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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    What are the local search hacks you have been using to keep your clients on the first page of Google?

    When Google introduced major changes to the local pack feature it sent us digital marketers scurrying! This change made the coveted top three search results even more important to local businesses.

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    Bernadette Coleman shares in this article 10 local SEO hacks designed to help marketers reach, or recover and maintain their rankings and survive in the competitive 3-pack local search environment.

    Donít just click and read the article, comment below and expand on the conversation by contributing what has been working for you and your clients!
    Join our forum! Agencies, brands and channel partners use our technologies to win local clients. Add our suite to your arsenal and leave the rest to us!
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    Those 10 tips are definitely all important things to address, and there's a ton of businesses that don't hit even a fraction of those areas.

    As far as the real winning edge goes... most of the local consultants I've talked to are at least vaguely aware of citation and GMB profile optimization, but organic SEO seems to be a pretty under-served aspect of the work, and a big way to get a leg up on competition in most industries. Especially since backlink building especially isn't really scalable or easy anymore, most consultants and business owners just aren't going to be able to make the leap to do valuable work in this area.

    One comment that the article made I found interesting was about mobile. I see mobile for 3-pack listings as low-hanging and low-ceiling fruit. Since user's location relative to the business is such a huge ranking signal in most industries, it kind of levels the playing field for small business owners. Have a mobile optimized website, claim and set up your profile based on Google's instructions, and you're likely to start showing in mobile searches for people within a few miles of your location. Awesome incentive for business owners to do at least the basic amount of work to get started. But because of that, that also means it's unlikely for a super well optimized, high authority business to get much exposure beyond their immediate surroundings on mobile. For mobile exposure across the city, seems like local organic landing pages, PPC, apple maps optimization, or any other number of potential online lead sources might be a better bet than the 3-pack if you're looking to expand beyond basic hyper local exposure on mobile. That's just what I've seen though, anyone got any stories to prove me wrong?
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    James, thanks for adding to the thread! You make some valid points. It will be interesting to see what others have to say on this topic also.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Watt View Post
    Since user's location relative to the business is such a huge ranking signal in most industries, it kind of levels the playing field for small business owners. ...But because of that, that also means it's unlikely for a super well optimized, high authority business to get much exposure beyond their immediate surroundings on mobile.
    Join our forum! Agencies, brands and channel partners use our technologies to win local clients. Add our suite to your arsenal and leave the rest to us!
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    Thank you for putting together a very good list. I would not consider them hacks but rather best practices.

    Reviews and the content of the reviews are in my opinion the most valuable digital assets for local businesses. In competitive markets, being in the Top 3 may no longer be good enough. What people say about your business have got to be better and more convincing than what people say about your competitors.

    One thing I learned from consumer behavior is that people don't always know what the best products or services are out there but you betcha they want to feel confident making the best decision with the information available to them.
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    Love how you added "the content of the review". Assuming you mean the actual content within the review with this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by theitsage View Post
    Reviews and the content of the reviews are in my opinion the most valuable digital assets for local businesses.
    Thanks for sharing your insights.
    Join our forum! Agencies, brands and channel partners use our technologies to win local clients. Add our suite to your arsenal and leave the rest to us!
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    One thing hinted at but overlooked that's been successful for us is barnacle citations. Of course Google is the race we all want to win but with Yelp and other directories taking up a lot of the organic spots, having a profile on the first page of ranking directories is another way of expanding local real estate. You may even find that the directories generate high traffic via native searches as well.
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    That is a good one to add to the list - barnacle SEO as a strategy. Bernadette actually addressed that in an article on SEJ awhile back.

    Quote Originally Posted by mborgelt View Post
    One thing hinted at but overlooked that's been successful for us is barnacle citations.
    Join our forum! Agencies, brands and channel partners use our technologies to win local clients. Add our suite to your arsenal and leave the rest to us!
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    Something I like to do on city pages is add some info about the city and not just talk about the service. This little extra city info seems to boost city page rankings plus it's very useful info for the reader!
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    I don't consider these "hacks" but rather "best practices", which we've been employing since forever. At Linda's urging we have been working more with on-page optimization over the past few years.
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    Re: What are the local search hacks you are using to compete in Google's 3-pack?

    Jim, itís great to know you have been employing them since forever. So many in our space, still donít get it, or place lower priority on these "best practices".
    Join our forum! Agencies, brands and channel partners use our technologies to win local clients. Add our suite to your arsenal and leave the rest to us!
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