Selecting the right Google My Business categories can help improve your business’ online presence, especially among locals. These classifications group businesses with similar characteristics, allowing a search engine to provide more accurate and relevant results based on a user’s search.
The Importance of Google My Business Categories
Aside from improving your business’ searchability, Google My Business categories can also determine the features that are available in your GMB listing. Some features, like booking buttons, Google Posts and reviews, aren’t available for specific categories like hotels and educational institutions. Categories also affect the menus you can use in your listing, the attributes that are associated with your business and your hours of operation.
How to Choose Google My Business Categories
There are currently over 5000 (you read that right) categories available so it can be hard to choose which one is right for your business. For others, it might be easy, such as restaurants with specific regional cuisines but for other businesses, they might have a hard time deciding whether to use one or the other. For example, if you sell conditioners with after-sales services, you don’t know which one to prioritise: Air Conditioning System Supplier or Air Conditioning Store. Our quick tips will help you find out which one, ultimately, is the right primary category for you.
Determine Important Search Phrases
To figure out the correct category for your business, you should first know the search phrases and terms that are relevant to your company. Create a list that includes your business’ type and the different subtypes and qualifiers that fall under this umbrella. For instance, if you own a restaurant, variants under this category can include the cuisine you are specialising in, the kind of customers you want to attract and the overall ambience of your establishment.
You should also make a list of the complete goods and services that your business offers. If you own a roofing company, your list may include roof repairs, gutter cleaning, replacements and maintenance. Meanwhile, a tutoring service may list the different subjects they specialise in such as English, Mathematics and History. This will allow Google to have a better understanding of your business.
When done, enter this list into a keyword research tool to discover the terms that have the highest potential search volume. By choosing the keywords with the highest search volume, you can improve your ranking on search engines.
Identify Your Primary Competitors
Take these high ranking keywords and search for them in your local market. Your market could be as small or as large as you’d like, depending on your business model and how willing customers are to travel for your business.
If you own a small, artisanal coffee shop, your local market may be limited to the neighbourhood around your business. On the other hand, businesses like a theme park or a highly-reviewed restaurant will most likely have a larger local market, as more people would be willing to travel just to visit it.
Determine the primary competitors in your local market and note the primary categories they used. You can search them on Google by typing in their business name + location. The category most used by competitors, and the one that most accurately describes your company, is an excellent choice for your own primary category. Alternatively, list the categories that are used by the businesses that rank first for refined search phrases and consider using them for your business as well.
Consider Adding a Secondary Category
Once you’ve chosen a primary category, we recommend adding secondary categories. You can select up to nine secondary categories to help Google further refine your business listing. You can select the “rejected” choices for primary categories as your secondary.
Going back to our very first example, if you decide that your primary category is ‘Air Conditioning System Supplier’ and not ‘Air Conditioning Store’, you could choose ‘Air Conditioning Repairs’ and ‘Air Conditioning Replacement’ as secondary categories as you have after-sales services and you want to highlight that as well.
In summary, your business will greatly benefit from choosing the right categories in your Google My Business listing. Once you have these in place and consistently maintain your listing, you’ll soar higher than your competitors in no time.
PRO TIP: Did you know that you can add Google My Business categories using the DigitalMaas Platform? We have a quick guide on adding your categories using the Platform. If you have more than one location, you can also opt to edit your categories in bulk. Be sure to import your existing listing or create one on the Platform.
Consider signing up today to make the most out of Google My Business. We’re in the business of optimising your Google My Business listing with the best strategies local SEO has to offer and more. Sync your listing and update your details on the platform within seconds and see the important metrics that will help you find customers faster and get ahead of your competitors. Ready to make a difference?