos, etc.
Pack listings appear typically near the top of the search engine result page. On the screenshot posted above, there are Google paid ads at the top, one organic listing (Yelp), the pack results, and then organic results below. Pack listings do stand out from the rest of the listing on a results page because of their dual screen layout with the business address listing showing on the right.
One of the few differentiating factors that appear on the pack listing is the appearance, and number, of star ratings. Research shows that five customer reviews generates the star rating, whether they are positive or negative. Encouraging reviews from customers is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition that appears in the pack local results.
Reviews from customers will help your pack listing stand out from the competition and it will help your ranking on search engines. Reviews from customers play a role in overall ranking factors and pack results.
Looking for tips on how to collect review? Click here for ideas to get started.
If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
As mentioned above, other organic listings that do appear on search engine result pages are a variety of business listing sites such as Yelp, YellowPages, Angie’s List, etc. If you do a search for a service that you provide in your area and one of these listings is showing up above your website then take action! You know the old saying, if you can’t beat them, join them? Well that’s exactly what you should be doing. Claiming these pages gives you the ability to edit your listing information to make it more accurate and add your website address to the listing. This will help your website appear in more places, which will help with your ranking on search engines.