How to Buy Your Way into the Three-Pack
When looking at a search engine results page (SERP), many Google users look at the three-pack to find information about local businesses related to their search. The three-pack, also called the local-pack or map-pack, highlights important information about a business. This includes the business’s phone number, address, and hours of operation. Because of the greater accessibility, information displayed in the three-pack may help increase incoming calls, site visits, and brand awareness. While many businesses obtain three-pack rankings through a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, a business may also appear in three-pack results by using Google Ads.
How Can I Have an Ad Appear in the Three-Pack?
To have an advertisement appear in the three-pack, a business must have their Google Business Profile (GBP) profile linked to a Google Ads account. Once the GBP and Ads accounts are linked, a business may add a local extension to an already existing campaign to have ads appear in local search results. This includes Google Maps ads and local three-pack results.
The appearance of an advertisement in local-pack results may change depending on several factors. This includes the time of day, location of the search engine user, and the type of device. For mobile devices, local ads can appear directly in three-pack results or in Google Maps searches. If the search occurred on a desktop device, local search ads may appear in the three-pack, whenever a user selects “More places” in three-pack results, or if a search occurred using Google Maps. While these factors may influence the appearance of an ad, it is ultimately up to Google whether your ad is with three-pack results.
The Cost to Buy Your Way into the Three-Pack
Advertisements for three-pack results are charged on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. In terms of local search ads, Google measures a click whenever a user does any of the following actions:
- Clicks on the website
- Selects location details
- Gets directions to the business from the ad
- Selects the call button on mobile devices
Businesses and organizations that do not wish to run local search ads may still show up in the three-pack by optimizing their website for local searches through SEO tactics. While a SEO strategy may not provide results as quickly as paid ads, SEO could provide low-cost and long-term results. However, local search ads may be an effective and time-efficient way to increase brand awareness by placing critical information about your business at the top of a Google results page.