It’s been said that location is the most important factor in real estate—actually that location, location and location are the 3 most important factors. While that adage referred to physical property, it’s no less true of virtual space in your digital marketing efforts. And for a brick-and-mortar business providing a localized service—such as a law firm—no location is more valuable than Google’s Local 3-Pack.
You’ve undoubtedly seen the Local 3-Pack listings. In this day and age, it’s safe to say that most everyone has pulled up their phone to type in “gas station near me” when the needle is nearing empty. Or to look for “local plumbers” or another form of service. The same is done by people who need a lawyer.
Very few people will look beyond the Local 3-Pack. In fact, Google used to list 7 businesses in their local pack but noticed that almost everyone chose an option among the top 3. So the number 3 has been magic for local search results.
This piece of virtual real estate is valuable not only for visibility but also for its ability to get direct conversions. In almost any other area of search, the purpose of a high ranking is to get people to your website, which then must convert the visitor to a customer.
In the Local 3-Pack, people don’t even bother to come to your site. They call or pull up directions straight from the search results. Studies have shown that searchers convert directly from the search page at a 60-1 rate. Of course, you probably don’t need a study to tell you that—just anecdotally try and remember the last time you saw a Local 3-Pack listing and bothered to go to the website—if that’s ever happened.
So we know the Local 3-Pack is valuable and we also know that you can’t buy your way in. It’s not a part of Google’s advertising programs. The only way to do it is through great execution of SEO basics. Like these:
- Make sure you have a Google My Business. This is where the search engine spiders will get their information. It’s possible that a listing may have been automatically created based on information that’s in the public square, but you still need to claim it as your own and get the right content posted.
- That content starts with accurate information about your address and phone number and ought to include a complete listing of your hours of operation.
- Google provides a space for reviews and the more reviews a business gets, the more reputable it’s considered by search engines. Ask for reviews and respond to those that are posted—including the negative ones. A positive, upbeat response to a disillusioned client looks much better to the new prospect than simply ignoring it.
- Post and monitor photos. You know how Google pulls a set of photos to list with a business? Those don’t come out of nowhere. Anyone can post them, but you can review and adjust what’s submitted. Make sure your photos are a nice collection of the interior and exterior of your law offices—and make the interior appears warm and inviting—along with something showcasing the firm name to be the cover.
You don’t want to miss out on a single client and getting in Google’s Local 3-Pack is the best way to ensure you’re visible for all the opportunities out there.