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Unleashing the Power of Google Business Profile Service Justifications for Maximum Impact

Recently, we discovered that Google Business Profile (GBP) services do impact ranking.  What else is cool is that they also display in justifications on your Google listing.  When looking at GBP services, we suggest thinking about how you can use services to acquire awesome justifications that look great and can impact the click-through rate (CTR).

In the example below, the justification shows the “provides” label, which tells us that this is being pulled from the GBP services.

Predefined GBP Services

There are both pre-defined and custom services that you can add to your GBP listing.  Back in 2019, we started seeing more and more of the pre-defined categories for services.  Some industries still have more than others.  For example, plumbers and lawyers have a bunch of these categories available in their dashboard.

What is interesting here is that essentially Google is giving you some insight into what subcategories it associates with your main service or main category.  This can help to determine what content to put on your site and can be a very useful piece of information.

Custom GBP Services

Custom services can be a lot of fun because you can add emojis to your custom services.  The emojis do show up in the justifications, which can help things “pop.”  In the image below, you will see the justification that is pulled in for the query “best truck accident lawyer sebring.”  That green and yellow truck really does stand out!

It can be a little difficult to get the emojis to appear in the justifications, so you may need to experiment with them for a bit before they will appear.

Justifications Gone Wrong

Now one of the problems with the justifications is that Google does not always pull them in correctly, so you do need to keep an eye on these.  In the example below, it says “Provides: Auto insurance.”

This is actually a lawyer that takes car accident cases and does not provide auto insurance.  So, in this case the GBP category “insurance attorney” was selected.  Google then automatically added the sub services (below).  This is why it is really important to monitor the service section of GBP listings.

Justifications Gone Really Wrong

In addition to Google getting it wrong, we have also seen people shoot themselves in the foot by adding custom services that get pulled into the justifications and the message they intended is not there.  In the example below, we don’t think this lawyer is providing slip and fall accidents to its clients, but that’s what it says on their listing.

Below are a couple of law firms that appear to offer “aggravated and sexual assault” according to their listings.  So, be very careful how you format your custom services.

This blog post is part of my LocalU advanced presentation from November.

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Colan Nielsen

Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Read Colan's full bio here.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. My favorite “justifications gone wrong” are to do with the wrong French translation of some services. For example under plumbers “sewer repair” is bafflingly translated in French as “Sewing machine repair”. Similarly, “water law” is translated as “water damage law” (i.e. damage caused by flooding from a neighbour’s negligence).

  2. You mention that GBP services do impact ranking but this mostly discusses how services can appear as justifications. Are there any recent insights regarding these ranking impacts? Do you know if the impact is any different when using custom services vs pre-defined services? In my industry, there are not a lot of pre-defined services yet.

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