The Map Pack (also known as “The Local Pack”) is a set of 3 local business results… with a map of their locations pulled from Google Maps.
For example, when you search for “Barber Boston”, Google has a Map Pack at the very top of the results.
With the “normal” search results underneath it:
I’ll show you how Google ranks businesses in The Map Pack later in this guide. But for now, just keep in mind that The Map Pack has its own algorithm with its own set of rules.
Sure, some ranking factors (like backlinks) can help you rank in local and traditional organic results.
But others (like NAPs) are pretty much only important for ranking in The Map Pack.
One thing I should point out:
Google doesn’t only show local results for keywords that contain a specific city or state. If Google thinks that your search needs a set of local results, they’ll show it to you… even if the keyword isn’t obviously local.
For example, when I recently searched for “gardener” in NYC, Google gave me a Map Pack.
This is important to keep in mind as you do keyword research for your local business. Yes, you want to optimize for “store + city” keywords.
In many cases, the generic “store” keyword without a location gets more search volume than the “store + city” version.
With that out of the way, let’s see how to track your local SEO rankings.