Learn how to optimize your business listing to rank in Google's 3-Pack and get more visibility. Strategies and tips to help you succeed.
Ranking on Google 3-Pack: Strategies to Help You Succeed

It's high time to admit that no one hits the "next" page when doing a Google search for local businesses. Consumers only have enough time and energy to browse through the first organic Google results before making a purchase. Because of this, the Google 3-Pack list is considered to be a highly lucrative business strategy to generate significant revenue.

Here's a complete guide on how your business can lead the Google 3-Pack list and local searches.


What is the Google 3-Pack?

The Google 3-Pack is essentially the top 3 local businesses that Google deems to be the most relevant search results. This tailored list is mostly based on business categories and business location used in the query, such as "5-star hotel in New York City", "resort rentals in Manila," and "cheap moving company in Houston." Google collects as much data as it can get from Google My Business profiles–including business descriptions, user ratings, and, most especially, customer reviews.

To learn more about your Google My Business profile, click here.

Why is the Google 3-Pack important?

Google remains to dominate the search engine market. As of January 2022, Google holds a whopping 91.9% of the market, with Bing at 2.88% and Yahoo! at 1.51%. Not only that, but the website is also the most visited website, with 88.4 billion average monthly visits. This means that to be included on the Google 3-Pack, even for a single Google search, means to reach millions of potential customers for your business.

While there are definitely lots of options beyond the Google 3-Pack, SEO research suggests that approximately 75% of people never go past the first page of their Google search. Furthermore, about 28.5% of Google users click the first organic result in their searches. This is why businesses, content creators, and other web users squander to be included, more so to be on top of page 1 of Google. Landing on the second, third, or fourth page won't give you the needed traffic.

In essence, the Google 3-Pack is considered the "Google Recommendations." The list holds the number 1 position in 93% of all Google searches, and each GMB profile included on the list gets 44-61% of total clicks of the entire Google search. Thus, the three local businesses are likelier to get the highest conversion rates from online searches among their competitors. Most Google 3-Pack businesses achieve a whopping 44% clickthrough rates, which is almost twice as much as the businesses at organic rankings, which only get 29% clickthrough rates.

With all this data, it's safe to say that getting included in a Google local 3-Pack can connect your business to a relevant market more than any online advertisement campaign.

What does the local 3-Pack look like?

Sample of a Google 3-Pack featuring 3 local restaurants.

The Google 3-pack search query include the following data per business:

  • Name of business
  • Google rating in reference to the number of reviewers
  • Category of business
  • Exact location
  • Services offered

Google My Business profile from a 3-pack list.

When your GMB profile is clicked, other business details include:

  • Contact details
  • Business hours
  • Directions via Google Map
  • Share and save button
  • Website
  • Updates
  • Menu or list of offers
  • Reviews
  • Photos
  • About section
  • Call to Action buttons

How to get in the Google 3-Pack?

Here are some of the most effective ways on how your Google My Business profile can rank into the Google 3-Pack list:

Collect as many positive reviews as possible.

Positive reviews are essential for any business. They act as a form of word-of-mouth marketing, helping to build trust and credibility with potential customers. Reviews also help to boost your online presence, as most people will form an opinion about your business after reading your online reviews.

Therefore, it is essential to solicit as many positive customer reviews as possible. To do this, you need to provide extraordinary service and nudge your users to leave a review. You can include a "Review Us" call-to-action after their purchase and lead them to your GMB Review URL. Additionally, you can offer incentives such as discounts or freebies in exchange for honest feedback. Doing so can ensure that more customers will be willing to leave positive reviews about your business.

To learn more about how customer insights affect your business, click here.

Use local reviews for online ranking.

Nearly 9 in 10 consumers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business, and 39% do so regularly. Aside from boosting your Google rating, reviews also allow you to supply your profile with category-based and location-based keywords to increase your visibility in local searches. Because of these benefits, local reviews are considered one of the essential metrics for search engine optimization in local search rankings.

On the other hand, it's worth noting that reviews aren't all that matters. 97% of online users read responses to reviews, as this is the easiest and fastest way to examine a business's customer service. In short, unattended online reviews can harm your online reputation. Online users may feel that you're not that committed to your customer's needs.

We understand that responding to each Google review can be really time-consuming. Fortunately, an AI review reply assistant can help business owners like you achieve a response rate of 100% to online reviews. This way, you can be included in the local 3-Pack and organic searches alike without sacrificing time that could have been allotted in other areas of your business.

Click here to learn more about how Google reviews can affect your business.


Fill out all your Google My Business profile page.

Google's aim in creating the 3-Pack list is to quickly connect their users to businesses that meet their needs. Each result is even connected to Google Maps and Reviews to help consumers make their purchase decisions easily. This means that if you fail to supply pertinent information about your business, such as offers, location, and contact details that users need, Google is less likely to index you on organic searches, much so on their 3-Pack list.

Moreover, an incomplete Google Business profile is counter-productive. If ever you make it to the Google 3-Pack, if you don't have enticing photos, copies that convert, and a strong call to action, the Google user are more likely to move to the next option.

Make your NAP citations accurate.

Having an online presence is essential for businesses today. Google also considers the traffic coming from other websites, so it's essential to ensure that your NAP citations are accurate across all your profiles. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number, a key Google ranking signal that potential customers use to find or contact you. It's important to have consistent and accurate information across your business profiles so that customers can easily find the correct information about your business.

Having more NAP citations can help build up your authority and act as signals to tell Google that your business is relevant. You should do a quick Google search on your brand to see if you're mentioned on review sites like TripAdvisor or directories like Yelp. If you find any inaccurate information about your business, make sure to update it immediately so that customers can get the correct information about your business. Accurate NAP citations are essential for businesses to ensure that potential customers can easily find them online.

To learn more on how you can monitor your online presence, click here.

Add other relevant profile information.

Treat your Google My Business profile as a sales page, and include as much relevant business information as possible. It would be best if you also take note of essential industry-specific details. For example, for restaurants, it's essential to note if you do delivery services; for moving companies, ensure that you inform users if you offer online estimates; and for clothing boutiques, you should note if you provide in-store or curbside pickups.

This relevant profile information doesn't just help your profile rank on the Google local 3-Pack, but it also prevents an influx of customer inquiries. Furthermore, it also helps you manage your customers' expectations, reducing the risk of negative reviews that can significantly affect your online ranking.

Work on local link building.

Link building is an essential part of SEO and is especially important for local businesses. You will require links from local websites to boost the geographical aspect of your business website or webpage. These sites don't need a high domain authority to influence your rankings; instead, with these backlinks, you are letting Google know that your business is where it says it is and is also trusted by these other local institutions. This helps to boost prominence in the eyes of search engines.

When building links for local SEO, it is essential to involve the local community as much as possible. This could mean getting backlinks from church homepages, local high schools, neighborhood watch websites, and more. It is also essential that link building be done in a natural context; otherwise, Google may penalize your website for spammy practices. By building quality links from relevant sources within the community, you can help improve your ranking and visibility online.

Monitor your on-page SEO.

On-page optimization involves optimizing the content and structure of your website to make it easier for search engines to understand what your business is about and where it's located. This includes optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, headings, and other elements on your website page.

Additionally, you should ensure that search engines properly index all pages and that they include relevant keywords related to your business's location. Fortunately, Google automatically creates a local SEO audit for your GMB profile.

Use Google My Business posts.

Most local businesses overlook the Google Post section, while in fact, it's one of the most effective ways to make it on the Google 3-Pack list.

The Google Post section allows you to create 300-word content with images to promote your latest products and newest offers–or simply keep your customers updated on your business. Google Post content can significantly affect your local ranking by creating more backlinks, keyword use, brand awareness, and more pages to be indexed by Google.

Creating regular Google Posts is also one of the best ways to showcase positive Google reviews. This way, you won't need to start from scratch when creating content, and you can further reinforce your business's strengths cited in the Google review. Highlighting customers is also an excellent way to encourage more customers to review your profile.

Aside from its local SEO benefits, an active GMB profile with Google Posts are more likely to gain customers' trust. It also provides content that could be used across social media platforms to boost customer engagement.

Create a mobile-friendly website.

In today's digital age, having a mobile-friendly website is essential for any business. With most local searches now being done on smartphones or tablets, Google has begun prioritizing responsive and mobile-friendly sites in their rankings. If your website isn't optimized for mobile devices, you could miss out on potential customers.

To ensure your website is up to date with the latest standards, it's important to check if it passes the mobile-friendly test. If not, there are several steps you can take to optimize your site for mobile users. These include ensuring all content is easily readable and navigable on smaller screens, reducing page load times, and ensuring all images are optimized for different devices. By taking these steps, you can ensure your website meets modern users' needs and helps boost your search engine rankings.

Maintain fast loading times.

Maintaining a rapidly loading website is a vital factor for SEO. The page loading speed can significantly affect your bounce rate, user experience, search performance, and in return, your conversion rates.

The same goes for your Google My Business profile. While GMB has standardized profile specifications, ensuring your content is fully optimized is essential. Google recommends using the PNG image format and a width of 1200-2500 pixels. Make sure that all contents of your profile are copyright-free, too.

Create clickable phone number to receive more calls.

Broken links can significantly harm your local rankings, affecting your bounce rate, site loading speed, and spam content. Furthermore, Google may automatically index your profile as old and outdated, removing you from top organic searches and the Google local 3-Pack list. So, ensure you have a clickable phone number to receive calls directly from your GMB profile.

Most importantly, broken links can destroy your conversion rates. Regardless of your rank on Google searches, your ranking is futile if potential customers can't get into your offers or purchase your products.

Rank on Google 3-Pack through MARA review responses

Responding to all Google Reviews is essential for ranking on Google 3-Pack, as it signals to Google’s algorithm that your listing remains active and relevant to users. However, we understand that this task can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be with our AI Review Assistant, MARA. This intuitive tool is designed to streamline your Online Reputation Management process, making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

Streamlined Review Inbox for Google Reviews

Managing Google Reviews is trickier than it seems, as suspicious reviews and responses can lead to the deletion of your listing. Therefore, it’s imperative to have a streamlined Review Inbox to constantly monitor all your reviews.

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Google, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Google reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

MARA Review Inbox
Comprehensive Review Inbox for easier Google listing management.

Advanced AI Review Analytics

Google Reviews run sentiment analysis on listings, which can be accessed by anyone who visits the listing, not just admins. To stay ahead, businesses need advanced AI review analytics, which MARA provides.

MARA's Review Analytics provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "water in the pool is too cold" or "lack of vegan breakfast option”. These insights help optimize guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

MARA Review Analytics
AI-powered Review Analytics on your MARA dashboard.

Personalize your responses to Google Reviews

Relevance is a key ranking metric for Google, making it essential for businesses to ensure their responses to Google Reviews address the content.

MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback and economize both time and money, is the reason behind its growing popularity.

Final Thought

Making it to the Google 3-Pack is no easy feat, but once you accomplish this, your revenue can triple in an instant. Fortunately, with the appropriate software, not only can you streamline your online review and listing management process, but you can also personalize your responses, and derive valuable insights from the reviews. So, why hesitate to give our AI Review Assistant, MARA, a try? It's completely free for testing, doesn't require a credit card, and can be fully operational in less than five minutes.

This article is part of our hero content series on “Mastering Google Reviews - A Complete Guide".

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the 3 pack ranking?

The 3 Pack consists of the top three local businesses that Google deems most relevant to a user search. Google ranks businesses based on their category, offers, and location indicated in Google Maps.

How do I optimize Google 3 pack?

Completing your Google Business Profile is the best way to optimize for Google 3-pack. This includes adding accurate business locations, updated contact details, enticing photos, current offers, and other business information. Aside from this, collecting reviews among your customers is a must, as Google confirms that most users read reviews before getting into the business.

How do I rank first on Google Maps?

Supplying updated business information, specifically your location, is the best way to rank first on Google Map searches. It also helps to post updates on your business account and collect customer reviews to generate content that Google can index.

How do I promote my business on Google?

Businesses can sign up with Google Ads to promote their business online. This will help you reach new customers with online ads tailored to your audience, business goals, and budget. On the other hand, you can try optimizing your Google Business Profile and improving your website’s SEO if you wish to boost your presence on Google searches for free.

Can I pay to rank higher on Google?

No. Businesses can’t pay Google to rank higher on relevant searches. However, there are many ways to improve your website’s SEO, such as generating targeted content, using relevant keywords, collecting testimonials as social proof, and responding to online reviews.

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