If you’re just starting with Google My Business, one of the first things you’ll need to do is choose a category for your business. This can be tricky since there are so many options to choose from. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
But there’s a lot more to choosing a category for your business. Let’s dig in.
What are Google My Business Categories?
These categories make it easier to list your business on Google My Business listings. It also makes it easier for customers to find you.
As things stand, Google My Business has a massive directory of categories that lists similar businesses. The more businesses in a group, the greater the competition between them.
Why are they important?
Your Google business category has a major impact on local SEO. Choose the right one, and you will be set for success, i.e., hair removal service if you do hair transplants or run a barbershop.
How to choose the right category for your business?
First, you’ll want to think about what your business does. What products or services do you offer? Once you know what your business does, you can start browsing the categories that match.
These categories are specific enough to describe what each business does, and they’re also relevant to the types of businesses they are.
Fun fact: There are now nearly 4,000 Google business categories, ranging from auto dent removal service to cell phone accessory stores. You could even choose options like conveyor belts, sushi restaurants, and assisted living facility associations, among many others.
Here are some more examples of specific business listings on Google My Business:
- car repair and maintenance
- sports equipment rental service
- drivers license training school
- classified ads newspaper publisher
- audiovisual equipment rental
- air compressor repair service
- environment city department
- cake decorating equipment shop
How do I find my Business Category?
That is the question.
To start with:
Business owners can improve their business by using Google My Business Categories. There are several categories to choose from, and it is essential to find the right one for your business. You can find your business category by following these steps:
- Go to google.com/business and sign in with your Google account.
- If you have a verified listing, click on “Manage this business.”
- Under “Categories,” click on the down arrow and select the most appropriate category for your business.
- Select your category. If you don’t see your category listed, select “Other” and type in the name of your category.
- Click on “Save.”
Google business listings are long and you don’t need to waste time scrolling down until you find yours.
Instead, you can use ctrl+f (cmd+f for Mac users) to search for your primary category.
What is a primary category? Think about what your business does, sells, or offers to customers. That can help you choose your primary category.
You can also check out the GMB listing of rival businesses. See what business category they use. Make sure you use the same relevant ones.
Lastly, you can choose secondary categories so long as they remain relevant to what you do.
Tips for filling out your business profile
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a category:
- Make sure the category is relevant to your business.
- Make sure the secondary categories are specific enough to describe what your business does.
- To reduce competition for each category, try finding GMB categories that are very specific to your business. If you run a furniture store for kids, choose a Children’s furniture store.
Suppose you run an Indian Restaurant. That could be your primary category. You can choose secondary categories like Family Restaurants, Lunch Restaurants, Buffet Restaurants, and so on.
Choosing these categories will help bring more traffic to your GMB listing.
What if I choose the wrong Google My Business categories
Avoid using random and irrelevant categories for your business. Choosing categories like car security system installer, agricultural service supply agency, and elementary school elevator manufacturer to describe one business listing? It will have a negative effect on your GMB ranking.
Local SEO expert Darren Shaw demonstrated the results of choosing unrelated categories on your GMB profile:
He says that those low rankings went away the moment he removed the erroneous categories.
What happens if I use too many Google Business categories?
There was a time when people thought that extra categories on Google business listing meant diluted search engine rankings. It is now proven that it’s not true.
Here are some key findings that you need to know:
- Changing your primary category has the biggest effect on your ranking
- Removing extra categories will not harm your search engine ranking, unless they are unrelated to your business.
- Add more categories that describe your business accurately for more traffic.
How to dominate the competition with Google My Business Categories
Here’s where the fun begins.
These are tips that will help you sweep away the competition with Google My Business categories.
We will be making use of three strategies for improved local SEO.
Check competitor categories
There are two ways to find out which keywords and categories you need to rank high on GMB. You can either check 100s of categories or – you can simply check what your competitor is doing.
Follow these steps:
- Go to Google Maps
- Find the Google Maps Listing of any competitor
- Check their primary business category by hovering the mouse pointer over it
- Right-click on the competitor’s Google Maps Listing
- Select the “View Page Source”
- Use CTRL + F or (CMD + F on Macs) to open the document search box
- Enter the competitor’s primary GMB category
- You will now need to scroll through highlighted text in the source code to find secondary categories.
Find their keywords.
Google relies on keywords to match your searchers to your business.
This is why its important to use the right keywords. They have a significant effect on local SEO.
Check out the posts being put out by your competitors for any trending phrases or keywords. These are words that are repeated often. Make sure you use them on your own pages.
Publish the right content.
Keep an eye out on what the competitor does with their GMB posts. Observe how it performs if they post about a new product offering or offer. You need to note the top-performing content and how you can post similar stuff often. However, make sure you don’t spam your customers.
What if I run multiple businesses from one physical location?
There was a time when Google didn’t allow for multiple business categories under one GMB listing.
But now, Google has new guidelines that support multi-entity business models.
This is perfect for special scenarios where your business has:
- Multi-department models – like a tourist agency with distinct departments for balloon ride tour agency, canoe kayak rental service, and emergency services.
- Multi-practitioner models, like a real estate office with multiple agents or a legal firm with multiple attorneys
- Multi-brand models – this is specific to the automotive industry. You can have separate listings for separate dealerships. You can have an auto radiator repair service, diesel engine repair service, electric motor repair shop, electric vehicle charging station, and car security system installer – all under one roof.
According to Google, diversifying your categories in case of multi-entity listings can lessen filtering on Google search results. This is good.
Take your time and be methodical while researching the right business categories on your Google listing. The work you put into finding the most optimized keywords, categories, and posts will pay off.
Make sure you check back whenever there are new Google My Business categories available. Doing so can help you boost your local SERP visibility and revenue.