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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 05/17/2020 in FFL Business

What Is Google's Local 3-Pack?

What Is Google's Local 3-Pack?

Google's Local 3 Pack

BLUF: Also known as the local snack pack, Google's local 3-pack offers an inexpensive, effective way for local FFL businesses to attract new customers. It's located at the top of Google's search engine results (SERPs) where it generates more views, as well as clicks, than standard listings. In this article we'll learn more about Google's local 3-pack and why you should be focusing your SEO efforts on local search to earn more money with your FFL.

Everything Local FFL Businesses Need to Know

Millions of consumers use Google to discover and research local businesses. According to Google, 46 percent of all search queries are local. If your local FFL business generates little or no exposure on Google, consumers won't be able to find it. Unless you're running a major online gun store, the bread and butter for FFL's is to target local gun buyers.  Don't try to compete with major online retailers, you don't need to!  Having an optimized website is great, but rather than relying entirely on a website to reach consumers on the world's largest search engine, you should target Google's local 3-pack as well.

Overview of Google's Local 3-Pack

Even if you aren't familiar with it, you've probably seen the local 3-pack when using Google. Also known as the snack pack, it's a box containing three listings for local businesses that are displayed at the top of Google for a relevant local search query. 

Google Local 3-Pack Result

In the above example, if you search "gun shop" or "gun shop near me," here are the results you would see if you were located in Hampton, VA, like us.  These local SEO search results are what you need to dominate to grow your local FFL business.

If Google thinks a user is trying to find information associated with a local business, it may include the local 3-pack in the user's search results. For most local search queries, Google displays the local 3-pack above the standard listings and, if present, below any paid ads.

Google My BusinessGoogle's local 3-pack doesn't contain standard web page listings. It includes local business listings that are pulled from Google My Business (GMB). Local 3-pack listings typically feature the local business's name, address, industry, hours, and average customer review rating. If a Google user wants to learn more about a local business featured in the local 3-pack, he or she can click the appropriate listing. Clicking a listing will bring up the local business's GMB page against a Google Maps background showing where the local business is located. 

The Benefits of Google's Local 3-Pack

Why should you care about getting your local FFL business featured in Google's local 3-pack? The local 3-pack has become the go-to place among consumers for finding and researching local businesses. When searching for local businesses, many consumers automatically look at the local 3-pack listings while ignoring the lower-ranked standard listings. By securing a listing in Google's local 3-pack, you'll reach more gun buyers who are looking and ready to buy your local FFL business's products or services.

Inclusion in GMB won't affect the search rankings of your local FFL business's website. Local 3-pack listings are considered separate entities from standard web page listings, meaning your local FFL business can have both types of listings displayed concurrently. In fact, you can use Google Ads to create a third listing, a paid search ad, for your local FFL business.

If your local FFL business is featured in Google's local 3-pack, it will attract more customer reviews. Any customer can review your local FFL business by visiting its GMB page. GMB pages, however, are generally only accessible through Google Maps. An exception is Google's local 3-pack, which embeds three GMB listings in the search results. Furthermore, each of the three GMB listings shows the average customer review rating for the respective local business.

You can also reach more virtual assistant users with Google's local 3-pack. According to a report by eMarketer, nearly four in 10 internet users use a virtual assistant. From desktops and laptops to smartphones and smart speakers, many internet-connected devices support the use of a virtual assistant. When users perform a search, the virtual assistant may return information from Google's local 3-pack, such as the name and address of your local FFL business, if it's listed here.

How to Get Listed in Google's Local 3-Pack

Unless your local FFL business has a presence on GMB, it won't appear in Google's local 3-pack, regardless of the search query. Google's algorithm builds the local 3-pack automatically by retrieving information about three local businesses from GMB. Therefore, the first step to getting your local business listed in Google's local 3-pack is to create a GMB page.

To create a GMB page, go to and select the "Manage Now" button. Next, enter the name of your local business in the search field to see if there's already a GMB page for it. If your local business doesn't have a GMB page, you can proceed to create one. Just follow the instructions by selecting the type of local business you operate, its address, and other basic information.

Once you've created a GMB page, you can start optimizing it for Google's local 3-pack. Adding images, for example, will make your local GMB page stand out while also helping consumers understand what your local business does. GMB pages support three types of images: a logo, a cover photo, and additional photos. When customized with relevant and brand-oriented photos, your local GMB page is more likely to appear as a local 3-pack listing.

Ensuring all your local business's information is correct can help it secure placement in Google's local 3-pack. If any of your local business's data is incorrect, Google may question the legitimacy of its GMB page. Alternatively, using an incorrect address may prompt Google to display your GMB page in a local 3-pack for regions outside of your local market.

Building links to your local GMB page can improve its ability to rank in Google's local 3-pack. According to Moz, links are the second-strongest ranking signal for the local 3-pack. Build links to your newly created GMB page from your local business's website, blog, social media profiles, and other properties. With links, Google may award your local GMB page with a placement in its local 3-pack.

Google's local 3 Reviews

Customer reviews can affect whether Google displays your local GMB page in the local 3-pack. Specifically, Google assesses three factors of customer reviews: quantity, quality, and diversity. To get your local FFL business listed in Google's local 3-pack, you should encourage customers to leave a review on its GMB page. As the number, quality, and diversity of your local business's customer reviews increases, so will its chances of appearing in Google's local 3-pack.

For an effective marketing strategy that drives new customers to your local FFL business, you can't ignore Google's local 3-pack. It will showcase your local business's information in front of countless consumers. Best of all, you don't have to pay for inclusion in Google's local 3-pack.

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