Google wants its search engine results pages (SERPS) to stand out. And, you want your SERPS to do the same. The goal is for people to find exactly what they are looking for and need. One of the ways this is done is through local justifications. These are important snippets to your website SEO and can help make sure your business and marketing stand out.
What Are Local Justifications?
A justification is a snippet of text that Google will add to business listings that help users math the business to their needs. These are displayed in the local finders, local packs, and Google Maps. For example, if you are looking for a ‘vintage accent rug’, Google will match this with notifications of listings where these rugs can be purchased. Notifications lie this stands out in listings and typically leads to better click-through rates for your post.
Now, you may not have heard of these local justifications, but they have been around long enough for researchers to track their effectiveness. As a business owner, it will help you to understand just how common these local justifications are. More than half of the local SERPs researched, include justifications.
Additionally, these justifications are most commonly on all three listings in the local packs. With justifications being so common, business owners would definitely benefit from getting involved with these snippets. The more control over them you have, the better off your listing will be.
Types of Local Justifications
While there may be more out there, the most commonly seen justifications are for:
- Reviews – these come from Google My Business reviews.
- Websites – these are from the website that is linked in your Google My Business listing
- Posts – these come from the content you post
- Services – these are pulled from the Services section of your My Business dashboard.
- Menus – these are pulled from Google My menu listings
- In Stock – these originate from the “See What’s In Store” (SWIS) program on Google
- Sold Here – comes from information that Google has about your business collected from unconfirmed resources such as user feedback from the “Know this place?”
How You Can Influence Local Justifications?
The next important step with local justifications and your website is to make sure there is a match. Because they have an impact on your business and click-through rates, you want to be able to influence them to work in your favor. Depending on the type of justification, there is plenty that you can do.
- Review justifications can be influenced by you prompting your customers in a specific way. Your acquisition requests should guide them towards providing lengthier details about the business, with the goal that their language will be best matched with specific intents of other searchers.
- With website justifications, the linked URL doesn’t necessarily need to be to the page which mentions whatever aspect of the business is featured in the justification. For example, a justification that mentions watch repairs can have a listing that links to a jewelry store homepage. It doesn’t have to mention watch repairs on that page but can have a dropdown menu where this is featured. The notification states that your “website mentions watch repairs”. It is a good idea to play around with this. Try optimizing your landing page with keywords that you want to see showing up in justifications.
- Posts justifications can come from any of your posts, new or old. Being creative with your posts can lead to longer-tail justifications that will be more eye-catching. You want to create content that highlights these more attractive phrases so they are pulled for justifications. For example, a post that highlights ‘hand-carved wooden furniture” as opposed to just wooden furniture.
- Services justifications are linked to the Services section of your dashboard, so you want to make sure you are using this feature. It is typically located in the navigation menu to the left so be sure to add in as many services as you can think of to make the most of this justification.
- Menu justifications are mostly pulled from listing menus so it is important to make sure the menu information on your site is accurate. If your business is linked to any third-party services such as a delivery agent, make sure their menu listings are also accurate. Any inaccuracies will result in the wrong information being displayed in the justifications pulled from menus.
- In-stock justifications help searchers identify which local businesses have what they are looking for available. Just as with menu listings, stock and availability information must also be accurate. You would need to upload inventory details into a Google Merchant Center document and sign up with a point-of-sale provider. Getting this setup can take a few months, but having your inventory visible is a big asset to your business listings.
Another great benefit to SWIS programs is that they direct users to your website instead of letting transactions take place through Google which always has a fee. If you are eligible for this program, it is definitely worth looking into so you can benefit from in-stock justifications.
- Sold here justifications come from unconfirmed sources and data that Google has about your business. There is not much known about these justifications because their sources cannot be verified, so the best approach with these is a general one. Publish as much information about your business and services as you can in as many places as you can. The more you market yourself, the more likely these justifications will appear.
The bottom line is that if Google My Business has a feature, you want to be using it. The tools and features are there for a reason and can benefit your business when properly used. You may not have understood local justifications before, but you do now. And, you can use them to your best advantage and keep your business on the map.