What is a Map Pack in SEO?
Simple Definition of a Map Pack in SEO
A Map Pack in Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) appears in the middle or near the top of the SERP and shows the location of several local businesses or places in Google Maps in relation to the user’s search query.
What Does a Map Pack Look Like?
On the left of the Map Pack, Google displays a list of businesses or places with information including ratings, services provided and business hours. On the right Google shows a map with location markers for each of those in the list, plus (often) several additional businesses or places. At the bottom, the user is offered the opportunity to see a more complete result in Google Maps via a navigation arrow ”More businesses”.
Here is an example of a Map Pack for a general search query Digital Marketing Agency.
Can I Rank My Business in the Google Map Pack?
Map Packs contain only businesses that have a Google Business Profile (also known as Google My Business), so in order to be eligible to appear in a Map Pack, you must have one for your business.
There is no hard and fast rule for getting a position at the top of the Google Map Pack for your business for relevant search queries. Like all other Rich Elements in the Google SERP, ranking in the Google Map Pack is based on dynamic algorithms. There are many, many techniques and strategies, starting with the basics: making sure the information is correct (business name, address, services, etc.), making sure you have added a meaningful description of your business, adding visuals, products, choosing the right category, great reviews from your customers, and many other seemingly small details. These basics (GMB basics here) are essential to have any chance at all.
This is not a guarantee that you will end up in the top 3 in the Google Map Pack for specific searches. To improve your chances, you need to work on a more comprehensive local SEO strategy for your business. Read this article to learn more about the practical aspects of Local SEO.
How Does a Map Pack Fit Into Brand SERP Optimisation?
In the context of Brand SERPs (what your audience sees when they google your brand name), a local Map Pack is usually only displayed if the company has multiple stores in the area. In this case, the Map Pack will contain a listing of multiple stores in that chain. If there is only one shop in the area, Google will display a special panel on the right side of the page on desktop (at the top on mobile).
For a specific brand, you can check out this interesting example of Slack’s Brand SERP, which shows a link to their San Francisco office with a Google My Business and Map Pack of their New York office.
A Map Pack can also appear on a Brand SERP if the company name is ambiguous. An (extreme) example: If the local business name is “Shoe Shop,” a search for that brand name in most cities would likely show a Map Pack.
- You can learn more about Brand SERPs and how you can control yours and ensure that you keep your potential clients focused on an accurate and convincing depiction of you with The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business by Jason Barnard;
- You can browse our free resources (hundreds of articles, case studies and how-to’s to help you optimise your Brand SERP and manage your Knowledge Panel;
- You can sign up for the Kalicube Academy where you can learn more about Rich Elements and how to trigger them in your Brand SERP. We also offer in-depth video-driven courses, resources and quizzes that make optimising your Brand SERP and managing your Knowledge Panel a relatively simple task;
- You can win a place right at the top of the SERP through Kalicube’s Brand SERP Optimisation Process or opt-for the done-for-you Brand SERP and Knowledge Panel solutions where we do the hard work, identify the solutions and ensure that you achieve your goals and get Google “dancing to your tune.”