We know by now just how important it is to have a Google My Business listing, but there is no point having a list at all if the information isn’t up-to-date and correct. This is a common mistake made by many businesses.
One of the areas that causes some confusion with Google My Business is business categories. Thebusiness category can have a huge impact on the search terms your listing is returned for, so it’s extremely important to get it right!
You are able to have both primary and secondary categories for the business on the listing, but you must choose from a list of over 3,500 existing categories created by Google.
There is no concrete evidence to suggest how many categories you should include, but Google have suggested in the past that businesses should use as few categories as possible which may be something to bear in mind.
Choosing a Google My Business category
The most obvious method for selecting your business category is to choose the item in the list that most accurately represents your business. This is, of course, easier for some businesses than others.
You should also bear in mind the search terms you’d like to appear for when choosing the category.
So, if you offer multiple services, the recommendation would be to either select the category that is closest to the main service you provide or the one you would like to appear most in search results for.
If you’re still struggling, it can also be helpful to have a look at similar businesses in your sector to see what category they’ve chosen. The vocabulary used in the category list is rather Americanised, so if you’re from anywhere else in the world it’s easy to miss a category that might fit your business unless you have an example to base your search from.
To check which secondary categories a business is using on their listing, find their Google My Business listing in search results and right click on it. From the list that appears, click ‘View Page Source’.
This will open a new tab including the HTML source code for the listing. To find something specific, open the search function by pressing Control + F (Command + F on a Mac). In the small window that appears in the top right, type in the primary category displayed publicly against the business’ listing.
The search function will then take you directly to a section of the page that shows the primary category, and any secondary categories being used will be displayed alongside in brackets.
Adding your business category to Google My Business
If you’re creating a brand-new listing, you will be invited to enter a business category during the step-by-step creation process.
If you’re looking to add or update a business category on an existing listing, this can be done by logging into your Google My Business account.
Once you’ve logged in, navigate to your chosen listing and select the ‘Info’ panel on the left-hand side.
Just below the title of the listing, there will be a smaller section of text. This is the business category and clicking on the pencil icon will allow you to edit it.
You can begin to type your business category into the field provided, and the options relating to your entry will begin to pop up. Select the best one for your business and then click apply to add the category to your listing.
Displaying your business category on Google My Business
Once you’ve added your Google My Business category (through the info panel within your Google My Business dashboard) it will appear underneath the title, actions and review details on your listing: