You’ve probably heard of Google Maps. If you’ve gone to Google to search for a local service, you probably noticed that a map listing pops up highlighting three businesses in your area—these listings are called the “GMB local 3 pack.” For instance, when searching “painting company near me,” the search engine results page (SERP) looks like this:
This grouping of businesses is showing up in the local pack! Apart from the first company listed (noted by the word “Ad”), all of these companies have organically achieved their position through local SEO efforts.
Ensuring your painting company shows up in the local pack is an ideal way to get directly in front of prospective customers looking for your services in their area.
Why the Local Pack Is Important for Painting Companies
The local pack takes up a large portion of SERP real estate and is one of the first place users look when selecting a painting company to contact. Because of its prominence, your painting company must secure a spot in the local pack.
The easiest way to demonstrate the importance of the local pack is to let the numbers do the talking:
The local pack receives 44% of the total clicks on the SERP. (Source: Neil Patel)
46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. (Source: GoGulf)
58% of people search for a local business on their smartphone daily. (Source: HubSpot)
Online reviews influence 67% of consumers. (Source: Moz)
It’s simple—getting a spot in the local pack gets your painting company in front of more prospects, and in turn, results in more leads and sales.
How to Secure a Spot in the GMB Local 3 Pack
Let’s talk about how to get your painting company into the local pack now that you understand why it’s so important. While there isn’t a magic solution, there are definite steps you can take to increase your chances.
1. Claim Your Google My Business Page
Have you already claimed your painting company’s Google My Business (GMB) page? (If not, lie to me, go claim it right now, and we can pretend this never happened.)
Without a claimed and optimized GMB, Google isn’t going to feature your painting company in the local pack. Let’s fix that. Along with claiming your Google My Business, make sure you’re also these additional factors into account to improve your chances:
- Website structure – When Google decides which websites to show to searchers, they want to make sure they’re only featuring the best of the best. They don’t like to send searchers to a site that isn’t going to provide them with the information they’re looking for. Ensure your website is in the best shape possible by having an XML sitemap, meta descriptions, title tags, and ALT tags.
- Site speed – Again, Google only wants to promote the best websites. If a user clicks through to your website, how long will it take for them to find what they need? And I’m not referring to how many clicks it takes for them to find the answer. How long does it take for your website to load? 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Don’t be one of those sites. (Source: Neil Patel)
- Mobile-friendliness – With more and more people making searches from the convenience of their phone, it’s incredibly important that your website is mobile-friendly. There’s nothing more frustrating than opening a website, trying to click the menu, only to realize that the menu is designed for desktop. User experience is a critical factor that Google takes into consideration.
- Consistent NAP – Is your painting company’s name, address, and phone number consistent across the entire web? You’d be surprised to know that this is a significant struggle for many businesses! Perform a sweep of online directories, social media channels, and anywhere your company is listed online and make sure all of the information is the same.
- Proximity – This might not come as a shock because of the name, but the local pack connects searchers with painting companies that are just that—local. When determining who to feature in the local pack, Google takes a searcher’s proximity into account and will show them the best painting companies near them in that exact moment.
2. Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
Congratulations! You’re the brand new owner of a Google My Business listing. But now what? You can’t simply claim your GMB listing and assume you’ll automatically snag a spot in the local pack. You need to get your profile into tiptop shape. Here’s how:
- Company Name – Yes, this one is as simple as adding in your company name. Don’t get fancy and try to change things up. Google rewards companies that have a consistent NAP across the Internet. Use your company’s real name on your Google My Business listing, and make sure this is the same way you are referring to your company across your website, online directories, social media channels, and more.
- Address – If your business has a physical location, add in your address (this doesn’t have to be visible to the searcher if you don’t want customers showing up at the office!). You can also specify the service area in which you operate. To confirm that the address you provided it real, you will need to verify it using whatever method Google requires. Keep in mind that you can’t use a P.O. box or share an office space with other companies. Individual suites numbers are required if you’re in a shared space.
- Website – Add your website’s homepage URL to your Google My Business listing—and make sure there are no typos! When your painting company shows up in the local pack, tons of prospects are going to try to click through to your site. Don’t give them a read to go with a competitor because of a 404 error.
- Phone Number – Similar to your company name, make sure the phone number you include on your GMB listing is your company’s hard-line phone number. Even if you use tracked phone numbers for various marketing campaigns, the phone number on your Google My Business listing should be consistent with the NAP across the web.
- Business Hours – You want to make sure you include anything and everything that will make it easy for customers to know how to contact your painting company—and that includes your business hours. If you offer 24-hour services, indicate that. Open on weekends? Mark that down. Closed around the holidays? You can adjust as needed to reflect the temporary hour changes.
- Categories – Google is smart and will likely be able to dictate what your business is and the services you provide. But there’s no harm in helping them out! When setting up your Google My Business profile, make sure you select a primary category. Categories help prospects find results related to the specific services they’re looking for. If you have multiple service offerings, you can choose additional categories as well.
3. Generate Google Reviews from Satisfied Customers
Now that we’ve claimed your Google My Business listing and optimized it to the best of our ability, it’s time to get your painting company to stand out from the competitors also featured in the local pack!
Once you’ve secured your spot, you’re essentially in a faceoff with the other painting companies that Google has decided to feature as well. You need to take them down and snag all the prospective customers. One of the easiest ways to do that? Have more and better reviews.
Your company’s star rating is featured loud and proud, which means you need to do everything in your power to have the best rating of the bunch. In fact, 64% of consumers check online Google reviews before choosing a business. (Source: ReviewTrackers) Your company might have a 5-star rating, which at first glance looks better than a competitor’s 4.6-star rating—but you also have to factor in the number of reviews. If a competitor has 1,341 reviews with a 4.6 rating and you have a 5-star rating with four reviews, that tells a very different story.
Find ways to generate Google reviews from your satisfied customers, such as:
- Provide unparalleled customer service
- Directly ask for a review following a successful paint job
- Send a follow-up email asking for a review
- Add a “Leave a Review” element to your website
- Respond to all reviews—both positive and negative
Use your satisfied customers has your painting company’s biggest advocates. Increasing both the quantity and quality of reviews on your Google My Business listing will help you stand out within the local pack.