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June 7, 2021

How To Choose The Right Google My Business Category

The main ways you can choose the right Google My Business category (that we will cover in more detail throughout this article) are:

  • Review your competitors’ categories
  • Do your own research
  • Choose the right primary category and add any others that are relevant as secondary categories
  • Review regularly and change categories if necessary

Choosing a Great Google My Business Category

Choosing a great Google My Business category is pretty straightforward when you know how, and getting the category right can have a big influence on your rankings within Google Maps. Even if you have already set-up your Google My Business account, it is still worthwhile going back to check to make sure your category is the most relevant for your business.

The primary category you choose is an important factor for Google’s local search algorithm and with nearly 4000 categories to choose from, it’s really worth your while putting in time and effort to get it right. You can of course, scroll through the list of categories or type what you think might be relevant based on the type of business you have but if want to take some short cuts and make life a bit easier then carry-on reading.

Google my Business puts the most value on the primary category for local search results, and it allows you to select up to 10 additional ones.  The emphasis here is choosing the most relevant category for your business, that best describes what your business does overall.

Here are the main things to do when choosing your Google My Business categories:

Step 1 – Review Your Competitors’ Categories

The quickest and easiest way to see the categories that are most likely to be relevant is have a look at the categories your competitors use.  I would recommend typing in keywords that are most relevant for your business into and seeing the range of businesses that come up along with their most relevant categories, this can be a great way to see the range of categories that are relevant for your business. When it comes to choosing keywords to type in, have a think about how your ideal customer searches for your business, consider keyword intent .eg. If someone is searching for “What is SEO” then it’s likely they are looking for information, if they are searching for “SEO Agency Perth” then they are likely looking for an agency to help them with their SEO (so you want to choose the keywords where someone is searching for a business like yours) and use local search terms if it’s relevant to do so.

Of course, your competitors categories may not necessarily be the right fit for your business, but it’s always helpful to investigate what they’ve done.

Step 2 – Do Your Own Research

I would recommend you do your own research and double check the Google My Business categories yourself, just log into your Google My Business account and go to the categories section. You can free type possible categories that might be relevant to your business and see what comes up, I find this method harder as the categories don’t always align with the business type. Eg. For my consultancy business, I run a digital marketing agency but the only relevant category is “internet marketing service” which isn’t how I would describe my business but it is the most relevant category for me.

Even though you’re allowed to choose up to 10 secondary categories, it’s not a target to aim for.

I recommend you choose as many categories as are really relevant to your business, and don’t choose ones which aren’t relevant just to fill the space. Your primary category describes your business accurately and the secondary categories can be used to communicate specialised services that you offer or to describe other unique features of your business.

The more strategic and specific you are with your choices, the greater your chances of featuring in local searches.  And as we all know, higher rankings and better online visibility translate into greater business opportunities and success.

Step  3 – Choosing a Category

Once you’ve done all the research, it’s time to choose.

Simply click on ‘Primary category’ and ‘additional categories’ in your Google My Business account and the entire list of categories will come up.  You can also search through the list using the CTRL + F function on your keyboard.

Step 4 – Review Regularly and Change Categories if Necessary

However carefully you’ve chosen your categories, you may find that Google add additional categories in the future that might be more relevant to your business. You can always update your choices, and in fact, it’s a good idea to review the situation regularly to make sure your categories align with your business goals. Taking the time to monitor and research GMB categories will help you optimise your listing, improve your rankings and ultimately, drive more traffic to your website.

Some Final Thoughts…

Google My Business is one of my favourite (and one of the most powerful) tools for businesses to boost their online visibility and attract targeted customers. I have a free guide to Google My Business here on my website

Google My Business is a topic that I cover extensively in my DIY SEO course, The SEO School, in fact there is a whole module dedicated to Google My Business. I designed this course especially for business owners and website managers who want to supercharge their websites into hard-working assets.

Whether you’re a local, national or international business, big or small, The SEO School is a great option if you want to learn the ins and outs of SEO (plus my insider secrets) at your own pace and implement a strategy as you go through the modules.  You can find out more at The SEO School.

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