With the release of the new Local 3 Pack in organic search results replacing the old 7 Pack listings, it does not take a genius to work out that it is even more important to position your business ( where possible ) to appear in the new local 3 pack.
The new local 3 pack differs ( apart from missing 4 additional businesses ) quite a lot from the old 7 pack:
- Addresses have been removed
- Can’t click directly to GMB page
- Options included for searchers to only include results based on Ratings, Price, Hours
This valuable piece of local business real estate just got harder to appear in.
So Why Are Reviews Even More Important?
Given the changes in the way the local 3 pack is displayed, reviews attached to a business certainly stand out visually, and a recent Heat Map study by Casey Meraz published in Moz reveals how reviews seem to be the clincher when it comes to a user selecting a local business in organic search results.
They created 3 Heat Map tests on different local organic results, but more interestingly they also used 4 Human tests, where the user had to find a local business.
In the 3 heat map tests, when a local pack result was chosen by the user, the overall majority chose a local business that had reviews. Where the local 3 pack contained no reviews, users were less likely to to use the local 3 pack.
Reviews Matter to Human Searchers
The really interesting part was with the human user test. Unlike a heat map, we can also hear what is important to the individual user and why they chose to click on the particular local 3 pack result.
All four human tests resulted in a local 3 pack click that had reviews.
So How Do I Build My Reviews?
If you had been listening to us over the past decade, building your reviews should have been a part of your Local SEO strategy from the get go.
- Reach out to past customers
- Implement into your current customer service plan
- Tackle your negative reviews
- Respond to reviews.
On behalf of ………, I would like to personally thank you for your business. We appreciate the trust you place in our company and strive to achieve excellence for you and all of our customers. Your review will help others customers know what to expect if they have not purchased from us before.
Please take a moment to leave a review on one of the following sites:
Thank you for your business, support and comments.
How Do I Get Into the Local 3 Pack?
The local 3 pack is very much locally focused depending on the geo modifier used by the searcher. Thanks to pigeon a business on the outskirts of town may find it harder to appear within the local 3 pack but all local business should remain focused on good solid on-page and off-page SEO.
Work on your local SEO:
2 Quality & Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
3 Quality & Authority of Inbound Links to Page
4 Physical Address in City of Search
5 Quality & Authority of Structured Citations
6 Product & Service Keyword in Website URL
7 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
8 City, County in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags
9 Consistency of Structured Citations
10 City, County in Most/All Website Title Tags
12 NAP Matching My Business Page
12 Geographic Keyword in Website URL
14 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain
15 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Links
16 Diversity of Inbound Links to Landing Page
17 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search
18 Quality & Authority of Unstructured Citations
19 Proper Category Associations
20 Quantity of Structured Citations
Businesses need to continually focus on getting the product in front of the customer, whilst maintaining a unified business structure across all properties.
And Build those reviews!