Google My Business Justifications – What Are They, and How to influence Them

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Have you recently checked some of your competitors google my business listings in search results and google maps and noticed some of them included additional information which you couldn’t find on yours?

example of google justification showing in map pack

Don’t panic, because today I’m going to tell you what they are, why they’re there, why you should care, and what you can do about it so they show up on your very own google my business listing.

What are Google My Business justifications?

If you’ve been searching for a local business on google and have come across listings that include additional snippets of information,  it is because Google has introduced them as a new feature in the google my business listing results. Google calls these justifications.

Because they kind of justify why a business shows up for a specific keyword someone has been searching for,  the snippet is displayed next to an icon and related keywords the searcher has been looking for get bolded.

Where can justifications be found?

In the google map pack results and on google maps

Why are justifications there?

Although it’s been mostly unnoticed by many and I’m sure it includes you too, I believe google has introduced this new feature so they can continue dominating local search results altogether.

Matching the intent of a searcher by displaying related keywords directly in the google my business listing results will enhance the customer experience and help them find what they are looking for a lot faster.

Why should you care about justifications?

The google my business listings displaying related keywords that match the searches intent are likely to drive a lot more traffic than the ones that don’t.

example of in stock justification

If I’m searching for “earbuds for sale” for example which listing do you think I am most likely to click on. So if you want to drive more customers to your business you want to get some of these justifications to show on your listing.

How do you get Justification to show on your listing?

There are currently seven different types of justifications available. Unfortunately, you can’t just sign in to your google my business dashboard and add them from there, that would be too easy right.

But most of them can be indirectly controlled. Let me show you what they are and how you can do that starting with the review justification.

Review Justification

If I search for something like “spa near me” on Google Maps, you can see the top three results all seem to have the same justification, which in this instance is the review justification.

review justification

The reason I know this is a review justification is because the icon next to the snippet is a blue dot with the symbol of a person in it which means, it comes from a review.

If you want review justifications to show up on your listing you’re gonna need to do two things.

The first one is, you’re gonna need to collect some google reviews from your customers because that’s where it is sourced from.

The second thing you need to do is to ask your customers to write keyword-rich reviews which mention the products that you sell or the services that you provide.

How do you do that?  I’ve crafted a review email template you can use which suggests to your customers what they can write about.  Hopefully will encourage them to use the right type of keywords. You can download it here. Time to move on to the next justification

Website Justification

Let’s now look for a different example and search for “radiator repair London“.

website justification

In this map pack result you can see on the listing there’s a new justification called “Their website mentions“.

This is the actual name of the justification itself. Notice the icon has changed to a symbol of the earth which is the world wide web and the keyword that I’ve searched for is also bolded and really stands out.

This justification is triggered by the content google has found on the website which is linked to this google my business listing.

What you’ll notice is, if I go to the link that is used for this listing and search for “radiator repair“, the keyword doesn’t actually show on the page.

website example

This means you don’t have to have the keyword mentioned on the page that’s linked with your listing.

As long as it can be found as part of the content on your website you’ll be okay.

And when I do a little bit more research I can see that “radiator repair London” is mentioned on one of this plumber’s service pages.

website example

And this is what you need to do if you want the website mentioned justification triggered as part of your listing.

Make sure you create content on your website that will include the keywords that you are targeting.

The best advice I can give you here is to create a dedicated page for each service or product that you sell.

This will make your website a lot richer and google can use it to feed the website mentioned justification with it.  It will also be very useful for your overall SEO strategy. Time to move on to the next justification.

Post Justification

If I search for the keyword “birthday cake” this time you can see as part of the map pack a new justification for the listing in the first position.

The icon is an exclamation mark which means this is a post justification.

Post justifications are snippets of text pulled from the google posts you publish directly on your google my business listing.

post justification

Note that the keyword that matches the search is once again bolded. The extract will come from posts that are less than 60 days old.

In this example, the extract comes from a post that was published just over two weeks ago.

Since you are in complete control of the google posts that get published on your google my business listing, the recommendation here is to publish posts regularly and to ensure
that you include some of the keywords you target as part of your business.

Moving on to the next justification.

“Provides” Justification

Let’s now search for an “emergency electrician“. This will trigger another map pack results from which I can show you the next justification.

provide justification example

This one is called the “provides justification“.  The icon this time is a check mark followed by the word provides which is ideal for service types of businesses.

The snippet also includes the related service in bold.

This justification is pulled directly from the service section of your google my business listing so if you’re a service-based type of business and you haven’t added your services in your google my business dashboard I suggest you do it today.

If you already have then you might want to revisit that section and add some more if you think they’re relevant.  Let’s move on to the next justification.

Menu Highlight Justification

Let’s now go to Cincinnati in search of an “oyster bar“.

This will trigger a google map pack in which I can find another justification called menu.

The icon is a knife and fork and the label for this justification is “menu highlight“.

menu justification

The keyword is once again bolded. This justification is aimed at anyone running a restaurant.

The content of the justification seems to be extracted partly from what is listed on the menu section of your google my business listing or photos users have posted on your profile.

To make it appear, make sure you add a detailed menu in your google my business dashboard if you haven’t done it already and encourage customers to publish images on your google my business listing.

Let’s have a look at our next justification.

In Stock Justification

If I  search for “earbuds for sale near me“, you can see the first result displays a new notification called “in stock“.

Just like for the service notification the icon is a check mark followed by the label “in stock” and the main keyword is also bolded.  This notification is very useful if you sell products.

in stock justification

It clearly indicates to the searchers if, whatever they’re searching for is available in your store.

Comparing the first result with the second one makes it instantly clear why this justification can make a massive difference when trying to attract customers to your store.

This notification is generated by google via a tool called see what’s in store that is powered by third-party partners such as Pointy.

Pointy will provide hardware and software you can use to connect to your store scanners to access inventory information which will be accessible via the “what’s in store” search tool.

If you’re selling physical products this is a no-brainer and I thoroughly encourage you to find out how to utilize this “what’s in store” functionality.

Let’s move on to our very last justification with one more search

Sold Here Justification

For this last justification, I’m going to search for “windshield wipers Richmond“.  From this set of results, you can see a new notification called “sold here“.

sold here justification

This notification is used by Google to show searchers if the product they are looking for is sold in that store.

It is not known exactly where google is getting this information from. It could be coming from multiple sources such as your website, your reviews but also from users feedback that Google collects from the “know this place” option on your google my business listing.

My suggestion here is to stick to best practices when it comes to your strategy which I’ve already covered in this article.

Make sure the content of your website is rich with keywords, encourage your users to leave reviews that are rich with keywords and so on and so forth.

That’s all for today time for you to work on those justifications

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