For our third and final installment of the Google Search for Businesses, we’re going to tie together everything we’ve talked about so far in the series as we talk about the “Google 3-Pack.” Understanding the difference between this newer trimmed down pack from the local 5-, 7- or 10-pack is essential to getting your business franchises recognized by Google.
The Google 3-Pack
First, let’s talk about what the 3-pack is. Imagine the Google 3-Pack like the business Olympics. You want to be in the top three so you can receive the medal (or get customers to your door). When you do a local business Google search, you will see three company listings. Let’s talk for example, a search for some mouthwatering tacos.
This listing is consistent with how search results appear on your phone. Make note of the star rating for each business. You’ll also notice that below the three options you have the option to click on “More places,” which then opens up all local options.
Now you can see how vital it has become to be in that top three for your business to succeed. The previous packs allowed for more local business to squeeze into the results, even if they didn’t have the most optimized organic presence. Currently, if you’re not showing up in the top three, it’s much more challenging to get your business in front of potential customers.
Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
Let’s review this process: If you want to stand out in Google’s ranking system, you must claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, like the Taco joints have. Be sure to do the following:
Have accurate business information: your name, address, phone number, etc.
Add useful images of your business, products and services. Enter an informative company description with the main keywords for your business and links to pages on your site. For our tacos example, we would want to be sure and let our audience know the type of food offered (Mexican, Tacos, etc.) and the featured amenities, like a bar or patio.
Imagine the Google 3-Pack like the business Olympics. You want to be in the top three so you can receive that medal (or get customers to your door, in this case). Click To Tweet
Franchise Made Easy
You may be thinking, “Now hold on, how will my franchise locations stack up?” Say our taco restaurant has two franchise locations as well. Google My Business allows all of the franchises to be controlled from one interface to keep information uniform while making updates to each individual location a breeze.
Google will prioritize the closest location, however if your neighborhood is not as established and well-known to Google, as say Crossroads KC would be, then your business may not show up in search. To give your business its best chance, make sure you put the neighborhood location in your descriptor as well as keeping the official neighborhood name consistent through all you online business info, including website title tags.
Boost Your Listing With PPC
The new listings are populated by both organic and PPC ad results, but it is most likely PPC will list ahead of the organic results. Start by focusing concentrated campaigns to generate more walk-ins. So our taco restaurant will want to show up in quick hyper-local searches for lunch-break or happy hour employees. Again, make sure your franchises have specific neighborhood designations to enhance the correct search results.
Don’t be afraid to ask for ratings because once customers start reviewing online your listings will start moving up.
Have a Top Notch Website
It’s imperative that your site has meaningful content on it. You should include videos, articles, images, and information that potential customers will find helpful. Make sure each franchise website is unique yet uniform. Our taco joint will list specials or events in the same format on each site but only what pertains to that location.
You want to keep customers on your site for as long as you can in order to motivate them to buy your products and services. Customers will click the back button if they don’t like what they see in about 10 seconds. This means that you want clean navigation and aesthetics. Don’t underestimate how much these factors play a role, it isn’t enough to post a block of text.
Bonus: Great visuals also help to improve your SEO efforts.
Now, let’s go get those tacos! (Only ones that have a great star-rating, that is)