If your business sells its services locally, one of the most important thing for it is to appear in Google Maps Marketing, as well as to appear in the Local 3-Pack. This can help in increasing the number of phone calls, leads, as well as customers—this post will assist you in learning more about this.

But first, what is 3-pack? This is a group of the top 3 local businesses that appear at the top of every Google search listings. These businesses can also appear just below the paid ads section. Google 3-Pack ranks in the 1st position when it comes to 93% of all Google searches—this is according to a study conducted by SeoClarity.

This shows why the 3-Pack is an essential location for a business since it allows researchers to know that you are relevant—particularly when combined with the correct review profile. So, what we are saying is, Google 3-Pack gives users snapshot if your business in a world where buyers make decisions depending on:

  1. If they can find your business in the first place

  2. What other buyers are saying about your business

However, getting high rankings in the 3-Pack goes past just the maps or visibility ranking for the sake of maps ranking. As a matter of fact, it has a direct impact on a buying decision.

A research conducted by Google revealed that 76% of online users who perform local searches contact a business within 24 hours. 28% of these searches lead to a purchase of a service or product. Therefore, if your business is ranked highly within Google 3-Pack, you are likely to receive more phone calls, as well as an increased sale of your products and services.

Google 3-Pack comes with a number of benefits. From a customer’s phone, they can click on the name of your business, which should give them more information about your business, and this includes a CTA button. Also, customers can use a CTA button from the 3-Pack results directly. Click-to-call is vital to the growth of a business, as Google study revealed that 70% of searchers using mobile devices click-to-call a business directly from Google search results.

Today, the usage of smartphones is on the rise, and clients, patients, as well as customers, need a way to get connected to your business through an instant push of a button. Because the 3-Pack results are mostly displayed depending on the searcher’s location, there are two essential factors that will determine your ability to get more calls and leads:

  1. Visibility – your business needs to rank better than your competitors and have better visibility in your area as possible. There is a number of factors that determine the ability of your business to achieve this.

  2. Review – there is nothing that will make a potential customer act quicker than a lot of positive reviews. Negative reviews or lack of reviews, on the other hand, can destroy the reputation of your business.

Google 3-Pack has earned better trust from Google users than paid ads

There are a number of ways that can assist you to gain visibility on the first page of Google’s local search results:

  • Pay for ads via Google AdWords

  • Get ranked better in the 3-Pack

  • Be positioned on the top 10 organic results, just below the 3-Pack

Since your advertising budget has a big impact on the success of your business, you might be wondering which area earns more attention—the 3-Pack area carries the day.

So, why does this happen? It is the most notices section when it comes to local searches. Other categories like Google ads normally fall behind the 3-Pack and to 10 organic results since most users don’t find paid ads to be relevant or trustworthy in search engine results.

A research conducted by Search Engine Watch revealed that 68% of all Google searchers prefer the 3-Pack, 27% prefer the organic results just below the Google 3-Pack, and only 10% have confidence in the paid search results. From this study, it is evident that one category–3-Pack has 68% of the searchers’ trust—which makes Google 3-Pack a must.

In addition to this, paid search results usually offer a lower return on investment since the average cost per click is high and continues to grow every year. In fact, some popular keyword clicks cost as high as $50 and others a bit higher. Furthermore, companies using AdWords experience a reduced CTR of not more than 2%–that’s according to WordStream. Even when your business manages to get a good number of clicks, the average conversion rate will remain to be poor—ranging between 2-3% on the higher side. This means your business will need around 100 clicks to earn just 2 or 3 phone calls.

Therefore, what Google users do is to skip the paid ads, and go to the 3-Pack section to choose which businesses they need to contact. Will the business they click be yours? And, if the 2% of all user clicks and 2% to 3% conversion rate does not sound interesting, what about 44%?

According to research done by Moz, the 3-Pack gets most of the clicks on a particular result page, at a rate of 44%. This research shows that most users prefer the 3-Pack. The study also revealed that most searchers were less inclined to click on the directions or website link of business.

Rather, the users clicked on the name of the business, and this directs the customers to a Google My Business listing, where they are able to get the phone number of the business. A recap from what we highlighted above—your actual prospective customers will make their buying decision from the 3-Pack.

The research conducted by Moz also revealed that businesses that didn’t get any reviews had zero interest from searchers. This research also revealed that positive reviews as essential, as they are most likely to initiate customer interest—and should be noticed in the 3-Pack.

Lastly, the Moz study, together with the next study shows that business with the best rating in the 3-Pack got the most attention from users. Although the organic listings in the second study indicated 40% of the clicks and got the first position, the 3-Pack got the second position, with just 33% of customer interest.

What you need to note is that the first business in the 3-Pack category is the same as the first business in the organic search results category below it. The business got most of the attention, possibly because it was in the top spot in the 2 categories. Even though the second listing in the 3-Pack category had a lot of attention too since it has a 5-star rating.

The top-2 businesses in the 3-Pack category got most of the user-attention on the page, and the businesses without reviews didn’t get any customer interest at all. Moreover, you should note that the 3-Pack clicks lead to the business name, where the users can get the business’ phone number. So, since the organic got much more clicks in the study, there is a possibility that those clicks led to a few phone calls.

Why did this happen? Third-party reviews have a big impact when it comes to affecting the decision of your potential customers. These reviews don’t usually appear on a site, and when they appear, they tend to be less trustworthy.

Moreover, when they read the reviews, your prospective clients will visit your site less and less times, and will instead make their decisions depending on the reviews.

Why reviews are important on your Google 3-Pack listing

There is something everyone should understand—customer reviews have a significant impact on how your customers behave, as well as the performance of your business’ brand. Customer reviews can literally make or break the sales of your business. Also, the quantity and quality of online feedback have a big role in the business’ bottom line.

A survey conducted by BrightLocal revealed that 88% of customers usually read online reviews, and 85% of new customers trust these reviews, just as they would trust a personal recommendation. Therefore, the lack of user reviews or ignoring customer reviews as a possible marketing opportunity means that your business is excluding 88% of its potential customers.

So, what does this mean? Customers want to read reviews, as this assists them in making their buying decisions, and your business will lose the opportunity to attract customers if they cannot find these reviews.

Although price and location can be essential factors when it comes to selecting a local business, there is no other factor that is more important than having customer reviews—positive customer reviews. A survey has shown that 68% of customers will use a local business after reading its positive reviews, which 40% of customers will move to the competitors if they read negative reviews.

More stars will earn you more clicks on your Google Maps 3-Pack

The average number of stars that your business gets have a significant impression on your potential customers, and will influence that rate at which they contact your business in the 3-Pack. Listing with 5-star reviews received 69% of the attention on the 3-Pack, while the businesses with 4-star reviews got 59% of the attention. 3-star reviews, on the other hand, earned the businesses 44% of customer attention.

Furthermore, the number of reviews your business gets is essential for building customer trust. The average number of reviews a customer reads before making a decision to purchase your services is 21. The typical range is between 2 and 10 customer reviews, and this makes 83% of consumer needs. 7% read 11 to 12 reviews, while 6% want feedback that exceeds 20 customer reviews. Therefore, businesses with less than 11 online customer reviews lack the opportunity to capture the attention of 13% of the buying customers—and this is a significant gap.

The importance of customer reviews on Google 3-Pack visibility

Online reviews are essential since they can influence the ability of a business to rank in the Google 3-Pack, and also in the organic and natural search engine results. There are some assumptions that reviews on other third-party review websites can assist you in ranking better too. According to Forbes, Googles relies on the information for various third party review sites and directories, like Yelp.

It doesn’t matter if Google only considers Google reviews of third-party reviews too, what you need to note is that the more positive reviews your business has, the better the chance it has at ranking in the 3-Pack—and this will give you the better chances of attracting more customers.

As ranking in the local organic search results—the results below the 3-Pack continues to be a major determinant of whether a business will have an opportunity to rank in the 3-Pack, reviews, and a well-optimized site dominate all the other factors—this is according to the Local SEO Guide.

Why are reviews important? They assist Google with several of its signals as ranking factors, and they also assist Google’s search engine in determining the trending businesses, and this can increase the ranking of a business. This is very effective as reviews have time stamps—which means customer engagements are visible to Google.

The importance of online reviews is becoming vivid in each essential customer category—and several surveys indicate that customers want to read the reviews before they make any decision. In addition, Google’s search results rely on consumer reviews when choosing the ranking factors for 3-Pack.

User reviews are essential—and this is not set to change. Therefore, the longer you delay before you start optimizing your reviews, the longer you will stay before you start getting better ranking. What you need to note is that online shoppers need reviews, and they are an important determinant for better online visibility, as well as ranking in organic search results and within Google Map 3-Pack.

Websites are no longer a major determining factor

A study conducted by Bright Local in the last several years revealed a trend that cannot be ignored. Today, consumers are relying on fewer websites to determine whether they will buy or not. Rather, the important thing that matters today is visibility and reviews.

According to Bright Local:

  • 17% fewer people will visit a business’ site even after reading good reviews today than in 2016.

  • The number of customers who would visit a business as the next step has increased by 10% in the last year to 17%.

  • 10% of customers contact a business today after reading positive reviews.

So, what does this mean? You must start working with digital marketing companies whose top priority is understanding that the number of customers visiting websites each year is reducing, and they depend on visibility and positive reviews to visit or call your business.

Today, most digital marketing companies have concentrated their efforts on ranking sites in the organic search engine results or managing the AdWords campaign. However, it’s time now you noted that none of these have the visibility, attention, and trust of your prospective customers like Google 3-Pack does.

Bottom Line

The first step you need to attract attention to your business’ brand and encourage customers to call or visit your business is to appear in the Google Map Local 3-Pack. Therefore, you need to concentrate your efforts on your Local SEO to create a strong Google 3-Pack presence and also look relevant and sharp with positive reviews. Failure to do this will have negative effects on your business, and you will not stand a chance against businesses that are already capitalizing on these factors.