With over 4,000 Google My Business Categories to choose from, it can be tough to select the most accurate one for your business. However, it is very important to choose the right one. And guess what? Google also makes it easy to edit your Google My Business category later on.
Moz reveals that proper Google My Business categories are ranked third out of 50 for search ranking factors for local SEO.
Here’s how you can change your Google My Business category and why you should do so.
What is a Google Business Profile?
But first, we feel a little introduction is in order.
Your Google Business Profile is a section that appears on the right side of a desktop Google search and near the top of mobile device pages. If you own or work for the business, you can become an administrator and add details, photos, etc. about your company.
Using local SEO is a great way to get attention for your business. The category of your business page tells Google how relevant you are in search results, so make sure it’s accurate!
If you type in “ tech consultant” or “Synergy Solutions” on Google, you will get some listings of similar-sounding companies in your home city. And just above the address for these establishments, you can see “tech consultant” as a Google My Business category.
This is why it’s vital that you choose the right Google My Business category, so potential customers can easily find you online. Make sure the category you select matches your business and services exactly.
A bakery would not put itself in the Birthday Bakery category if they don’t make products for birthdays. Google’s suggestion is to go for a category based on what you are rather than what you have.
Why update the Google My Business category?
As we mentioned before, one of the best ways to improve your ranking in local searches is to keep your Google My Business listing up-to-date. The more active you are on the platform, the more signals you send to Google that your listing is accurate and trustworthy. And the more trust Google has in you, the higher you will rank on both Google Maps and in Google’s local search results.
The higher your search engine ranking gets, the more benefits you get:
You can get found by potential customers more easily if you edit your category in Google My Business list. By simply choosing a fitting category, rather than your business name, people searching for the product or service you offer will be able to discover your company.
You need to think in terms of how to attract customers who don’t even know your business name.
This is incredibly helpful for businesses whose names don’t make it obvious what they offer.
For example, a name for a business like “Brad’s Auto Shop” is specific and limiting. A business name like “Great Trails” could be anything from a pet walking service, a tourist company, or a bike path paving company.
By classifying your business on Google, you will attract people who are interested in what YOU have to offer.
Further your reach
Just like when you were a kid and put your paintings out in the yard because that’s where people are, businesses today need to be online if they want to be seen. People spend most of their time on the internet now, so companies need to have an online presence in order to reach potential customers.
People are using electronic devices such as computers and tablets to find local businesses online–upwards of 84%, in fact. And it doesn’t stop there: 88% of smartphone users take advantage of this technology too. So by keeping your Google business listing up-to-date, you’re Cherishing the chance that your company will be seen where individuals invest a great deal of time.
People aren’t just happening to come across your business like they would a lemonade stand. They’re actively searching for businesses like yours on Google Maps and search engines, trying to find products and services near them. To make sure potential customers can find you, it’s essential that you update your Google listing.
How to select the right business category
If you can’t seem to figure out which category is best for your business, don’t worry! Google adds and removes several categories every month, so there are always new options to explore.
To find and choose the correct business category, here’s what you need to do:
- Scroll down to select your language and country, then view all categories listed alphabetically.
- To find a specific category, start typing in the search field.
- In the event there’s no category associated with your search term, you’ll see “No matching records found.”
After you located the most relevant category, return to your Google Business Profile and complete the steps below.
How to Edit Your Business Category
Changing your category has been known to cause profile issues, so please be careful and take things slow. However, editing your category can also be beneficial in certain cases, so you may want to do that.
Here’s how to change your business category:
Step 1: Log into Your Profile
You need to be logged into your profile if you want to change your business category!
Step 2: Select “Info”
Then, select the “Info” tab in the left hand sidebar.
Step 3: Review Your Current Business Categories
The Primary Category needs to be accurate so that potential clients can find you more easily. If it isn’t set up correctly, follow the steps below to edit your profile.
Step 4: Click the Pencil “Edit” Icon
Click the pencil “Edit” icon. Now you will be able to change any text or choose another category.
Step 5: Select Your Business’s Primary Category
Your Primary Category needs to be as specific and accurate as possible. Google will be using this information to determine your business type and let its algorithms connect potential customers with you.
Step 6: Add Additional Categories
In addition to your Primary Category, you should add additional categories for your business. This way you can add any other extra services that your business provides!
Remember that you can include several Additional Categories! The more categories you add, the higher the chance potential customers will see your profile.
Step 7: Click “Apply” to Save Your Business Categories
Once you’re satisfied with the changes you made to your business categories, click “Apply” to save those changes. Usually, it takes 24 to 48 hours for these changes be visible on Google.
Tips for selecting your Google My Business categories
- Although adding more categories will make it more likely for your business to come up in search results, only do so if the categories fit your company.
- Ensure that your business can be included in both specific and broad searches by choosing the primary category that best describes your company. For example, when you opt for the label “Italian Restaurant”, individuals searching for “Italian restaurant” or simply “restaurant” will see yours among the list of options.
- Google has a variety of listing features, and the categories you select determine which ones are available to you. One type of feature, attributes, can help improve your exposure if they match consumer searches.
Use the correct category so customers can find you
Google uses the category you select for your business to determine if you provide services or products related to a given search. Use the most relevant category possible to ensure you show up when potential customers search for businesses like yours and what you have to offer.
Running a business is tough enough, so it can be difficult to keep your GMB listing up-to-date as you assess your goals or even with the changing seasons.
By being strategic with the categories you choose for your GMB listing, it will lead to more success for your business.
To benefit fully from Google’s category optimization, don’t forget to include the complete NAP information (Name, Address, Phone Number). Furthermore, ensure that your listing is as complete as possible and has eye-catching photos.
Before you go and start selecting categories, make it a point to review Google’s Guidelines for knowing the Best Practices when setting up your Google Listing.
Giving your GMB listings the attention they need in the research and implementation phase will benefit your business greatly. Trust me, it’ll be worth taking the extra time to do this thoroughly instead of rushing through it carelessly. Then, you can periodically check back for any new categories that might help improve local SERP visibility and drum up more business.