What are the most import things to focus on to rank higher in the local pack?

Every small business wants to rank first in the Google local search, but how do you do that?

Digital marketing expert Neil Patel analyzed 119,221 URLs to find this answer.

He discovered 3 incredible tips to help your local business rank higher. This was achieved  through the “first ever massive data research projects that sought to uncover how Google’s local algorithm works and what it takes to gain rank in local SEO.” (Neil Patel)

3 Important Questions Your Local Business Needs to Answer:

  1. What are the most import things to focus on to rank higher in the local pack?
  2. Can a small local business outrank a large national chain in the local pack?
  3. How does your website’s names influence local search results?

We are going to tackle the first question in this article.

What are the most import things to focus on to rank higher in the local pack?

First, let’s step back and define the two main type of search results:

  • Local pack – These are results for a local business that includes a map and location of the businesses
  • Universal results – These are the non-map search results for a typical search for information

As a local business owner, you obviously want to rank in the local pack. But does your local ranking position really make that much of a difference?

Yes, It Does!

The top local 3-pack results get over 44% of the clicks!

3 Incredible Tips To Help Your Local Business Rank Higher

There is a huge advantage to having your small business rank higher in the local 3-pack. Potential customers do not want to search through 10 different listings to find the right business. They trust Google to provide the best results and overwhelmingly choose one of the first 3 options.

What are the most import things to focus on to rank higher in the local pack?

There are 2 hugely influential factors in local 3-pack search results:

  1. Citations: Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and other online business listings.
  2. Local Reviews: Favorable reviews show off personable customer connections.

NAP (Name, Address, Phone) & Citations

Citations are one of the most important ranking factors for a local business. This is because Google wants accurate results. Major chains cannot manage all the citations across the country. The address might be wrong for locations, the phone number might be different, and the hours listed might be different for some locations.

For local results, having your NAP on your website and online citations can propel you to the top of the Google local 3-pack. This is much different than organic searches where the websites must have comprehensive content and backlinks.


Online reviews are a major ranking factor for Google. These reviews are another trust symbol that tells Google your business is legitimate and your customers are happy with your service. 

Next, where do you think customers want to leave reviews?

A major chain full of employees that don’t care or a local business that made a personal connection with their customers?

Reviews are a reality that every business has to come to terms with. Are you actively seeking reviews? Do you follow up with customer reviews?

Large chains can’t foster this conversation with customers.

Take advantage of these 2 great points today!


Can a small local business outrank a large national chain in the local pack?


Yes it can. When a customer Google’s information that triggers the local pack – Google will give local businesses higher priority. Why? Because Google is not looking for expensive websites full of content.

They are more interested in providing searchers with the most accurate and relevant information.


How your website’s names influences local search results


Local businesses sometimes struggle to come up with a great domain name. A lot of great domain names have already been taken and we have to have the exact name for our business? Right!?

Not true!

Did that just stop you in your tracks and confuse you? When you are setting up an online presence you immediately look to brand your business name. Step back and ask yourself does Google really concern itself with my business name?

Let’s look at a business name such as “Louie’s Pizza”. Does your business tell your customers anything about your business? We can assume that the business is about pizza – does it serve pizza, do they deliver, is it a sit down place?

Let’s look at different variations we could use:

  1. Louie’s Pizza of Jasper – your online presence isn’t limited to your business name. Adding a location will help customers know the city your located in.
  2. Louie’s Pizza Delivery
  3. Louie’s Pizza: The Best Pizza in Jasper – This business name adds a location and a superlative to your name

Your domain name can also be different from your business name:

  1. www.jasperpizza.com
  2. www.louiespizzadelivery.com
  3. www.bestpizzainjasper.com

Neil Patel noted “The algorithm is all about providing users with relevant results, based on their geographical location and intent.” When you use your city in your domain name it can significantly improve your likelihood of appearing in the local search results.

That starts to make sense that a location name in your URL can improve your local rankings. Google takes this further to almost ridiculous lengths.

After Analyzing 119,221 URLs, the site PsychicScience.org was more likely to appear in a Chicago based search engine ranking page. Considerably than other large cities like New York, LA, or Houston.




Look at PsychicScience.org – do you see how it contains a fragment of the word Chicago? Although psychic isn’t related to chicago; it contains part of the word of the word Chicago. The Google search algorithm is so focused on local results it interprets partial city names in URLs. Chicago searchers “have more than the usual number of psychic readers in their universal SERPs.”


How much higher will your business rank in Google local results when you use a city in your URL?


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