Google My Business categories are keywords chosen by you to describe what type of business your company is. They also tell search engines which types of searches you are relevant for . For example, a law firm may select any of the following business categories, “Criminal Justice Attorney,” “Personal Injury Attorney,” or “Law Firm.”

Categories are created every time a new listing is added. Google allows you to choose up to 10 categories from their pre-set list. Failure to properly categorize your business can negatively impact your business’ ability to rank in Google’s local results packs.

Google My Business, also known as GMB, is a vital part of any Local SEO strategy in the internet marketing world. To reap the most benefits from your GMB listing, you need to take advantage of the Google My Business categories. These categories are very important because they help increase your exposure, improve your web rankings, and show up on Google Maps!

In this blog post, our internet marketing agency in Toronto shares with you a few useful tips on how to properly set your categories for your GMB listings.

How to Add or Edit Your Google My Business Listings Categories

Adding and editing categories in your Google My Business listing is very easy. Follow these 4 simple steps to adding/editing your categories:

Step #1: Sign into your Google My Business Account
Step #2: If you manage multiple businesses , open the one that you wish to edit or add categories for.
Step #3: Click the pencil icon, which can be found next to your primary category. You may edit your primary category or choose to add a new “secondary” category.
Step #4: Click apply when you are done editing.

How to Find a Competitor’s Google My Business Categories

There are 3,294 Google My Business categories. Google frequently adds new ones. This makes it harder for businesses to know which ones are relevant and which ones will bring the most success to an internet marketing campaign. In this case, spying on your competitors may help generate good category ideas.

Step 1: Open Google Maps.
Step 2: Find a listing of one or your main competitors.
Step 3: Position your mouse cursor, which adjacent to primary business category.
Step 4: Right-click on the Google Maps listing.
Step 5: Select “View Page Source”
Step 6: Use CTRL + F or CMD + F to open the document search box.
Step 7: Type in the competitor’s primary category.
Step 8: Scroll through highlighted text in the source code to find other categories used.

Please note: Businesses that made significant changes to their account may be asked to reverify.

Selecting the Right Local Business Categories | Internet Marketing Agency Toronto

Your main “primary” category should ideally describe your business as a whole; do not add multiple categories that simply list all of your products and services. For example, if you are in the business of running a fitness gym with a cafe; do not use “Café” as a category. Leave this type of category to businesses whose primary focus is restaurant/cafe.

As well, be specific when selecting your category; you can only select 10. For example, use “nail salon” instead of “salon”. Use additional categories to let customers know more about the specific services you offer. If you manage a supermarket that includes a pharmacy and deli, you would choose “Grocery store” as your primary category and “Pharmacy” and “Deli” as additional categories.

5 Important Reminders about Google My Business Categories

1. The categories you select and see on your dashboard may appear differently on Google. That is because every category has a GCID (a unique identifier) . GCID never changes, but the names of the categories vary based on the country where the search is performed. It is also not unusual for Google to simply display the GCID in Google Local results.

2. The primary category holds more ranking power. We always suggest that a business pick their primary category wisely because it holds more ranking weight than secondary categories. The primary category is the first category you select in the Google My Business dashboard.

3. Perfect your description. The description part of your profile should be used to add color to your listing. Use this space to highlight the features of your business that attract customers most and set you apart from competitors. You only get 750 characters here, so do not repeat information that is already seen in other fields and mention at least 1 or 2 categories that are relevant to your business. Also keep in mind that only the first 250 characters show up in the Knowledge Panel, so prioritize your information.

4. While spying on competitors is a common white hat SEO practice, copying all their categories is not. The idea is to see what competitors are doing to rank high on SERPs and try to incorporate some of the ideas and strategies in your own campaign. Perhaps they have a category selected to match your desired keyword. Or they may have a GMB Listings description that incorporates one or more important keywords.

5. Add the least number of Google My Business categories possible to describe your business.

About iRISEmedia | Internet Marketing Agency | Toronto

iRISEmedia is an internet marketing company located in Toronto that provides digital marketing services for clients in Canada, the U.S. and globally. The digital services include social media marketing, website design, SEO and SEM, app development, online reputation management and online PR. Our team helps clients manage and grow their online presence and branding to maximize their digital ROI. For any internet marketing needs or inquiries, please contact us today at 1-855-493-3622 or visit us on our website.