Why Putting in the Work to Rank For Both Matters

You know it’s important to rank highly on Google, but do you know the difference between ranking on both the SERP (search engine results page) and in the map pack? In this solo episode, Jesse explains the value of ranking in both areas of Google’s results, and how important ranking in the map pack is for certain types of services.

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What you’ll learn

  • Why ranking in both the map pack and SERP is important for driving business.
  • How some types of businesses take greater advantage of map pack ranking than others.
  • Why showing up more frequently is important for your business!

Transcript For The Benefits of Showing Up In Both the Map Pack and Natural Organic Search – 126;

Caleb Baumgartner: Welcome to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I am producer, Caleb Baumgartner. And in this episode, Jesse contrasts the Google Map Pack and the search engine results page. Perhaps your business is ranking for one and not the other. Jesse explains the importance of ranking in both the search engine results page and Google Map Pack for your business. If you’re getting value out of the show, don’t forget to leave us a review on the platform of your choice. Thanks for checking us out and enjoy the program.

Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan. Here today, we’re going to be talking about the importance of ranking in the Map Pack and at the top of the natural position in the Google SERP. So for that, there’s two tactics, two strategies. You have to work on your GMB and on your website. We’ve talked extensively about the importance of your GMB, and that is true. But I want to talk today about how those things work together and what you achieve when you can rank at the top on both of those.

Now, before we get into that, I want to mention our free instant SEO audit tool. If you haven’t used it yet and if you’re looking to get a head start on your SEO or get a grade on a page and just kind of see how well your SEO is going and if your pages are optimized, go on out to Click on the yellow button, free instant SEO audit. Totally free. You can use it as many times as you want, on as many pages as you want, for different keywords. Completely up to you. It’s unlimited. It’s going to give you a free audit report on your page against the keyword that you’re trying to optimize for, and sends you an email with a PDF. Makes it real easy to execute yourself, share with somebody else, delegate it, and just a great punch list for improving your SEO. So check that out, And I think you’re going to be happy that you did.

All right, so what I’m going to be doing today is I’m going to share a slide. I did this a few episodes back for a webinar that we’ve been doing. And there’s just a great slide on there I want to share with everybody that illustrates the importance of achieving dominance in both the Map Pack and the SERP. Now, before we show that, just want to be clear, when I say SERP, I think everybody knows, but a lot of times in SEO, we throw a lot of these acronyms out there and just assume that everybody knows what it is. So SERP stands for search engine results page. And that is basically if you go to and you type in a keyword or a search, whatever it is you’re looking for, it’s going to then give you a page full of results. That is the SERP. That’s what we’re talking about is what you see on that results page. Doesn’t matter if you’re on page 1, 2, 3, or 4. If you hear us on this show or anybody else talking about the SERP, that’s what we’re talking about.

Now, on the SERP, you’re going to have two chunks, usually. You’re going to have that Map Pack, which is going to be towards the top. Everybody should be pretty familiar with that, if you’re listening. That’s where you’re going to have like the 1, 2, 3 listing of local businesses, what their aggregate review rating, a 5.0 rating, 300 reviews, things like that, hours of operation, phone number. And they’re also going to display that like with a little map graphic overlay showing where those businesses are. That’s going to be at the top of the SERP. That’s going to be that top chunk.

Underneath that is going to be, we call it the natural or the organic web listings. These are just websites. It doesn’t always mean it’s the same results. There can be businesses that are in that Map Pack for your Google My Business listings that are different than the businesses that are listed on the websites down below. Not everything listed in the website down below will be eligible to be in the Map Pack. Take Wikipedia, for example. You may see a Wikipedia listing down on those natural results. Wikipedia is not going to have a GMB listing.

So sometimes for local businesses, as kind of savvy consumers and Googlers, Google users, we kind of know how to decipher that. But it is important to note, these are two different search engines within Google that are kind of mashed up on the same page. The Map Pack, the GMB results, are showing you results from the Google Maps. The bottom part is kind of more the traditional Google search. It’s a hybrid view, now that we’re getting all of it together, and especially as we’re talking to local products and services that we’re searching for. Usually, you’re going to see that hybrid SERP where it has the Map Pack and the natural listings listed in it.

So now we’re going to show you some pretty cool stats. Let me pull up a slide here. So what I have on the screen here is a slide from the webinar that I mentioned that we’ve been doing about local SEO. As I said, in a previous episode, basically the context where this slide is, is we’ve been talking about Google My Business listings, how important they are, and then transitioning over to your website and trying to show the importance of focusing on both of these for local SEO. And a lot of the things that you’re going to do to both of these from an optimization standpoint are very similar. You’re going to be using your keywords for your geographic areas, your product, your services, and things like that. It’s not going to necessarily dive into the tactics on the SEO for these two things right here, but more illustrate a point on why it’s so important for you to focus your efforts on both of these. If you can be dominant in both of these, you should be just crushing the competition.

So what we’re seeing on the screen here is some information from BrightLocal. If you don’t know what BrightLocal is, they’re a great resource for tracking analytics on your website, keyword rankings, and things like that. And a little while back, they came out with a study where they surveyed what people are clicking on and the results, what’s important, what’s not, and things like that. So that’s where these stats and this information come from. The results here that we’re seeing are just kind of fake. The stats are real, but the business names here are just kind of all fake placeholders. So just FYI on that, when you seeing that.

Some of the important things here to take a look at is we have the three Map Pack listings here up in the top, and then the top two organic search result listings.

To be clear, the goal here is to be listed in the Map Pack and in the number one spot for the organic listings in the SERP. So if you look at these stats here, this is kind of on average, regardless of what geographic location you’re in, regardless of what you’re searching for, on average from this report, 17.3% of the clicks went to the number one GMB listing, the number one listing in the Map Pack for any given search.

By the way, I should pause there too. If you’re listening, this is another one where it’s going to be great to jump over to the YouTube and check this out for the screen-sharing to see these stats. I will talk through it so you don’t have to, but there’s some good visuals here for you to be able to see. If you need to know where to do that, just go out to, click on the episode, or do a search for the episode. And you’re going to find the transcript, also embedded video for this on YouTube. You can find it there. Or you can just go to YouTube, search for Local SEO Tactics, and you should be able to get it there as well.

So now what we’re seeing here is, again, the number one GMB listing gets on average about 17%, 17.3% of the clicks. The second listing gets 12%. The third listing gets 2.9%. Now, there’s going to be a little bit of variance there based off of who’s ranking in those positions relative to what their review rating is. As we’ve talked before, if you’ve had a good name on your business and your GMB, and let’s just say you have twice the amount of reviews, if you’re in the third position and you get twice the amount of reviews as the first and second position in the Map Pack, you’re probably going to get more of the clicks here. So there’s some nuance here to this report and the information displayed here on the screen.

But the important part here is that you’ve got upwards of 30%, 33% of all the clicks from the SERP are going to that Map Pack. So that definitely the first thing, that underscores the importance of being on the Map Pack. Some services, depending on what you’re selling, some services are going to be even higher percentage of clicks are in the Map Pack. If you’re looking for a coffee shop, for example, people are clicking in the Map Pack to a much higher degree. They’re not going down to the natural results. So this is almost like an average vanilla example, and it still shows the importance of having a GMB listing. If you don’t have a GMB listing, you’re missing out on at least one third of the traffic coming from Google search, which is a huge amount. That’s going to make a difference to your business.

The second thing here to look at is if you can be at the top of the organic search, so just under the Map Pack we’re seeing here the first organic search results, on average, you’re getting 27.4% of the clicks. That’s huge, right? That’s more than any single spot in the GMB, unless the GMB is so skewed in your favor based on reviews and other things. Then of course, that kind of breaks this whole model. But on average, look at that, that’s crazy. The number one GMB is 17.3. The number one organic spot is 27.4. Shows how powerful it is to still focus on that. If you’re not in there, again, you’re missing out. If you’re in the GMB only but you’re not in the web results for that first page of Google, now you’re missing, again, another huge percent of opportunity by only focusing on the GMB or not having SEO done to your website to bump your rankings up there.

If you’re able to be in the GMB and at the top of the SERP, you’re having a shot at capturing almost half, about 45% of the clicks on that page. Again, that’s kind of vanilla on average. If we take a certain geographic market or product or service, and you’re even better optimized for that, or the competition is lower, your numbers are going to be even higher from there. But there’s something that’s even more important than just the math on this from this study. Because stats can look good for anything.

The important part here is the psychology of being in these two spots. We’re only seeing five results here, right? And this is maybe like a mobile phone view, or a smaller laptop view. If your kind of average client out there, average prospect doing a Google search for whatever product and services you sell, if they can see you’re at the top of those naturals and in that three pack, you’re getting two of the five spots that are being shown here, right? Think of it as real estate, you have two of those five plots. That shows your dominance.

And even though in this case for these stats, you’re able to capture a good chunk of that 45% of the clicks, odds are if you’re in that Map Pack and you’re at the top of the organic listings, people are going to just see that you’re dominant, that you’re very authoritative for whatever it is they were searching for. And you’re going to get the majority of those clicks, regardless if they come through your GMB or if they come through the natural listing of your website. They’re going to patronize you because they can see that of all the competitors on there, they’re seeing you twice.

And there’s an immeasurable, psychological impact. I shouldn’t say it’s immeasurable. I’m sure somebody can develop a study or a test to get that. But on the screen here, at least, we don’t have a way to quantify that. But I think if you’re listening here, you can be nodding your head along saying, “Yeah, I’ve done searches myself where I’ve seen somebody in the Map Pack and in those natural SERPs. And that just almost subconsciously helps edify that company for us or that selection for us. And we’re probably gravitating to calling or clicking to them first. And odds are, they’re going to get the business. If they’re doing enough in their marketing to be in the Map Pack and at the top of the organic SERP, they’re probably a good company. So when you do call them, you’re going to be impressed and they’re going to win that business.

So that’s the kind of the moral of the story here is that, again, don’t just focus on one or the other. The real power for local SEO is showing up in the Map Pack and the top of the SERP. Obviously, if you need help in that, we are a professional agency. We can help you with either or both of these things in tandem. And it’s important to do the same things to both.

If you’re talking about, in this case, San Francisco’s on the screen, if San Francisco’s your market, you should be using San Francisco in your GMB in the fields where you can as a keyword. Same thing with your website. You want to have pages about San Francisco, a landing page with San Francisco, whatever it is. The products, the services, the keywords, the geographic references, you should be doing the same thing on both of these so that you show up in the results like this, and totally dominate your competition and put yourself in the mind of that consumer there, where you just really don’t give them a choice. You just show that nobody’s up to our level and you need to be patronizing us, or at least contacting us first. So there you go. That is kind of a very exciting thing, if you didn’t know about it.

I want to move now into our five-star review for this episode. Mention it in every episode here. We love to hear from you through reviews for feedback. That lets us know we’re doing a good job for the show, that there’s people actually listening out there. This is kind of a feedback loop for us. Let’s us know that we’re doing the right thing. And it also helps us show out. The more reviews we get, the more exposure we get, so the more people we can reach, the more people we can help and keep the show going.

If you haven’t left us a review yet, we’d love to hear from you. Go on out to, scroll down to the bottom, click the link for reviews, and you’ll be presented with some buttons that make it real easy for you to jump to the platform of choice, whether it be Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Google My Business, whatever it is, Facebook. Leave us a review. As we get them, we archive them and we read one on each episode here. I think we’re well over a hundred reviews that we’ve read at this point. So we really appreciate all of you that have left us a review so far.

And if you haven’t done that yet, if you’re one of the ones that haven’t, we’d love for you to take a moment right now and just go leave us a review. And again, not only does it help the show, give us that great feedback, we’ll also give you a shout-out when we eventually get to your review on the show. This one here is from a listener that’s actually a client of ours. David Keynes. Shout out to David. Thanks for the review and it’s been a pleasure working with you. Appreciate the business and we’re doing some good stuff together here.

David says, “Local SEO Tactics is one of my favorite podcasts in the genre. The hosts are incredibly giving of actual actionable information. I’m guaranteed to get a nugget or two out of every episode. I always look forward to the next one. Great information if you want to DIY and talent a team, if you want it done for you.” Thanks, David. And we work with many clients that have come to us through the podcast. When we originally launched this years ago, we thought it would just be great to kind of be able to self-edify, to kind of like, “Yeah, sure, we can do the SEO for you. Look, we have a podcast as well.” And we’ve actually been really surprised at how many people, like David, have reached out to us. We’ve started maybe talking, which is kind of an extension of the show. Like, “Here’s some advice, here’s some things we can do. Use our audit tool,” things like that.

And then ultimately as they get turned on and exposed to really how impactful SEO can be, we get down to this conversation where it’s time or money. Like for David, do we want to keep spending his time to implement SEO, and to grow? Or does he want to spend his money instead for somebody else to do it? And that juxtaposition is going to be different for every business owner, every marketing manager out there.

But wanted to use the time to kind of reinforce and let you know that we’re out here not only to answer your questions on the show and provide advice and hopefully help you out, but also if you’re getting to a point where you just need somebody to kind of do this for you or consult with you or whatever it is, jump from DIY into something greater, we are here to help. And folks like David, hopefully, can give us these good reviews and let you know that we’re capable and we can be of service to you.

If you want to reach out to us, again, just go out to or And we’re pretty easy to get ahold of. That does it for this episode. I hope it was a good one for you all out there. Good luck dominating in the GMBs and the organic search. Get yourself into the top position for both of those and transform your business. I’d love to hear some stories about those of you out there if you’re able to do that. That’d be great. All right, everybody, take care. See you on the next episode.

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