What Is Category?
Category: What a business is and does.
A category denotes the products and services of a business or what field they are in. In the GMB listing, it shows up in the Knowledge Panel and under the reviews as “[Category] in [City], [State]”, such as Plumber in San Francisco, California.
A GMB category is not to be confused with blog or product categories, which relate to a company’s website.
A company can choose from nearly 4000 categories to add to their GMB Listing. Do note that categories will vary by country and will also change over time so a category that your competitor may have used earlier may not be available to you now.
Google My Business listings can have more than one category. However, only one will be viewable to a user at a time and Google decides which search queries to match with any of the categories added in the GMB listing. The main category is the one openly displayed to users and is known as the primary category.
‘Marketing Agency’, ‘Locksmith’, ‘Accountant’, ‘Moving Company’, and ‘Hospital’ are all examples of primary categories that a business might use.
Other related categories are the additional categories or secondary categories. This change was made by Google around November of 2018.
For example, a business with ‘Marketing Agency’ set as their primary category may decide to use ‘Marketing Consultant’, ‘Advertising Agency’, and ‘Business Development Service’ as additional categories. They may use all or some, but it makes sense as they relate to the primary category.
There can be up to 9 additional categories for a GMB Listing. This plus the one primary category makes for a maximum total of 10 categories you are allowed to add to your GMB.
Google has also linked categories to services in the GMB.
Services can be added/updated under whichever category is most relevant for that service. You can add services suggested by Google or add your own custom service.
For example, a ‘Locksmith’ category may have ‘Commercial locksmith’, ‘Automotive locksmith’, and ‘Residential locksmith’ all listed as custom services under it.
This linking of categories to services further underscores how critical categories are since the entire GMB almost revolves around the primary category. As such, take time to research possible categories through competitor analysis, tools, or Google My Business itself before selecting the best one.
These services are visible when viewing the GMB knowledge panel on a smartphone.
Remember that the primary category should resemble what your business is, not what it sells or does, which is what the services and secondary categories are for. For GMBs of businesses with many services, use a broad or general primary category with specific secondary categories under which you can add the related services. If you get your categories right, everything else should fall into place.
DigitalBull GO Tip: Make sure that the categories you add in the GMB are only for relevant services that you provide and ensure that this information is also added on your website.
Category Audit Parameters in DigitalBull GO
Here are the subfactors/parameters for Category that are analyzed in the DigitalBull GO Local SEO Audit Tool:
Category Guidelines in Google My Business from Google
Google My Business Categories List – Blog post by Pixel Cut Labs
How to Correctly Choose Categories for GMB – Blog post by Web 2.0 Ranker
Category in DigitalBull GO
22nd June 2020 Upgrade – Category is currently #12 on the Ranking Factors standings.
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