In the constantly evolving landscape of local SEO, Google keeps adding new features to improve user experience and offer more relevant search results. One such feature is Google Local Justifications, which are annotations that highlight why a particular local listing is relevant to a user’s query.
This guide aims to help you understand the types of local justifications and how you can optimize both your website and Google My Business (GMB) profile to leverage this feature for your brand.
What Are Google Local Justifications?
Google Local Justifications are additional snippets of information that appear below a local business listing in Google Search and Maps. These justifications can include elements such as keywords from customer reviews, services offered, or areas served, among others. They aim to give users a quick insight into why a particular business listing might be relevant to their search query.
Types of Local Justifications
These are the most common types of justifications and are generated based on the search query. If keywords from your GMB profile or customer reviews match the search query, they may be highlighted.
Applicability for Your Brand: Ensure that your GMB profile is complete and contains relevant keywords. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews that mention your services or products by name.
Google may highlight specific phrases from customer reviews that are relevant to the search query.
Applicability for Your Brand: Focus on gathering positive reviews that are detailed and service-specific. The more specific your customers are in their reviews, the higher the chance that Google will use them as justifications.
Sometimes, Google highlights the areas a business serves, especially if the search is location-specific.
Applicability for Your Brand: In your GMB settings, specify the areas your business serves. This is particularly useful for service-based businesses that operate in multiple locations.
If your GMB listing explicitly mentions the services you offer, and those services align with the user’s query, Google may use this information as a justification.
Applicability for Your Brand: Make sure that your GMB profile accurately lists all the services you offer. Keep this information updated and consistent with what’s on your website.
Onsite and GMB Optimization Strategies
- Keyword Optimization: Ensure your website content is rich in localized keywords that potential customers might use.
- Local Schema Markup: Use local business schema to provide specific information about your services, ratings, location, operating hours, and more.
GMB Optimization Strategies
- Complete Your Profile: The more complete your profile, the more information Google has to pull justifications from.
- Regular Updates: Keep your GMB profile updated with posts, offers, and news to make it more appealing to Google’s algorithms.
- Encourage Reviews: The quality and quantity of your reviews can significantly impact the justifications that Google uses.
Why doesn’t your brand show justifications in local search?
Be careful when building your Google Business Profile, as some features BLOCK justifications from being propagated, such as the ones below.
Google Local Justifications offers a unique opportunity for businesses to highlight their relevance in local search queries. By understanding the types of justifications and optimizing both your website and GMB profile, you can significantly improve your brand’s local search presence.
Remember, Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant information to users, and by aligning your brand with this goal, you’re already one step closer to local SEO success.