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SEO is a highly competitive field, with hundreds of companies battling it out for those lucrative keyword positions. There are a number of different ways to optimise your website to obtain these positions. If you are a local business, there may be ways which you can further optimise your site and website presence.

Whenever we search for local services online, Google will show a map amongst the organic search results, without the need to make any further clicks. This Map Pack will appear in over 30% of all first page SERPs. This makes it one of the most frequently displayed SERP feature on Google, along with Featured Snippets.

Businesses which are affected by the Local 3-Pack are those who service a particular territory. Businesses such as plumbing and delivery services. Local businesses, like hair salons and restaurants. Due to the presence of the Local Finder in the search results, we tend to often skip other organic rankings. This is usually due to the fact that the 3-Pack provides us with the information we need almost instantly. This means that if you are a local business with an online presence, obtaining this ranking is highly recommended.

With that in mind, here are some ways of how you can achieve 3-pack rankings using a WordPress site.

Google My Business Page

When it comes to achieving better local and 3-Pack ranking positions, the first step is ensuring that your Google My Business page is properly optimised. Often this is just a case of properly filling out all of the various sections in-depth and with correct information. When it comes to good optimisation, here are some things to consider:

  • Update Regularly

Be sure to update your business information regularly and ensure that it is current.

  • Claim Your Business Page

This is a simple process and means that Google will recognise your business is real and has a proper location, rather than just an online presence.

  • Fill Out The Q&A Section

The Q&A function of your Google My Business page can be useful for both potential customers/visitors and your ranking position. If you answer people’s questions, before they even land on your site, then you may be able to get an instant conversion.

Optimise Your Website For Local Search

Around two-thirds of all smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies or use local services whose mobile websites or apps are customised to their location. Google has three factors which it takes into consideration when looking at local search results: distance, prominence and relevance. This means that, in order to rank highly in local searches, your website should be optimised and relevant for search queries. Your business should also be in close proximity to users who carry out these searches.

Website optimisation is all about relevance.  In order to make your website relevant to a search query, you should not only optimise the content, but be aware of its technical health and link authority. In order to associate your website with a particular location, your website should include the name of the town, county and potentially postcode on multiple pages.

Updating your websites title and header tags, as well as meta descriptions, means that Google will be able to use these elements when learning about and understanding your website content. As long as the local content you use is included as well, then you will rank higher in the local results, bringing you closer to that 3-pack Ranking position.

Yoast SEO

When using WordPress, the best way in which you can optimise this content is by using the Yoast SEO plugin, as this provides fields for SEO titles, keywords, slugs and metadata which will appear in Google search results.

Your website SEO health refers to the technical condition of your website and includes things such as speed, mobile-friendliness and security. Technical problems such as those can have a significant impact on your website’s ranking and authority.

Unfortunately, you can’t optimise your website using the do it and forget it approach. Keeping your website properly optimised in line with Google’s recommendations is a never-ending process. This should involve trying out new techniques and fixing glitches or bugs.

Add Blog Posts To Your Site

Typically, blog posts attract large numbers of traffic to a website and can be a huge ranking factor, as people will link to content which is useful, rather than just promotional services, and this will benefit your entire WordPress site. Just as you would carry out keyword research to optimise your website content, you should carry out similar keyword research for blog posts.

Long-tail keywords have a better chance of securing higher rankings on Google as they tend to be natural search terms which people are already searching for, so aim to use these. By adding 2-4 blog posts per month to your website, you are telling Google that your website is regularly updated with new and fresh content, which will work in your favour and help to secure better ranking positions for your site.

Ask Customers To Leave Legitimate Reviews

A study found that 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as they would word of mouth reviews from their friends and families. Having online reviews for your business, across multiple channels, is one of the most valuable commodities your website can have. Not only will these reviews help people to decide whether or not they should use your business, they also help Google to rank your website for the right audience.

If you struggle to get people to leave reviews for your business, then the best way to encourage them to do so is to set up automated email campaigns to those who have previously used or shopped with you before.

On WordPress, the WooCommerce Points and Rewards plug-in is a great way to incentivise your visitors and customers and leave reviews in exchange for points-based discounts and special offers. You should also encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business page, as it’s important to have reviews across multiple channels. This way, you can interact with a multitude of customers and frame your business in a positive way.

Conclusion

Overall, proper maintenance of your website is one of the best ways in which you can achieve 3-Pack Rankings in local SEO. By reoptimising your content, setting up and encouraging customer reviews and adding blog posts, you are making your website appear more user-friendly and relevant to Google, which will only ever increase your rankings. Proper SEO maintenance is essential for all websites who want to perform and rank well, and is something which requires regular updates.

 

Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer for many business and technology publications, working closely with SEO Manchester agencies. With a wide range of knowledge in the sectors, she is an avid researcher and writer in the field. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.

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