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Your Complete Guide to Dominate Local SEO With the Google 3-Pack

Google 3-pack inclusion boosts local businesses' sales and visibility.

Key takeaways

  • Google 3-pack inclusion boosts local businesses’ sales and visibility.
  • Agencies should include Google 3-pack optimization in their marketing strategy for local businesses.
  • Vendasta’s Listing Sync Pro offers small companies an affordable solution for winning more local SEO business.

Becoming proficient in the Google 3-pack is an indispensable skill for digital marketing agencies devoted to helping local businesses get discovered online.

Think of the Google 3-pack as the six-pack of local search; it epitomizes attractiveness for small and medium businesses (SMB) aspiring to stand out in search engine results pages (SERP).

Download “How to conquer local search engine optimization (SEO)” to become your clients’ go-to expert right now.

But ranking in the 3-pack isn’t easy, and agencies who figure it out will stand out from the crowd. This article will explore the fitness regimen for agencies and their SMB partners, detailing how they can not only appear but also make a striking impression on the Google 3-pack.

What is the Google 3-pack?

Numerous agencies and marketers may have encountered the term Google 3-pack, but what precisely does it entail, and how can you assist local businesses in securing a spot within it?

Simply put, the Google 3-pack constitutes the initial three results prominently showcased at the top of Google SERPs. Designed for visual appeal and strategically positioned, it presents pertinent details accompanied by a map, providing businesses with optimal online visibility.

Review the below example of a search for “best coffee in Salt Lake City” to better understand the look and feel of a Google 3-pack.

You can see the first three results of local businesses and their locations in the accompanying Google Maps identified in red – this is the Google 3-pack.

It’s crucial to note that 3-pack results are location-specific. The composition of businesses featured in the trio undergoes changes influenced by:

  • The specific search query and whether it includes a designated location or area.
  • The nature of the business the user is seeking information about.
  • The proximity of a business to the user’s location, determined by their IP address.

To illustrate this, let’s slightly alter the location within the query from the above example to “best coffee in North Salt Lake” – you can see the results have changed accordingly.

Why is the Google 3-pack important for local businesses?

Securing a place on the Google 3-pack mirrors achieving the pinnacle of prime real estate or attaining prime physique in the realm of online search. Consider these compelling statistics:

  • 44% of individuals click on Google 3-pack results (WebFX).
  • 86% rely on search to find local businesses (WebFX).
  • 80% of local searches convert (WebFX).
  • 46% of Google searches are for local businesses (WebFX).
  • Search queries with “near me” have surged over 500% in recent years (Moz).

These statistics vividly portray the crucial role of localized online search queries in the modern buyer journey, emphasizing the potential competitive advantages for SMBs in establishing a robust online presence and securing a coveted spot in opportunities like the Google 3-pack.

Moreover, the significant 44% click-through rate underscores the cost-effectiveness of ranking on the Google 3-pack for local businesses, surpassing the performance of standard organic results and pay-per-click ads in driving both traffic and revenue.

Not only does the Google 3-pack elevate SMBs’ visibility in search, but it also contributes to reducing the overall marketing spend, thanks to the robust organic performance of 3-pack results.

Earning a spot in the Google 3-pack speaks volumes about a business’s credibility and relevance in the local market. This achievement builds trust with potential customers, leading to a significant increase in click-throughs to the business website. Studies corroborate that the Google 3-pack secures the top result in local searches an impressive 93% of the time, highlighting its authoritative role in influencing user decisions.

For local businesses, the Google 3-pack proves to be a potent tool for driving traffic, amplifying brand visibility, and ultimately boosting revenue. It assumes a central role in local SEO strategies, empowering businesses to set themselves apart in the competitive digital landscape and establish meaningful connections with their target audience.

How the Google 3-Pack Unlocks Local SEO Wins

Securing a position in the Google 3-pack not only provides local businesses with visibility but also enhances their search engine optimization (SEO) prowess.

To unlock the full potential of the Google 3-pack, businesses and digital agencies must grasp the essential factors contributing to its influence. Let’s delve into a breakdown of how the Google 3-pack plays a crucial role in unlocking local SEO wins:

1. Visibility and Click-Through Rates (CTR)

  • Prominent Placement: The Google 3-pack secures prime real estate at the top of search results, ensuring maximum visibility.
  • High CTR: Studies show that businesses featured in the 3-pack experience a significant click-through rate, driving organic traffic.

2. Local Business Credibility

  • Credibility Signal: Inclusion in the 3-pack signals credibility and relevance to the local market, fostering trust among potential customers.
  • Competitive Edge: Businesses in the 3-pack gain a competitive edge, standing out as reputable choices for local services or products.

3. User Trust and Decision-Making

  • Trust Building: The 3-pack establishes trust with users, as businesses showcased are perceived as reliable and endorsed by Google.
  • Informed Decision: Users often rely on the 3-pack for quick and informed decisions, making it a critical touchpoint in the customer journey.

4. Local Search Dominance

  • Search Result Prominence: The Google 3-pack dominates local search results, appearing as the top result in a majority of local queries.
  • Local Market Authority: Consistent presence in the 3-pack solidifies a business’s authority in the local market.

5. User Experience and Engagement

  • Quick Access: Users prefer the streamlined experience of the 3-pack, providing immediate access to essential business information.
  • Enhanced Engagement: Businesses in the 3-pack experience heightened user engagement, contributing to positive user experiences.

Understanding these factors illuminates the integral role of the Google 3-pack in shaping the dynamics of Local SEO. Businesses and digital agencies can leverage these insights to formulate strategic approaches that enhance their visibility, credibility, and overall success in local search environments.

Evolution of the Google 3-Pack: A Brief Timeline

The Google 3-pack, a cornerstone of local search, has undergone significant transformations over the years. Let’s explore its evolution through a concise timeline:

1. 2006: One Box Emerges

  • Google introduces One Box, marking the inception of local 3-pack listings, a game-changer for users seeking swift access to local business information.

2. January 2008: The Rise of the 10 Pack

  • Google unveils the 10 pack, delighting SEO professionals with expanded local listing opportunities.
  • Seen as a boon, the 10 pack allows SEO experts to showcase real ROI to their clients.

3. October 2009: Trimmed to the 7 Pack

  • The 10 pack gets trimmed down to the 7 pack, posing a challenge for digital agencies and local SEO professionals.
  • Google maintains transparency, outlining expectations for businesses aiming to feature in the new 7 pack.

4. 2015: Enter the Google Snack

  • The beloved 7 pack evolves into what is now known as the Google snack.
  • A more curated and streamlined version compared to its predecessors, transitioning from meals (10 pack and 7 pack) to a snack.

5. Google 3-Pack Unveiled

  • The Google 3-pack emerges as a refined iteration, offering a curated spotlight on local businesses.
  • Some hail it as equally satisfying and effective, while opinions vary.

This brief timeline encapsulates the key milestones in the evolution of the Google 3-pack, highlighting its journey from the early days of One Box to the more recent and streamlined Google snack. The continuous adaptations reflect Google’s commitment to enhancing user experience and providing valuable local search results.

Tips to dominate the Google 3-pack

Now, let’s explore actionable strategies that can assist agencies and their local business partners in achieving a prominent position on the Google 3-pack, reaping the associated benefits of Local SEO success.

1. Optimize Your Clients’ Google Business Profile

Your clients’ Google Business Profile (GBP) serves as the cornerstone of Google 3-pack success, exerting influence over 36% of the algorithm, as noted by Whitespark. This foundational element encompasses critical details such as the business name, primary category, and additional categories.

Pro tip: Emphasize that claiming a Google Business Profile (GBP) is just the beginning; it’s an ongoing process. The key to success lies in consistently maintaining and optimizing their GBP profile.

2. Cultivate Positive Reviews and Push Down Negative Reviews

Positive reviews wield considerable power, contributing 17% to a local business’s Google 3-pack ranking. They showcase a business’s reputation and trustworthiness. Meanwhile, negative reviews can drag down a business’s online performance and should be managed as best as possible.

Pro tip: Proactively prompt contented customers to share their experiences by leaving reviews through various touchpoints. This outreach can take place during in-store interactions, within ecommerce pages, or through automated outbound strategies, such as email and text.

Explore further insights on maximizing positive reviews for your company clients in our comprehensive guides:

3. Enhance On-Page Signals

On-page signals, a 16% factor, emphasize optimizing elements on your website such as business name, address, and relevant keywords.

Pro tip: Unlock the potential of your on-page SEO for Google 3-pack ranking by recognizing the pivotal role of the title tag. This tag serves as a concise descriptor of your webpage, distinguishing it from others on your site and across the web. Elevate your ranking in the Google 3-pack by ensuring that your webpage titles are both descriptive and pertinent. Here’s how:

  • Make your website page names descriptive and relevant to enhance visibility.
  • Incorporate location information consistently across all pages, encompassing the business name, address, phone number, and links to social media. This comprehensive approach strengthens your local SEO strategy and improves your chances of securing a coveted spot in the Google 3-pack.

4. Master Link Signals

Link signals play a crucial role, contributing 13% to the success of your Google 3-pack ranking. These signals encapsulate the quality and volume of both inbound and outbound links.

Pro Tip: Optimize your link profile by implementing the following strategies:

  • Eliminate Bad Links:
    • Identify and remove irrelevant links on your business’s website.
    • Audit external links pointing to your website using backlink analysis software.
    • Contact webmasters of third-party websites hosting inappropriate or irrelevant links, politely requesting removal.
    • Utilize the Google Disavow Tool if direct contact with webmasters is unsuccessful.
    • If a domain is irreversibly penalized by Google, consider rebuilding with a new domain for a fresh start in local 3-pack rankings.
  • Acquire Good Links:
    • Create high-quality, unique content that captivates your audience and encourages sharing.
    • Implement Brian Dean’s WASP Method (YouTube) to connect with content sharers and secure quality backlinks to your outstanding content.
    • By purging detrimental links and cultivating a portfolio of high-quality links, you can significantly enhance your Google 3-pack success and bolster your local SEO efforts.

5. Optimize Behavioral Signals

Behavioral signals (7%) focus on user interactions, including click-through rates, bounce rates, and time-on-page metrics.

Pro tip: Craft compelling title tags and meta descriptions for improved click-through rates. Implement content marketing practices to engage users and extend their time on your site. Enhance website accessibility for a positive user experience.

6. Leverage Citations

Citations, with a 7% weight, involve maintaining accurate business details across online directories.

Pro tip: Ensure consistency in Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) details. Ensuring accurate and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information across all your online local listings is paramount for effective local SEO. Google extensively scans these listings to gather information about your business, utilizing this data to determine its ranking.

Inaccuracies in NAP citations can result in customer confusion and a suboptimal user experience, potentially impacting your business’s visibility and ranking in local searches. Maintaining precise NAP details across various platforms is a fundamental practice to fortify your online presence and support favorable local SEO outcomes.

Tip #7: Embrace Personalization

Personalization contributes 8.5% to local SERP position, emphasizing the uniqueness of your website and business.

Pro tip: Invest in effective SEO copywriting and graphic design. Establish a distinct online identity that sets your business apart. Align your website’s aesthetics and content with your brand for a personalized touch.

Last word on tips

These concise yet powerful tips provide a roadmap for businesses aiming to take steps and meet the requirements of the Google 3-pack algorithm. Implementing these strategies strategically can significantly enhance local SEO performance and secure a coveted spot in the 3-pack results.

How Pinpoint Local Norcross Can Help You Dominate the Google 3-Pack

Empowering clients to achieve superior results in local SEO, Pinpoint Local Norcross and our partner Vendasta offers cutting-edge solutions tailored to enhance online visibility and boost search rankings, ultimately dominating the Google 3-Pack. Explore how Vendasta’s suite of tools can elevate your agency’s performance:

  • Local SEO Pro: Drive accurate business listings using Google Insights, Listing Sync, Listing Distribution, and My Listing to ensure heightened visibility and increased chances of ranking on the Google 3-Pack.
  • Reputation Management: Turn positive experiences into powerful reviews, improving search rankings and efficiently managing responses with AI-generated precision, contributing to a stronger online presence.
  • Social Marketing Pro: Simplify social media management across various platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Google Business, LinkedIn, X, YouTube, and soon TikTok. Utilize AI-generated content calendars and streamlined campaign management to save time and unify efforts for a comprehensive local SEO strategy.

If you’re interested in seeing how Pinpoint Local Norcross can help you automate many of these factors, and help local business clients dominate those top 3 spots, be sure to book a discovery call.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you optimize for the Google 3-Pack?

Optimization frequency is key. Stay proactive with regular audits and updates to ensure sustained Google 3-pack success.

Are my Google 3-Pack rankings different on Google Maps?

Yes, Google 3-pack rankings can differ on Google Maps. Understand the nuances to tailor your optimization strategies effectively.


In conclusion, mastering the Google 3-pack involves a holistic approach to local SEO.

Businesses that strategically optimize their Google Business Profile, manage reviews effectively, and understand the nuances of on-page, link, behavioral, citation, and personalization signals are well-positioned for success. Leveraging tools from Pinpoint Local Norcross like Vendasta further streamlines this journey, ensuring businesses dominate the local search landscape. Stay proactive, stay unique, and dominate the Google 3-pack for unparalleled local SEO wins.

Thanks to original author Vishal Teckchandani for this content.

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