Ranking in Google’s Snack Pack is the perfect way to satisfy your local business’s cravings for new customers.
A study conducted by Moz found that 44 percent of users clicked a Snack Pack listing after performing a local search, whereas only 29 percent clicked a traditional organic listing and 19 percent clicked a paid listing. With Snack Pack rankings, more prospective customers will discover your local business when using Google.
What Is the Snack Pack?
Also known as the local 3-pack, the Snack Pack is a section of local business listings that’s located at the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
It consists of three organic Google My Business (GMB) listings either with or without a single paid GMB listing. At the bottom of the Snack Pack is a “More places” link that users can click to view other related GMB listings.
Most Snack Pack listings contain the following information about local businesses:
- Business’s name
- Industry or service
- Phone number
- Average customer rating
- Operational hours
- A clickable button for directions
- A clickable button to visit the business’s website
The Snack Pack receives its name from its shortened format. When Google originally rolled out this SERPs feature, it displayed seven GMB listings.
Google later reduced the number of supported GMB listings to five and then three. With its shortened format, this section of GMB listings has been colloquially referred to as the Snack Pack.
How To Use Snack Pack To Rank Your Content
Now let’s take a look at how you can use Google’s Snack Pack to rank your content and capture additional search traffic to your blog.
1. Complete Your GMB Profile
You’ll need a GMB profile to rank your local business in Google’s Snack Pack. While Snack Pack listings may link to your local business’s website, they aren’t traditional organic listings.
Rather, they are GMB listings, each of which is connected to a local business’s GMB profile. As a result, Google will only rank your local business in the Snack Pack if it has a GMB profile.
There’s no cost associated with creating a GMB profile. You can create a free GMB profile for your local business at google.com/business.
When creating your GMB profile, Google will ask for your business’s name, address and other basic information. After entering this information, you’ll need to verify ownership of your business.
Google only shows verified GMB profiles in the Snack Pack, so you shouldn’t postpone the verification process. Instead, select one of the available verification options after completing the setup.
All businesses can elect for postcard verification. With postcard verification, Google will mail a code to your business’s address, which you can then enter in your GMB profile to verify ownership of your business.
Other verification methods supported by Google include phone, email and instant verification, but they are only offered to certain businesses.
2. Upload Photos
Adding photos to your GMB profile can help your local business rank in the Snack Pack. GMB photos are valuable to users because they help them identify businesses.
If a user has visited your local business in the past but can’t remember the address, he or she may search for it on Google.
With photos added to your GMB profile, the user will recognize your local business. And because photos are valuable to users, Google may rank your local business in the Snack Pack.
GMB profiles support three types of photos: a logo photo, a cover photo and additional photos.
The logo photo is displayed alongside your local business’s name, whereas the cover photo is the main photo that’s displayed at the top of your GMB profile.
Additional photos are extra photos that proceed the cover photo. You can only have a single logo photo and cover photo, but you can add multiple additional photos to your GMB profile.
Regardless of the type, all photos uploaded to your GMB profile must use either the JPG or PNG format. They must also be no larger than 5 MB each.
3. Build Backlinks to Your GMB Profile
Like traditional search rankings, Snack Pack rankings are influenced by backlinks. If your GMB profile has more high-quality and relevant backlinks than your competitors’ GMB profiles, Google will likely show your local business in the Snack Pack. In a local SEO study, Moz found that backlinks were the second-most important ranking signal for the Snack Pack.
If your local business has a website or blog, you can link to your GMB profile from it. You can also link to your GMB profile from your local business’s social media pages and YouTube channel.
4. Ask Customers for Reviews
Customer reviews can affect your local business’s ability to rank in the Snack Pack.
Google pays close attention to the total number of customer reviews local businesses have, as well as their ratio of positive-to-negative reviews, when deciding which ones to rank in the Snack Pack. With a lot of stellar customer reviews, your local business will have a better chance of ranking in the Snack Pack.
Keep in mind, incentivizing reviews and review gating violates Google’s terms of service. Incentivizing reviews means rewarding customers with free products, discounts or anything else of monetary value in exchange for a review.
Review gating, on the other hand, is the practice of inquiring about a customer’s experience, and asking the customer to leave a review only if he or she had a positive experience. You can solicit customer reviews, but you shouldn’t engage in incentivization or review gating.
5. Respond to Customer Reviews
When customers leave a review on your GMB profile, you should respond to them. Responding to customer reviews shows Google that you actively manage your GMB profile.
At the same time, it allows you to build stronger relationships with your local business’s customers. Customers will have a more favorable perception of your local business, so they’ll visit it more frequently.
Assuming you’ve verified your GMB profile, you can respond to customer reviews. Just log in to your GMB profile and click the “Reply” link next to the review to which you’d like to respond. Whether a customer left a positive or negative review, you should write a response.
With only three available placements, Google’s Snack Pack is highly contested territory.
Your local business probably has competitors that either currently rank in it or are trying to rank in it. You can still rank your local business in the Snack Pack, however.
Completing your GMB profile, uploading photos to it, building backlinks, asking customers for reviews and responding to reviews will help your local business secure one of the three listings in Google’s Snack Pack.