What Are Local Justifications, And How Can You Use Them?

Local SEO 05 Jul 2021

If you have ever searched for a local business in your area, you may have noticed additional text snippets under the listing. These snippets, known as justifications, are fairly new to Google My Business listings and prove to be a great way to attract more customers to your business.

But what exactly are local justifications, and how can you use them to improve your ranking on search engines? Below you will find our guide to local justifications and how you can influence them to improve your large marketing industry game.

Why is search intent so important for SEO?

Any method that can be used to improve interest in your site and attract more customers to your business is a big deal in the marketing world. Search intent can help make sure that your site is top of the local SEO ranking and that you have the highest chance to earn leads.

What are local justifications?

A local justification is an extra bit of text, usually a couple of words long, that can help shoppers find what is available in their local area on google. They are mostly added to listings on the Google Local Finder service or Google Maps, highlighting exactly what you are looking for.

For example, if you Google “ferns” in your local area, a local justification will appear under local business with “Sold Here: Ferns” or similar text. This can be a great way for businesses to attract more customers and browsers to find what they are looking for.

Local justifications will highlight your business and help it stand out amongst the local marketing crowd. If you want to ensure your business stands out on the Google search engine, then consider taking advantage of local justifications on your listing.

The extent of Google’s justifications

Local justifications are far more common than you might expect and play a large role in Google My Business results. Around 55% of all listings featured on Google My Business currently feature common justifications, so you must influence them where possible.

With Google now adding more justifications to local packs than ever, there has never been a better time to take advantage of them. Justifications are a big part of where amongst a local pack you will appear, so be sure to read out our guide to influencing your local justifications below.

Types of local justifications and how to affect them

Services justifications

Service justifications are small snippets of text that can be added underneath the services section of a business to help customers find the right service for them. These were first released on the mobile version of GMB listings but can now be found on the desktop version.

If your company features a service section on its GMB listing, you will want to influence your service justifications to improve your visibility.

How to influence

The best way to improve your service justifications visibility is to ensure you add as many relevant services to your listing as you can. For example, if you offer a plumbing service, be sure to add all the services you provided related to plumbing.

This will help the business dashboard pick up on the exact services you offer and ensure that your company’s service justifications are accurate. Accurate justifications will prompt customers to get in touch if you offer a service they are looking for, so be sure to influence it where possible.

Review justifications

Review justifications are mini highlights from your Google My Business review page. Google will find the most relevant set of reviews to your business and the services it provides and add an extra snippet to your listing showing an extract of your Google reviews.

The text is usually pulled straight from any Google reviews you have, but most extracts will be from positive reviews instead of negative ones.

How to influence

Influencing review justifications can be extremely tricky, especially when compared to some of the other SEO justifications out there. As the extra snippet is taken from customer reviews, it can be completely out of your hands.

Thankfully, there are some tried-and-tested ways to make sure that Google extracts the most relevant reviews and paints your business in a positive light.

One such way to impact your review justifications is to try and prompt customers to leave reviews that are highly relevant to the goods you sell/produce. Google will pick up on regularly occurring words, so you want to try and get customers to focus on longer tail aspects of what your company covers.

For example, if you are a business that mainly offers vegan goods, try to prompt customers to write about your vegan products. Google will pick up on the use of ‘Vegan’ and will usually extract this and add it to your listing.

Website mention justifications

If you link a website to your GMB listings, you may find website justifications added to your listing. A website justification will gather data from your website and check for the most frequent keywords used across your entire site, not just the linked page.

When a customer searches for a certain term when searching on Google, if your website frequently features their search term, your business may appear alongside other marketing local businesses. Website justifications are usually found in a form such as “Their website mentions artisanal bread”.

How to influence

How website justifications work isn’t entirely clear, as they don’t only take data from one page – they use the entire site. However, as you have full control over what appears on your website, you should be able to affect what data website justifications pick up on.

Ideally, you will only want relevant data to appear on your website so that Google extracts the most relevant keywords. This might mean you need to remove any pages that were added to your site for padding.

As long as the data found on your site is completely relevant, you will rarely have to put in much work to take advantage of website justifications!

Google Posts justifications

These justifications are entirely what you expect – small snippets of text taken from your Google Posts content. The text Google takes these post justifications from is highly customisable and can be adapted to highlight your companies services.

Most companies found on Google will use posts in some form; if you haven’t yet, then consider doing so to improve your local pack results.

How to influence

As you have full control over your posts, you can easily impact what text will be used by post justifications. All of the information for post justifications will be pulled directly from your posts, including your most recent post.

Be sure to include long-tail keywords in your posts and discuss specific services your company excels in. This way, you can be sure that your listing will feature the most relevant information.

Menu/Sold Here justifications

As the name might suggest, Menu/Sold Here justifications are used to show customers what they can find available in their local packs. Menu justifications are commonly used in café, restaurants or just any local foodservice listings in general.

On the other hand, Sold Here justifications are most commonly found on listings associated with a local store. From furniture to kitchen appliances, Sold Here justifications can be altered by your business.

How to influence

Influencing menu justifications is extremely similar to any other justification. To get the best results on your GMB listing, you will want to update the menu found on your website or relevant link to ensure it is accurate and up to date.

Menu justifications will be altered by the menu you have linked to your listing, so if you want to get the best results, you may need to create a new and accurate menu – Especially if it is a little outdated.

In terms of Sold Here justifications, one way you may be able to influence these is by updating the goods listed on your website. Google displays also play a role in Sold Here justifications, so regularly update your listing with the relevant goods.

In-Stock justifications

In-stock justifications can be a little confusing as their origin isn’t entirely known. However, most of the information added to listings seems to be linked to Google’s ‘See What’s In Store’ program. This extra snipper of text can show customers what you currently have in stock, but it can also be fairly difficult to manage.

How to influence

As it appears In-stock justifications use Google’s SWIS, you will want to ensure that you constantly upload your inventory to the Google Merchant Center. This can be complicated, and will often require the use of specialist software such as Skeeled or Pointy.

You will also need to check you are eligible for In-stock justifications, which can become a lengthy process. However, if you want the best Google displays possible, this is a vital section on your business dashboard.

Stand out from your local SERP competitors

Standing out from potential SERP competitors is incredibly important, especially in an extremely competitive digital world. By ensuring you take the steps needed to impact what information justifications will use on your GMB landing page, you can enhance your visibility.

Keeping on top of website management is extremely important, especially if you want good visibility and are planning on influencing some of the common justifications. Be sure to keep our guide in mind to get the best results on Google maps and local finders!