How to Optimise Your Website for Local 3-Pack Searches

Conceptual graphic on Local SEO On-Site Optimisation
Conceptual graphic on Local SEO On-Site Optimisation

Local SEO on-site optimisation is a major contributor to Google search and Maps 3 Pack’s local search results. This makes sense as we’re all searching for items in our immediate vicinity, be it Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Local SEO is a worthwhile investment, but you shouldn’t overlook other digital opportunities for your retail or physical site. Local SEO appears to be more of a dark and mystical art than a logical technical process. To shine some light on this, what follows are the ranking factors and top techniques for local businesses to optimise their website for local SEO results.

Help Google’s comprehension of these parts of your business. Your page’s SEO Title and SEO Description should convey this information in a clear manner. WordPress allows you to quickly modify the Site Title data by navigating to Settings | General on the left navigation. The Yoast SEO plugin makes it simple to revise the Home page’s metadata. Your site should express who you are, where you are located, and what you do in a very straightforward manner.

Optimise SEO Titles & Descriptions

Amongst the inexperienced, there is an ongoing discussion on whether title tags and meta descriptions are still important. Take it from me – both are very important but for different reasons:

  • SEO Titles are a ranking factor
  • SEO Descriptions are a driver for click-through rates/conversions (but not rankings per se)

Both Titles and descriptions are still a major part of the 1st impression a potential visitor has of your website. Therefore keyword research is still essential if you’re optimising for local SEO:

  • Your page Title should include the name of the city you’re targeting
  • Include the place name and the product or service you offer in your page’s title tags where appropriate.

This Local SEO On-Site search engine optimization will help search engines understand not only where to find you, but also what you do at that site. This segues naturally into the following topic of debate…

Local business, place, product, service & reviews schema

To optimise your website for local SEO, you should include local business schema or structured data markup on every page. Without schema, it is difficult to appear in the SEO-revered Google Local 3 Pack.

  • Local & organisation schema is additional code added to the pages of your website to make it simpler for search engines to understand who you are, what you do, where you are located, and how you may be relevant to individuals who are searching for what you offer.
  • Including product and service schema on your website emphasises the specifics of each product or service.

Again, the underlying philosophy of schema is to communicate with robots (search engines) in their own language, a key part of Local SEO On-Site Optimisation.

If you have schema on your site, or if you’re unsure, you may also use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to test a URL and view the breakdown of multiple schemas on your website.

Develop a page for each product, service & place

Stop attempting to consolidate, as it is not beneficial for either Search or Maps SEO. Each of your individual products and services must have its own page in order for product/service/place schema implementation. This a general SEO smart strategy, since it helps search engines create a clearer site map. At the same time, it helps your product/service pages rank in search results for that specific offering AND paves the way for specific schema applications.


Similarly, establish a page for each location if you have business premises in multiple places. You can’t expect your Christchurch location to rank if it is on the same page as your Ashburton and Timaru locations. It may require a bit more effort, but it will enhance the possibility that they can be located in Search and Maps.

Your Google Business Listing

Create or claim your Google business profile and optimise it with relevant information as this is crucial for your local SEO listing — particularly for your Google Local 3 Pack and Search SERPs. If your specific business category isn’t mentioned, just locate the category that makes the most sense for your company. Use both keywords throughout your content whenever possible, since this accounts for nearly 20% of your chances of ranking in the Local Pack.

Search Google for your company

Claim each of your Google Business profiles if you have multiple places of business. You need to “own” each listing for your business in order to manage them all from a single login.

Local Citations NAP Data

NAP is the acronym for name, address phone number etc. Examine how your company information is displayed in your Google Business profile and ensure that it is listed in the same manner on every page of your website. This is often done in a website’s footer but is best done as schema data. As noted previously, if you have several locations, you should create a local link page for each location and apply the applicable NAP to each specific page.

List on Local Directories

Local directory listings and citation building are a wonderful approach to optimise your website for local SEO. It can be time-consuming, but there are link-building services available (the best are not free) that can assist in making this process a bit easier. The best practice is to ensure that each and every entry is identical. Again, mirror the exact NAP details of your business as displayed on your GBP page to ensure that your business is listed in your local directories in the exact same way. This should also help you do better in organic search results.

Customer Reviews

As your business grows, you will need verified “customer reviews” to prove that you are who you say you are, that you do what you say you do, and that you are located where you say you are.

It is a plus if customers give your products and services glowing feedback. Reviews are an excellent method for this and you should learn how to add a Google Reviews request in email signatures. The quantity of reviews you have on Google, Trip Advisor & Facebook will be considered by search engines when determining the best results for a certain search query. The estimate is that having five or more 5-star reviews can boost rankings by 15%.

Building up Google reviews on the world’s leading search engine is always a good idea. Your Facebook profile is likely to appear on the top page of Google when someone searches for your brand name, so accumulate good reviews to position yourself to the best advantage! Display Google reviews on your website and in SERPs via Schema data too. Reviews are an excellent tool to optimise your website for local search engine optimisation and improve click-through rates from SERPs.

Social Media

No Facebook business page? Instagram? LinkedIn listing? Youtube channel? Having social media signals pointing to you is advantageous for local SEO rankings. Make sure you have “Share” buttons too, so that site visitors can share your content with their network of friends and family.

Know and implement current SEO best practices

  • The better your website is optimised for search engines
  • The better your content strategy
  • The better your blog entries

The more naturally high-quality inbound links you will attract. These editorial-grade natural backlinks are a major ranking element for both local SEO and your organic/natural SERP rankings.

Your local search SEO strategy is a core component of your comprehensive online marketing plan.

Page last updated on Thursday, October 12, 2023 by the author Ben Kemp