I’m curious… What are your current strategies with Google My Business (now called Google Business Profile)? Have you heard about local justifications?
When searching for products and services you love online, I’m sure you noticed some text (related to what you’re searching for) that’s displayed below the listings results. These little snippets that Google shows are called local justifications. These highlighted pieces of info help your listing stand out and have the potential to improve your click-through rates.
The good news is there are seven different justifications and you can influence six of them without being an SEO expert.
Basically, local justifications can be found on local packs, local finders, and Google Maps—as seen in the examples below. (In case you don’t know, Google’s local pack is a section of the search results that displays the local businesses related to your query. Google’s local finder, on the other hand, appears when you click the “View all” link in the local pack. It’s very similar to Google Maps.)
1. Post justification.
This text is pulled from your Google posts and begins with an exclamation point icon. Can you influence it? Yes, as it’ll get updated with your most recent Google post that matches the search query.
In the example above, I typed in “halo earrings + Parsippany [the city]”. Because West Orange Jewelers had a post that included the words “halo earrings” in it, their listing appeared in the search results and Google called out the phrase with the exclamation point icon.
2. Review justification.
This justification begins with an image icon and is sourced from your Google My Business reviews. Can you influence it? Yes, if you ask your reviewers to use preferred keywords in their feedback.
In the example above, I typed in “bar and gift shop + Raleigh [the city]” and Green Monkey’s listing popped up. Because one of the reviews they received contained the keywords that were being searched, Google called out the search term and made it bold.
3. “Sold here” justification.
Usually starting with the bag icon and/or “Sold here”, this justification is sourced from the “Know this place?” Question on Google Maps. Can you influence it? No, since you don’t have control over what Google will ask the people who physically visit your store.
In this example, a Google Maps user confirmed that Jesse Brown’s Outdoors sells Patagonia products. Just to give you an idea, Questions in Google Maps looks like this:
4. Services justification.
This justification starts with a check icon and “Provides”. Can you influence it? Yes, as the items are usually pulled based on what you add in the Services section of your Google My Business account.
Here, the result is one of the services indicated in the business’ GMB listing (“Apple Watch Repair”) and is related to the service that I’m searching for in this scenario.
5. Website justification.
This type of justification, that starts with a globe icon, is pulled from the content of your website that’s linked to your GMB listing. Can you influence it? Yes, because Google is looking for the most frequent keywords in your website.
In this case, Google’s search engine detected that the service I’m looking for (based on the words searched) will be best served by the listings displayed as mentioned in their website.
6. Menu justification.
This justification begins with a book icon and is seen in restaurants. It’s pulled mostly from the menu that is linked on your GMB. Can you influence it? Yes, as they usually come from your GMB’s menu list.
In this example, the specific food that I’m looking for is included in Cafe Barron’s GMB menu—that’s why it appeared when searched.
7. “In stock” justification.
Similar to Services justifications that start with a check icon, this type of justification begins with “In stock” and shows up for listings that use Google’s Pointy—which has the “See What’s In Store” (SWIS) function. Can you influence it? Yes, as long as you use the mentioned platform and a few third-party platforms that support it.
I don’t have an example to share for this, but if you want this kind of visibility, use Google Merchant Center or other similar 3rd party platforms.
What I Want You To Take Away From This Blog:
- Integrate local justifications in your SEO strategy to improve your local online visibility.
- Search engines track any online posts, so make sure that these are SEO-friendly if possible.
- Like local justifications, maximize any tools/opportunities that will improve your online presence, especially if it’s free!
- Don’t have time to keep up with GMB and your local listings? We can do it for you! Get Listed today by clicking here, or click here to schedule a call to learn more.
Okay, over to you…
Have you noticed these local justifications while doing your own local search? How do you plan on using them after reading this blog? Let us know in the comments below!