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 Google Business Profile, it shows up in the Knowledge Panel and under the star rating as “[Category] in [City], [State]”, such as Plumber in San Francisco, California.
A GBP 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 GBP 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 Business Profile 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 to the GBP 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 GBP listing. This plus the one primary category makes for a maximum total of 10 categories you are allowed to add to your GBP.
The categories are usually keywords for the business, though they don’t have to be.
Google has also linked categories to services in the GBP. Services can be added or updated under whichever category is most relevant for that service. You can add services suggested by Google or add a custom service.
For example, a GBP with the primary category ‘Locksmith’ 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 GBP almost revolves around the primary category. As such, take time to research possible categories through competitor analysis, tools like PlePer, or Google Business Profile itself before selecting the best one.
These services are visible when viewing the GBP 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. You can also expand on the category in your business description.
For GBPs 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 to the GBP are only for relevant services that you provide and ensure that this information is also added to your website.
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