Justifications: how to get to the top of local search results

When a user enters a query such as "where to buy a blender", companies start vying for attention through ads, local and organic search results. Local search results are already catching up with organic ones, so search engines are developing location-based services and want the user to receive the most relevant results for their request. To help with this, come Justifications.
Justifications are pieces of text in Google listings that signal to the search engine that your business is most relevant to the query.

Let's dive deeper into what Justifications are and how to work with them to influence your presence in local search results.

What are Justifications and why this feature
is important for your business

Justifications is a piece of text in bold type in the company listings that corresponds to the user's request. They are shown in local search results and on maps. For example, the request is "buy glasses", the local search results give us listings with the mention of opticians, where the user can find the desired product.
google justifications
In this example, you can see that Google selects for the query "buy glasses" the listings of those companies where there are fragments of text related to this topic. For example, in reviews, posts, products, services and on website. These "keywords" are Justifications.
Moz conducted a study on Justifications: analysts tracked 10,000 keywords in company listings. It turned out that 57% of the listings that got into the Local Pack contained Justifications.
google local pack
Local Pack is a block with a map above the organic results. Google forms it in accordance with the user's local requests and location. For example, you enter the query "where to buy a blender", the system analyzes your geolocation, listings' rating, Justifications and selects the most relevant listings to show.
Now, let's take a look where in Google Business Profile (GBP) you should list your business keywords so that they get into the Justifications.

Google Business Profile: where come Justifications from

Local Justifications can be displayed based on information obtained from the following sections in the company's GBP listing:
1. Website
If the site that is mentioned in Google Business Profile has keywords, the search engine considers them as Justifications.
local pack justifications
For the query "laser eye surgery", companies' listings that have the necessary keywords on the website get to the top of local search results
We recommend creating separate pages for products or popular services on your website. This is how you can optimize the website for local search.
2. Services and Menu
In order for users to find your company by requesting services or dishes (if we talk about cafes and restaurants), be sure to fill out the "Services" or "Menu" section in your Google Business Profile.
google my business services
At the request "smartphone repair" listings in which the service required by the user is added, get into the Local Pack. And if you enter the query "miso soup sydney", then a listing with such a dish in the menu will get into the Local Pack. These are Justifications.
You can fill out these sections in your Google Business Profile: manually (from a desktop through a company account in GBP) or with the help of BrandWizard.
google business profile
3. Products
Fill in the "Products" section in GBP, as the search engine also analyzes it and displays the appropriate ones as Justifications.

"Products" is an introductory list of products or services that can be placed directly on GBP listings to make them more informative and attractive to the user. The difference between "Products" and "Services"/"Menu" is the ability to add:
  • Product name

  • Price (optional)

  • Description (optional)

  • Button (with a link to the product on the site or in another catalog).

google my business products
You can add Products directly in your Google Business Profile:
google business profile products
4. Posts
Keywords in listings' posts are also shown as Justifications. For example, if you add keywords to a GBP post, then your listing will have a better chance of getting into local search results.
google my business posts
5. Reviews
Often, Justifications pull up keywords from the reviews in the listings. According to BrightLocal research, 87% of users read online reviews before buying a product or ordering a service. This means that the more positive reviews (including those with keywords) customers leave about your company, the more attractive you are to new customers.
google reviews
Want to know how to make customers share positive experiences and leave reviews? We have an answer in our article "Five Digital Ways To Generate New Customer Reviews".

To sum up

If you want to rank well in local search results you should pay thorough attention to local Justifications and properly fill out all the necessary sections in your Google Business Profile:
Link to the website: it is important that the site has keywords that are relevant to your business and by which customers can find your company.
Services and Menu: these are sections similar to each other, only "Menu" is suitable exclusively for cafes, restaurants, etc.
Products: place products in a special GBP section so that your customers can quickly find your location.
Posts: publish posts about your services and products in GBP listings, they are also analyzed by Google.
Reviews: don't miss a chance to generate customer reviews. Thus, the keywords from positive feedback can bring your listings to the top of local search results.
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