How to Choose a Category for your Google Business Profile

March 15, 2024
Selecting the right business categories for your Google Business Profile.

In a world where everything has gone digital, local businesses are no exception. They need to be found and found often online in order to survive their competition. One of the greatest tools to help local businesses do this, is the Google Business Profile (GBP). If you are unfamiliar with what a Google Business Profile is or if it is right for your business, start by reading our Ultimate Google Business Profile Guide.

Selecting the right primary and secondary categories is one of the most important steps in setting up your Google Business Profile. The category field provides Google with valuable insights into your business and its operations, enhancing its ability to display your business information in response to valuable local search queries. However, due to the multitude of available categories and the constant addition of new ones alongside the removal of old ones, this procedure may not be as simple as it initially seems.

What are Google Business Profile categories?

Google Business Profile categories are predefined labels that you can assign to your business listing on Google. These categories help users and search algorithms understand what type of business you operate. When people search for businesses on Google Maps or Google Search, they often use these categories as keywords to find relevant results.

How Many Categories Can You Have?

While there are over 4,000 business categories, each GBP listing is only allowed to have one primary category and up to nine secondary categories. However, this does not mean that you should aim to fill all ten categories – you should only assign categories that are truly related to your business.

Which GBP Categories are Right for My Business?

Properly choosing Google Business Profile categories can significantly influence the success of your local SEO endeavors. Applying incorrect categories not only risks confusing prospective customers but also compromises visibility to search engines, thereby jeopardizing crucial revenue streams.

There are a few steps you should take when deciding on a Google Business Profile category:

  1. Thoroughly review the list of available categories
  2. Review direct competitors online and determine what categories they are using
  3. Test a few categories by conducting a Google search and analyze the results – if they businesses that appear are similar to yours, then you are definitely on the right track.

Additional Tips When Selecting a Business Category

1. Be Specific

If your business has a speciality or specific focus, then it is recommended to choose a category that is more specific. For example, if your business is a fine dining restaurant, it is often better to select this as your primary category, rather than just restaurant.

2. Consider Seasonality

If your business changes focus depending on the season or time of year, it is recommended to update your business categories accordingly.

3. Layer Categories if your Business has Multiple Offerings

If your business has multiple departments or offers various services/products, it is recommended to choose your main business focus as the primary category, and then layer the others as secondary categories.

For example, if you are a law firm with many areas of practice, you would choose “law firm” as your primary category, and then choose secondary categories like “family law attorney” and “civil law attorney”.

4. Something is Better Than Nothing

If you are looking through the business categories and truly can’t find something that specifically matches your business, it is recommended to choose the next best thing. Even if the category is a bit too broad, it is better to have one category outlined than none.

Also, Google frequently updates its list of business categories, so it’s important to stay up to date because something more relevant may come along.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile to Enhance Visibility

Selecting a business category for your Google Business Profile is very important and does have weight in terms of organic rankings. While it may seem like a simple task, some thought and a bit of research should guide your final decision.

Once you have that done, don’t stop there! There are many other aspects to your Google Business Profile you should optimize and take advantage of.

In need of assistance with managing your Google Business Profiles? Ontario SEO is here to support you. Our team of professionals specializes in optimizing and maintaining profiles, allowing you to allocate your energies towards serving your customers. Let us handle the intricacies of profile management while you concentrate on cultivating meaningful customer relationships.