Google is continuously changing the way it displays its search results. The search engine giant has concentrated on the user experience in recent years, seeking to make it as smooth and realistic as possible while still presenting only the most reliable and relevant details available.
That’s great news for consumers, but it poses a challenge for businesses who don’t know how to stay ahead of the changes and stay visible on Google — especially the map pack. So what’s the map pack, and how do you get your hearing practice on there?
What is the map pack?
It is shaped like a map and displays specially-selected places related to your query. It shows the NAP data (name, address, phone, etc.) of these results.
Google has reduced the number of companies shown in the map pack but has added a map. This improves the local pack’s accessibility on mobile devices as users can now estimate their proximity to the businesses at the same time.
Local 3-Pack Google has its internal ranking system. It’s not enough to just put your company on the map to get your hearing practice in the top places in the pack. Furthermore, if your company lacks clicks and comments — it can entirely vanish from the list.
Why is the map pack important to my hearing practice?
If you’re a local practice owner, you should do your best to rank high on the local Google SERP, and on top of that, in the Local Pack.
It’s one of the most visible sets of results on Google, and this has immediate results – The Google Maps Pack appears in almost 30 percent of all organic search results. Therefore, this feature is one of Google’s most frequently displayed features.
Given the Google map pack appearance on the first search engine results page (above all organic results), many people skip the organic results because the map pack often gives them all the information they need right now. This makes it one of the best traffic-driven solutions for local businesses of all kinds, including hearing aid practices.
The best way to get into the local pack is to have an optimized Google My Business account. Also shortened to GMB, this is a free tool that allows you to monitor the presence of your company on Google Search and Maps.
Here is a quick guide for optimizing your GMB to boost your chances of entering the covered map pack.
1. Claim or create your business’s listing
This is the first thing you must do. Check to see if your company is already a GMB listing: start typing your company name into the “Business name” field of GMB and claim it as yours if there is a matching company.
2. Add your business information
Using clear and consistent NAP (name, address, telephone number) information enhances your practice’s reputation and lets you rank higher in results from the search engine. Double-check all the information on your Google My Business account and compare it with your website data.
- Operating hours: if they don’t know when you’re going to be open, they can’t visit you.
- Website link: We assume you have a website, so list it here!
- Business services: Optimize this using keyword phrases which your potential patients are searching for.
- Images:Photos help the performance of business listings more than most business owners and marketers would likely expect. According to Google, companies with pictures on their business accounts get 42 percent more users asking for directions on Google Maps, as well as 35 percent more click-throughs on their websites than companies without images.
3. Reply to all reviews
Through answering their reviews, engaging with customers shows that the company respects its customers and the input they give.
Good reviews obviously have a beneficial impact on future buyers, but they can also increase the popularity of your company in search results.
And don’t think that negative feedback means the end of your business. If you receive a bad review, make sure that the customer’s concerns are addressed. Sometimes, even though you’ve made a mistake, you can get a 5-star rating if you own your mistake, apologize and try to fix it.
Respond promptly and professionally to all reviews. It shows you’re actively interested and increases trust with future patients.
Users should be encouraged to leave feedback about your hearing practice on Google. If possible, you should do so in person, hang a hopeful sign at your office that encourages people to do so, make an announcement on your social media platforms, or tell people through your email newsletter. Please read our article on how to react to negative feedback for more tips.
Nick Fitzgerald is the President and Owner of AuDSEO. With 13 years of digital marketing experience, Nick is a highly data-driven marketer, with expertise in search engine optimization, digital analytics and forensics, social media, digital advertising, and web development. He has been involved in the construction and optimization of nearly 1,000 web presences, including some of the largest Fortune 500 companies