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Google Local Pack: What Is It?

What is the Google Local Pack and why does it matter for SEO? Learn all about the Google Map Pack, its features, and how to rank high in local search.

Google Maps is a tool we easily take for granted.

Looking for a tasty new restaurant? Google Maps pulls up the hottest spots near you.

Need a local plumber? Google Maps will show you the providers with the best customer reviews.

Google Maps provides a massive benefit to users looking for businesses – and to businesses looking to attract customers.

That’s why the Google Map Pack is prime real estate for businesses hoping for more online and local traffic.

What is the “Google Local Pack,” you ask?

In this guide, we’ll tell you all about it, the features that matter most, and how to use it to drive leads to your business.

What Is The Google Map Pack?

The “Google Map Pack” (or the Google Local Map Pack) is a prominent section in the Google local search results that showcases the top-ranking local listings for your location or the search location.

In the Google Map Pack, businesses are listed alongside their geographic location, contact information, hours, and other helpful information.

Users can click on a listing to learn more about the company, call the contact number, or pull up Google Maps navigation to the business’s physical location.

Google Local Pack: What Is It? Screenshot from Google, September 2022

How It Works

The Google Map Pack is displayed as a set of three or more Google Maps results when a user searches for a local business. Google calls up the search result that its algorithm interprets as being most relevant to their search.

These Google Maps results will usually display above the traditional organic search results, as the algorithm understands that the user’s search intent is to find a physical location.

The Google Map Pack makes it easier for users to find the specific business they’re looking for or browse businesses in a particular category (e.g., restaurants, retail stores, etc.).

The Map Pack provides the business’s contact information, address, website link, hours of operation, pricing, photos, customer reviews, and more.

Local Map Pack Statistics To Know

Nearly 1 in 3 of all mobile searches are location-specific, and Google is the top search engine users use to search for local businesses.

In fact, 99% of consumers surveyed by Brightlocal used the internet to find local businesses in the last year.

With that in mind, optimizing for the Google Map Pack is one of the best local SEO strategies businesses can use to drive local traffic.

This starts with creating an online listing and website and then optimizing for the search terms your target audience uses to find businesses like yours.

As mentioned, the Google Map Pack also brings the benefit of showcasing customer reviews.

And with 94% of consumers saying positive reviews make them more likely to use a business, this is a feature businesses should consider.

Want to know why the Google Map Pack is important for SEO? Read on and check out more local SEO statistics at Search Engine Journal.

Why The Google Map Pack Matters For SEO

The Google Map Pack takes up prime real estate in the Google local search results. This is an important placement for businesses, as the #1 spot gets the highest click-through rate of all listings.

To rank high in the Map Pack, businesses often need to employ local SEO strategies.

The Map Pack matters for SEO because it can be a significant driver of organic traffic if optimized correctly.

Optimizing for the Google Map Pack brings many benefits, including:

  • More organic traffic – Higher placement in the Google Map Pack often means a higher click-through rate, driving more traffic to your business’s website.
  • More local traffic – Ranking high in the Map Pack means your business is one of the first listings users see when searching for a business, meaning they are more likely to navigate to your physical location through Google Maps.
  • More phone calls – Getting to the top of the Google Map Pack could attract more users and direct them to call your business directly. This may result in more leads for your business.
  • Competitive advantage – Ranking higher than your competitors in the Map Pack could lead to more customers, leading to more customer reviews and overall more visibility for your business. In a competitive market, this can make all the difference.
  • More mobile traffic – The Map Pack takes up most of the visual space on a mobile phone screen, so users are faster to respond and more likely to pull up your listing while on the go.
  • Enterprise SEO – Users will often skip businesses that don’t meet the parameters for a specific location, which can be a huge issue if you have a large enterprise. Geo-specific listings for your physical locations can be a significant driver of traffic for your enterprise.

Google Map Pack Fields And Features

Google Maps offers a range of features for businesses and consumers – most of which serve to provide a better user experience.

The goal of Google Maps is to make it easier for users to find and interact with the business they are looking for in local search.

As a marketer or business owner, there are a few important Google Map Pack features you should know:

  • Business name – The name of the business; when clicked, the hyperlinked business name directs users to the full Google Business Profile listing
  • Rating – Number and quality of reviews; typically displayed as both a number (out of 5) and as stars
  • Price – The assumed cost of a business’s services or products; typically displayed as a series of dollar signs (e.g., $$$)
  • Address – The physical address for the business
  • Open/Closed – Specifies whether a business is currently open or closed, based on its business hours
  • Hours – The hours a business is open or closed; include the day and times (open to close)
  • Description – A concise description of the business (e.g., “Seasonal Italian cuisine & wine pairings”)
  • Service options – Specifies whether a business offers in-store pickup, online ordering, dine-in, delivery, etc.
  • Tag – A feature that designates the type of business (e.g., “Italian” or “Men’s clothing store”)

There are many more features that are included in the full Google Business Profile listing, including the website link, phone number, photos, popular times, directions, customer reviews, and more.

Further, users can contribute to Google Maps to update listings and add additional information.

How Do I Rank In The Google Map Pack?

There is no single, guaranteed way to rank in the Google Map Pack.

Rather, ranking in the Map Pack requires a combination of local SEO strategies to improve one’s local ranking.

Here are a few fundamentals to ranking in Google Maps:

Create A Google Business Profile listing

The very first step is creating or claiming your Google Business Profile listing.

This may involve searching for and “claiming” an existing business listing or creating a completely new listing for your business.

Google Business Profile is a free platform that allows you to showcase your business information and essentially rank in the Map Pack.

However, your rank position will depend on how well optimized your listing is, how many positive customer reviews you have, how optimized your website is, and a variety of factors.

Once you have created or claimed your listing, you can begin optimizing for Google Maps by following local SEO best practices.

Optimize Your Listing & Get Reviews

To optimize your listing, you will want to fill out as much of your business information as possible (accurately!).

This means adding your address, phone number, hours of operation, website link, business description, tags, photos, and all of the “features” mentioned above.

Further, there are a few features that are important ranking factors for your business, like the number and quality of reviews and keyword usage.

Google itself offers a slew of resources to help you fill out your listing.

Follow the Google Business Profile SEO Guide for more tips on optimizing your GBP.

Embed Google Maps On Your Website

Once you have created your Google Maps listing, you can embed the map on the Contact page (or similar page) on your website.

Having a map for your business can make it easier for users to find and navigate your physical location.

Also, optimizing your website for local SEO can help you rank in the local organic search results.

Local SEO may help increase your local Map Pack listings and your organic rankings. This gives users multiple opportunities to find your business ahead of your competition.

Optimize For The Google Local Pack To Get More Traffic

The Google Map Pack serves to help users find relevant businesses and easily find contact information for their favorite local jaunts.

If you are a business owner, optimizing for the Google Map Pack is one key way to drive more local and online traffic.

Local SEO is the primary method used to optimize for the Map Pack but involves a variety of strategies.

First is Google Business Profile optimization, which is the main way to house your listing.

Other strategies are used to then optimize your listing for keywords, gain more reviews, and ultimately rank above your local competitors.

Want to rank higher in the Map Pack?

Check out the latest local SEO strategies and tips.

More resources: 

Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock

VIP CONTRIBUTOR Jason Hennessey Founder & CEO at Hennessey Digital

Jason Hennessey is a serial entrepreneur and internationally known search engine optimization (SEO) expert, author and speaker who specializes in ...

Google Local Pack: What Is It?

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