What Is the Local Pack and Why Does It Matter for Auto Repair Shops?

Jul 21, 2020

When it comes to your web presence and search engine results pages (SERPs), it can be easy to confuse the many different elements. You may even be suspicious that Google does it on purpose so that normal people can’t figure them out. Today we are going to focus on one of those elements – the Local Pack – and why it’s so important to auto repair shops.

The Local Pack is the grouping of 3-4 businesses that shows up just below the map on the SERPs when you search on Google for anything that Google sees as local business services. It definitely includes repair shops, as well as restaurants, stores, contractors, libraries, accounting firms, barber shops – you get the picture. Here’s an example:

Auto Repair Local Pack

This is a search for auto repair in Wilmington, North Carolina. The blue dot with the circle around it on the map is the origination of the search – where the searcher was at the time they typed auto repair into the search box. The Local Pack is represented by the three shops you see below the map.

Here are some key points you need to know about the Local Pack:

The Local Pack Holds Prime Real Estate on SERPs

In many cases the Local Pack shows up just below the ads on the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is almost always true when Google can determine that the searcher is definitely looking for local services like auto repair. So, you want to do everything you can do to maximize your shop’s chances of being shown in the Local Pack.

The Local Pack Is Made Up of Google My Business Profiles

If your shop doesn’t have a Google My Business profile, it will never appear in the Local Pack. If your Google My Business profile is not complete, includes the wrong category or hasn’t been updated in a while, your shop is much less likely to appear in the Local Pack. We’ve been emphasizing the importance of a Google My Business profile for a while now and this is part of the reason. When you show Google that you like to play by their rules, they are much more likely to reward you.

The Local Pack Gets Clicks

A comprehensive study conducted in late 2018 by BrightLocal showed that nearly 33% of searchers clicked on at least one of the listings in the Local Pack.

The Local Pack’s Most Important Factor Is Proximity to the Searcher

And here’s the rub…how close your shop is to the person who conducts the search is the number one factor in how likely you are to show up in the Local Pack. You can see this in the example above. Shop #1 and Shop #2 are both .5 miles away, and then comes Shop #3 at .7 miles away. This is also why when you search for auto repair in your shop, your shop comes up first!

How To Increase Your Local Pack Performance

You can’t pick up your shop and move it closer to the searcher, but there are things that you can do to increase the likelihood that you show up in the Local Pack. Check your Google My Business profile for these things:

  1. Make sure you choose the right category – Auto repair shop (or something more specific if you specialize).
  2. Make sure your name, address and contact information are correct.
  3. Complete the description – write about what makes your shop better and the services you specialize in.
  4. Choose the services you offer. Auto repair shops can choose things like brakes, air conditioning, engine repair, exhaust, oil change, transmission and more. Google will use these like keywords to match up to what the searcher puts in the search box.
  5. Get more great Google reviews!
  6. Respond to your Google reviews.
  7. Make sure you have a link to your website. Your website can significantly impact Google’s evaluation of your credibility and relevance.

Only a small handful of people at Google truly know all of the factors that go into how they determine what businesses show up in the Local Pack, but all of these seven steps have proven to impact the listings. And with 1 in 3 people who conduct a search clicking on at least one of the businesses in the Local Pack, the stakes are high and you want to do everything you can to ensure you get the best results.

If you’d like help optimizing your Google My Business profile for the Local Pack, contact us at 855-394-6397 or Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.