What Is The Google Map Pack and SEO Tricks To Get Your Website To Show Up In The Map Pack – 029
Understand When The Google Map Pack Shows Up and How To Get Your Business Ranked In The Map Pack
We’re all familiar with the Google Map Pack, right? Google map pack is the general term used to describe the location based results you see on a Google search results page, where it lists local businesses and identifies their location on a map with little place marker icons. Well, if you want your business to get in front of new customers, you need to be ranking in the Google map pack! In this episode we’ll talk about how to determine which keywords will trigger that map pack to show up (not all will). We’ll also dig into how you can optimize your website for the keywords that trigger the map pack, to make sure you are showing up here for local searches!
You need to be in the map pack if you want your business to be found for local search results on Google
The map pack is the group of businesses that appear in a box at the top of the Google search results page
It does not show up for every search term you want to target for your business
You need to find out which search terms the map pack is showing up for, and optimize for those keywords
Find the qualifier and superlative keywords that you can add to your services to trigger the map pack to show up
You need to have a Google Business listing to show up in the search results
Be sure to do Google searches from multiple IP’s and from multiple physical locations to understand the differences by location
Thanks for Listening!
Here is the transcription from Episode 29 “What Is The Map Pack and SEO Tricks To Get Your Website To Show Up In The Map Pack”;
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics with Jesse Dolan and Bob Brennan here as we are each week bringing you some tips and tricks to hopefully help your business get found more online.
This week we’re going to be talking about Google Map results or the Google map pack, Google My Places, things like that. It’s been called lots of things over the past few years. What we’re talking about is getting that map pack to pop when you’re doing some searches and to be found on the map pack. Because really nowadays you want to do SEO on your website, and you want your website to rank good organically, but what are we trying to do? We want to be in the map pack.
Bob: Yes. Map packs, one of our clients pointed this out today, map packs I would say three, four years ago wasn’t as important. The reason it’s important today is, guess what? 80% of the searches are done on your phone. When that map pack shows up, people are going to respond to that because that occupies most of the real estate in your phone.
Jesse Dolan: Your whole first screen, if not more for scrolling.
Bob: As important as SEO is, this is just as important. That’s why we’re really digging into this topic. People are like, “Ugh, enough of the map packs.” Guess what? It’s huge.
Jesse Dolan: It’s the main thing. I think our first episode we kicked this whole thing off with was how to create a GMB listing. That’s how important it is, you’ve got to get in that to even be in this game. Everything else after that is about tying your website and your GMB together quite frankly.
What we’re going to be talking about today is how to pick the right search terms to be found on the map pack, how to get yourself then found for those search terms, and things along those lines.
First and foremost is you need to be identifying what keywords to go after. Now we’ve talked in previous episodes about you want to have your niche pages out there, your main Google My Business category as keywords.
Then after that, there’s still a lot of searches that people are going to be doing that don’t exactly match up as an exact match to those keywords that you’re picking. How do you get found for these other things?
We were just talking about the example of Audi transmission repair. If you want to be found for that search, you can’t just make a page for Audi transmission repair. I’m sorry, you can make a page for Audi transmission repair, but that’s not the only thing you’re going to want to target. You want to show up for what people are searching for in Google.
Really an easy way to go after that, and I’m sure there’s automated tools out there that will do some of the stuff that we’re talking about, we’re not naïve to those. We just like to default to doing this manual. It only takes a few minutes, you’re only going to do this maybe twice a year, three times a year to revisit these topics. This gets you the exact information right from the horse’s mouth. You’re just going to do some searching. Pull up the old Google machine and do some actually searching for things that you want to be found for. There’s your main keyword, in this case we’re talking Audi transmission repair. Then what are people searching for?
Are they just going Audi transmission repair near me, things like that? That’s probably one of them, but those qualifiers or those superlatives that describe it. Some examples?
Bob: Best Audi transmission shop or whatever case, that may not show up because it’s too niche. All the variations you can think of, and then along with that just pick on the transmission industry. If there’s a specific model that is problematic that you’re good at and you make the most money on, shoot, that’s what you need to go after.
You said once or twice a year, I would do this every quarter or somewhere between 30 and 90 days because it’s changing.
Jesse Dolan: You’re right, you could do it every week. I would say at the very least if you’re not at least doing it twice a year, that’s kind of the minimum for sure. What the heck, it’s a dynamic result.
As proof of what we’re talking about there, what we really mean by this is to do these searches and just experiment in your head. Type it into Google, go over and over again these different searches and variations, you’re looking for the map pack to pop.
If you type in best Audi repair near me, you’re going to get some results. No matter what you’re searching for, you’re going to get some sort of results page. If you don’t see that map pack on the page, we want to ignore that keyword. That’s the main thing that we’re talking about here.
What we’re looking to do is to identify keywords and these phraseologies that trigger the map pack. Again, there is probably some automation out there to help you discover these things, but we want to do it manually. Like you’re saying, stuff changes.
We’re going to get into a lot of the manual versions that we want to do here, like when and where and different devices. The algorithm now with Google, there’s so many points of data that they take into consideration. You don’t just want to do this from your desk or your cubicle, or wherever you’re primarily work and manage your website. You’re going to want to really expand that out to see how these results change where you’re at.
Now within your page, let’s just take that Audi transmission repair, that’s probably going to be your page. Let’s just say that it is, Bobsautorepair.com/auditransmissiorepair. That is your page, you want that page to be found.
As you’re doing these searches, maybe you’re going to show up. Your page might already be optimized and you’re going to pop up in somebody’s map pack listings. Don’t worry about that then. Don’t write that phrase down, you’re covered for that one.
You’re going to be wanting to record the phrases that you don’t show up for. Best Audi transmission repair, cheapest could be on depending on your deal. If you’re looking for Audi transmission repair, you might not be looking for the cheapest as an example. Best, cheapest, quickest, nearest; those different qualifiers.
Bob: Even try maybe different models. Audi Quattro transmission or something like that. Another thing kind of taking it back a step or two in this all has to line up with your services that you have.
In the previous or what have you, we talked about the pages that reflect your services. You’re going to have let’s say five to ten of those pages, or whatever the case is.
Another way to break it down is to go into the Google Analytics and say, “What are the top searches?” You may find out for whatever reason, Audi Quattro transmission repair ranks higher and has more searches than just plain Jane Audi transmission repair.
Jesse Dolan: Absolutely.
Bob: Sorry if we’re nerding out about cars, it’s just one example. You really could spend time and hours and stuff messing with that. In small business I think it’s even more important that you’re strategic about it, that you’re taking the time to do this so you’re not just busy.
I think at the end of the day when you get this done, you can make the phone ring as much as you want, it’s really making it ring for the specific stuff that you want to do work for.
Jesse Dolan: If you guys heard me typing here, I was looking for this plugin that we use too. it’s “People also search for”, let me see what the actual name of this plugin is. Keywords Everywhere, there it goes. It was escaping me.
For Google Chrome, we use it and it actually embeds some of that Google search data for you right in the web page. As you’re doing these searches, you’re going to see the actual map pack or not and record that, but it’s also going to give you what people also search for that’s related to it. It’s going to give you that volume.
It’s not exactly going to the Google keyword tool to get the number of searches for that exact keyword, but it gets you thinking along these lines. The name of the game that we’re talking here is going as many searches for as many of these variations. Like you’re saying, you’re getting models in there, brands in there, just other variations on this niche that you’re focused on to find out what’s popping for the map pack.
Then we want to record those keywords. Any tools to help you come up with different keywords to try and explore, and then you also want to rank those. You can’t have a page that goes after 78 variations on these keywords. If you come up with a bunch that pop in the map pack, you’re going to want to try to pick maybe that three or five variations or long tail descriptions of these keywords and incorporate them into your page.
Let’s reset here. You’re doing Audi transmission repair, looking for a bunch of different model version, superlatives about best, cheapest, fastest, whatever. At the end of the day, you want to come up with maybe three to five, or even upwards of ten or so of those variations and pick those as things you’re going to incorporate into your page for Audi transmission repair.
What you’re trying to do, and again the disclaimer here is record those for ones you’re not always showing on the map pack for. We’re doing this research to figure out what triggers the map pack, where am I not listed in that map pack trigger, and I want to get listed there. You know what I mean?
If these are high volume keywords and this is triggering the map pack, I want to be playing in that space. Come up with that list, then you’re going to go back to your webpage that’s Audi transmission repair. You’re going to try to incorporate these phrases in there.
If there’s a qualified word, let’s just say best Audi repair near me was a phrase that popped the map pack and you’re not showing up for that. You’re going to want to go back to your Audi transmission repair page and you’re going to want to create a H2 or a H3 heading somewhere, or maybe have a bullet pointed list. If you’re going to do a bullet pointed list in this context, I’d make that a H3. I’d make all those bullet points an H3 for this. Start putting in there, “Best Audi transmission repair in town.”
You’re not going to want to use that Audi transmission repair too much on your page. Even though we’re mixing in some words before and after that, that’s still that phrase. It’s going to show up on your page too many times then.
Bob: It will over-optimize it.
Jesse Dolan: It will over-optimize. You can say things like, “Best service in town”, or, “We’re the quickest turnaround.” You want to find ways to incorporate those qualifier words that were part of that map pack search to trigger it into your page. That’s going to send those signals to Google; “They do Audi transmission repair, they’re the best as rated by X, Y, Z. They’re the quickest, average turnaround time is X.” Things like that because those results in the Google map pack, those people that are showing up there, if it’s not you, they’re not just matching that exact keyword phrase in there.
That’s Google and their AI deciding, “Oh, somebody’s searching for Audi transmission repair. What’s their intent? They’re looking for somebody who’s maybe the best or the fastest.” They’re getting all these inferences. What you want to do is on your page for this niche, is you want to be using those same keywords and that same phraseology that’s making that map pack trigger. Now you’ve told Google, “I do this service”, or, “I sell this product” and you’re mixing in those qualifying keywords that make the map pack pop. One plus one equals two in that regard and you’re going to start showing up in that map pack.
Predicators for this, of course you have to have a Google map business listing already. You have to have that tied to your website and all those other great things we talked about in episode one. In episode six and seven we talk about how to develop good optimized pages.
This is assuming you have that foundation already for getting that good stuff out there. Then incorporate these searches into your repertoire to make sure you’re showing up in the map pack.
Let’s make the assumption you’re just doing this from your desk and doing these searches. I think you should probably speak to people about doing these searches in multiple locations. There’s different modes, I know one of your favorite, is it I Search?
Bob: It’s I Search. I Search, it’s kind of interesting. You go out, you’ve got to plug in your country, and then you’ve got to plug in your search term, and then you’ve got to plug in the city. Then it comes back with more of an agnostic search. Obviously Google’s going to take your search history and all your other things and serve something up. That search isn’t gospel, but it’s maybe the baseline of what Google starts out with.
You were going to go on a description of maybe how to do different types of searches outside of that. There’s Incognito as well, which was the Google, I don’t even know. Can you tell the listeners how to get to that point? Jesse Dolan: When you’re in Chrome, you basically start a new tab or switch to private or Incognito Mode pretty easy. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes. We’ll put a link to I Search as well in the show notes. It’s free, completely free. These are all just different things you want to do to make sure … If you’re searching for the same thing day after day, week after week, Google’s algorithm is developing this ecosystem around you for what it’s going to show you in the results that you’re wanting to see. You want to make sure you’re not tainting yourself by seeing that stuff and then attack it going after that result.
The things we’re going to be talking about right here is different ways to do the research to get a fresh look or come at it from a different perspective, to not have that tainted history from Google. We’ll link to I Search, show you how to do that Incognito Mode.
In addition to that, your IP address plays a role in this, that’s one of the signals. Something that we recommend for everyone to do, most people have a smart phone nowadays. It can be a hotspot. Let’s just say if you’re at the home or at the office, you’re on the wifi or the ethernet, you’re on the company network or even a home network at home; switch to your hotspot.
Let’s just say if you’re on your phone and your phone is on the wifi right now, turn your wifi off so you’re not still leveraging your same network. You want to be going off the cell data. Turn your wifi off on your phone, then turn your hotspot on. On an iPhone it will say, “Do you want to turn your wifi back on?” Yes, you don’t want to be connected to your wifi but you need wifi on to do this; not to get too technical there.
End of the day, hook in through your hotspot. Let’s say your laptop through your phone, and then do a search. Even just do the search on your dang phone too for that matter. What you’re trying to do is get on a different network, from a different location, and different IP address because that will show you some different results as well.
Within that, do I Search again. Go out Incognito Mode, don’t do Incognito Mode. Just see these differences for these same search terms, what’s making the map pack pop, are you listed or not, and things like that.
Another cool tip to tell people is you’re out and about somewhere, whatever, you’re at the dentist waiting; do some searches. Especially if these are cities that you want to be popping in. If your business is located let’s say in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you want to be found in Minneapolis and you’re physically located in Minneapolis, that’s cool. You do some searches, you’re finding yourself, that’s great.
Now you go to one of the suburbs and maybe you’re looking to get your car fixed in Minneapolis when you’re in there later, but you’re searching from day Plymouth, which is a suburb of Minneapolis. You want to make sure that when people are searching for the service in Minneapolis from Plymouth, when they’re physically located in Plymouth, that you still pop.
If you get the chance to be in Plymouth, now don’t go drive there. You don’t want to waste your day just to check this out, be cognizant and aware as you’re out and about, “Hey, I got a few minutes. I can do some quick searching on my phone or pull out my laptop”, and just see how that results compare.
It might cause you to navigate a little bit differently from what you’re doing. If you’re finding you’re having great results in Minneapolis searching locally but you’re not when you’re in a suburb, what do I do? How do I get myself to pop when somebody’s searching from Plymouth?
It’s just really testing. Again, there’s probably some automated tools, Google it, find them, go for it. We don’t have any that we’re going to recommend our endorse just because for us this has just been the best way. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do this.
It might sound pretty intensive as I was breaking it down, once you do this once and you understand the process, it becomes something that you can just do to kill two or three minutes here and there. Check up on things and get some new ideas, it’s pretty easy to do.
There you go, that’s probably it for this week. That’s your homework assignment, do some searching from different devices, try Incognito, try I Search. Just see if you’re getting some different results. You’re going to get different results, we shouldn’t even say if you are. You’re going to get different results. That’s the whole point of doing the exercise.
Hopefully you can use these tips to find some new search terms that you’re not showing up for. Get yourself on that map pack; if you want to have success, that’s where you’ve got to be. Hopefully this helps you get there.
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