Leslie owns a local brewery.
She wants to drive more local customers to her business, so she decides to claim her Google My Business listing to help get more exposure. One of the first questions Google asks is for her to pick her Google My Business categories, but she doesn’t know what they are or how to find the right one.
If you’re like Leslie, you might be in a similar situation with your business — you may not know what Google My Business categories are or why you need them.
Luckily, we’ve got answers to your burning questions! We’ll answer questions like:
- What are Google My Business categories?
- Why should I use Google My Business categories?
- How do I choose the right categories for my business?
Plus, we’ll answer additional common questions in our FAQ section! Keep reading to learn more!
What are Google My Business categories?
Google My Business categories are labels that help your business appear in relevant search results. Google enables you to add up to 10 categories — including one primary category — that describe your business. The list of Google My Business categories contains nearly 4000 options.
Why should I use Google My Business categories?
Now that you simply know what Google My Business categories are, you’ll wonder why they’re important. How do they enhance your local listing?
Google business categories play a fundamental role in where your company appears in search results. By adding categories to your listing, you indicate your sort of business to Google, which helps Google show your company in relevant search results.
Choosing your category also determines what features you get on your local listing.
Here are a couple of scenarios where the category impacts the listing features:
- Restaurant categories give businesses access to features like online ordering and adding menus to their listing.
- Health and beauty categories give businesses access to booking appointments
- Hospitality categories give businesses access to show the quality rating, amenities offered, and check availability features
How do I choose the right categories for my business?
Now that you simply know the importance of choosing your Google My Business category, you’re wanting to dive in and choose yours. So, how does one choose categories for your listing?
First, start by either creating or claiming your Google My Business listing.
If you’re creating your Google My Business listing, Google will immediately ask you for a business category. you’ll always return and alter this later if you don’t have your list of categories you would like to use.
If you’re claiming your listing, you’ll change your categories by following these steps:
- Sign in to your Google My Business account
- Click the Edit button to change your primary category
- Click the Add Another Category button to add categories
- Add the categories
- Click Apply
Now that you know how to apply categories, it’s time to choose the right ones.
Here are two ways you can get ideas for listing categories:
1. Come up with a list of terms related to your business
To help you come up together with your list of Google My Business categories, start by generating an inventory of terms associated with your business. you would like to make an inventory of general and specific terms to work out the proper categories for your company.
For example, let’s say you own a family-owned Italian restaurant. to start out your list, you’ll add a broad term like “restaurant.” As you get more specific together with your categories, you’ll add words like “Italian restaurant” and “family restaurant” to your list of Google My Business categories.
You may also add some terms associated with your products, like “Italian food” or “Italian cuisine.”
Keep happening with this process until you’ve generated an in-depth list of options.
You’ll want to form an inventory of potential Google My Business categories to assist you, eventually, narrow down your focus and consider categories that will drive the foremost qualified traffic.
To help thereupon process, you’ll use a keyword research tool and connect your categories to ascertain the keyword volume for that term. It can assist you to determine which keywords have an honest enough volume for you to focus on them.
2. Look at your competitors’ categories
If you’re trying to find some inspiration when creating your list of Google My Business categories, you’ll address your competition. you would like to seem at what categories your competition uses to make sure you’re competing in your local market.
To start finding relevant terms, you want to determine the radius of your local market. Your local market is often as small as an area or as big as a city. You’ll got to decide how far out you would like to look.
Once you’ve got a general idea of the radius, you’ll want to notice all the companies within the surrounding area that qualify as competition.
After generating your list, download the Chrome plugin called GMBspy. once you install this plugin, you’ll check out any business on Google Maps and obtain an inventory of category keywords for that company.
It’s an excellent way for you to generate category ideas and ensure you’re competing with your competition in relevant search results.
Google My Business categories FAQ
Here are some common questions people have when trying to choose their Google My Business categories!
How many categories should I add?
One of the foremost common questions on Google categories for business regards the number of categories. Google enables you to feature up to 10 categories to your listing. While there are 10 slots available, it doesn’t mean you would like to use all of them!
When choosing tags, don’t add a tag for every single service or product type you offer. Instead, specialize in generic terms that describe what your business does or the sort of business you run.
For example, if you own a sports equipment store, you wouldn’t add categories for each sport your service. Instead, you’d want to use a generic category like “sporting goods” or “sports supplies.”
If your business offers quite one sort of service, use generic terms for those services too.
For example, many grocery stores have pharmacies and delis. So, in your category list, they might add “Pharmacy” and “Deli” additionally to “Grocery Store” as product categories.
Are there any instances where I shouldn’t use a certain category tag?
Yes. If you’ve got another independently operated business operating within your company’s location, you don’t want to use any categories that describe that business on your listing.
So, what does this mean?
Let’s check out Target to elucidate this better. Many Targets across the country have a Starbucks within them. albeit Starbucks uses Target’s retail space to serve guests that visit, it’s still independently owned by the Starbucks Corporation.
So, when Target chooses their Google business categories, they wouldn’t be ready to put “Coffee Shop” as a category option because Target doesn’t own Starbucks. Instead, Starbucks would need to create a separate Google My Business listing and add the “Coffee Shop” category tag to their listing.
You can see an example of the 2 separate listings from an equivalent location below:
In general, you’ll want to keep your categories specific to your business and choose your categories selectively to get the most from your local listing.
How often can I change my categories?
Whether you select one Google My Business category or multiple, there may come to some extent when your categories got to change, otherwise, you find ones that are more relevant to your business. So, that begs the question: How often are you able to change your categories?
Google doesn’t put a selected limit on what percentage times you’ll change your categories. If you modify your categories often, especially during a short period, Google may have you ever verify your business’s information to make sure the changes are legit.
Can I create my own category?
No — Google only enables you to choose from the list of categories they have available in their list of Google My Business categories.
What do I do if Google doesn’t offer my category?
Many businesses run into the difficulty where, when watching the Google categories for businesses, they don’t see one that accurately describes their organization. So, what does one do at this point?
If you run into this issue, you’ll need to choose a category that the majority accurately describes your business.
For example, if you own an organic cleaning service business, you’ll not see a category that addresses your cleaning business’s organic aspect. you’ll need to choose a category like “House Cleaning Service” or “Cleaning Service” and omit the organic part of your business.
However, that doesn’t mean that a tag like that won’t come along with it in the future! Google continually adds new category tags to their list, so you’ll check back and see if they find yourself adding a more relevant category tag for your business.
Get help optimizing your Google My Business listing
Besides your Google My Business categories, there are other aspects of your Google My Business listing you’ll want to optimize to drive local leads for your company. At Digitizal, we have a team of over 50+ experts that can help you optimize your listing.