While many see Google as a simple tool to use in everyday life, the search engine is a highly complex technology that drives results for consumers through a complicated algorithm. Luckily for business owners, this algorithm is designed to source content from all across the web, so if you set up your online store or website correctly, you can take advantage of the search engine to drive traffic to your own company. One of the best ways you can do this is through optimizing your site for Google’s local justifications, which put users in touch with businesses in their area who are offering exactly what they’re searching for. In this guide, we’ll be discussing the facts about Google’s local justifications, and why they’re so beneficial for businesses.
What Are Local Justifications?
When you search for a product, service, or business on Google, you’ll likely be met with a list of potential options for you to select for more information. These search results are put in place thanks to a complex algorithm that Google uses to find the most relevant information for you. However, understanding exactly why these companies show at the top of the results can be confusing, so Google introduced justifications to ‘justify’ why they rank certain choices higher.
Justifications are the small segments of text that are drawn directly from a website or webpage and highlighted in the results listing, and typically match the terminology that you’ve searched for yourself.
Why Are Justifications Important?
Justifications are important for both businesses and customers, as they show that the subject of the search result is relevant and interesting to the person trying to find an answer to their question. If you searched for ‘vehicle mechanics,’ but were met with results for new car salespeople, you’d likely be disappointed. In this scenario, Google will instead search company websites for ‘vehicle mechanics’ and pull that text through into their justifications when they show it to you. Local justifications take this one step further and will use your geotags to find vehicle mechanics near you.
The Different Types Of Local Justifications
There are a number of different local justifications that can be found on Google’s engine, but some of the most common include:
- Their website mentions:
One of the most common justifications is the ‘their website mentions’ feature. Google pulls information from a business’ website if it matches the search word or phrase of a user so that they can provide recommendations based on which sites directly mentions a key search focus.
Companies that provide a product that a user is specifically searching for can make the most out of the ‘Provides’ justification. Google will automatically scan the company website to find out whether a certain item or service is provided based on keyword analysis, before including a note on the final search results to justify why they’ve recommended the store.
- On the menu:
Commonly seen when searching for restaurants, the ‘On the menu’ justification searches local restaurants and bars for the food or drink at the center of a user search.
- Sold here:
Like the ‘On the menu’ justification, the ‘Sold here’ justification tells users that the product they are searching for is available at a recommended store before they need to visit the website. Not only does this save the end-user time, but it also ensures the accuracy and reliability of the search results that Google can provide.
Although the ‘Review’ justification is less common, it’s an effective way for Google to match users with search result recommendations. Individuals who have previously left positive reviews of a business will trigger the algorithm to show that review to potential customers who are searching based on keywords.
The Benefits Of Local Justifications
If you’re considering making changes to your online store or website to better accommodate local justifications, then you might be wondering whether this will be worth your time and resources. Here are some of the biggest benefits of local justifications.
- Justifications Don’t Affect Your Search Ranking
If you’re trying to optimize your website to rank as highly as possible on Google search results, then you’ll want to avoid doing anything that could damage your site’s performance. Luckily, local justifications are completely separate from SEO rankings, and only pull from the content that already exists on your site, so your ranking will remain completely unaffected, even if you optimize your site for justifications.
- They Speak Directly To A Customer’s Needs
Local justifications always match the content that a user is specifically searching for, so you know that if a customer finds your business through them, you’ll be able to grab their attention from the first interaction.
- Justifications Update Quickly
If you find that your site is not performing as well on justifications as some of your competitors, then a benefit of justifications is they update quickly and easily. Changing your website content to better match what you offer and where you’re located will quickly allow your site content to make its way to the local justifications on Google.
- Local Justifications Bring In Local Business
Above all, local justifications are highly beneficial for businesses as they bring in local customers to a store or brand. Instead of targeting the wider user base, Google uses local justifications to put users in touch with brands that are nearby, increasing the quality of their search results, but also driving traffic to companies that are local to the consumer. This means that if you include the services you provide alongside your location on your website, you’re far more likely to be discovered by customers in your local area.
There are a huge number of additional benefits to using Google’s local justifications, both for businesses and customers, so it’s vital that sites are as up-to-date and accurate as possible.
Ultimately, Google’s local justifications might not have a huge impact on the number of customers who purchase from a business once they’re on the site, but they’re a brilliant tool to increase overall traffic to an organization. By optimizing your site for justifications as a business owner, or simply understanding how they work from a consumer perspective, you can reach local customers or businesses and form higher-quality connections.