How will this help you?
If you have claimed your Google My Business listing, you have probably selected a category and perhaps other categories that describe the services you offer. Use this guide to make sure you have done so correctly, ensuring you have the best opportunity for visibility to potential customers.
If you have not claimed your Google My Business listing, it is imperative to begin the process as soon as possible. To get started read our Google My Business Setup Guide, and view these statistics which illustrate why it’s so important.
What are Google My Business categories?
Categories are used to describe your business. For example, if your primary category is “Hair salon”, customers may find your business in local results when they search for “Hair”, “Beauty salons”, or “Salon”. Your category is one of many important factors that affect your local rank.
Choosing your primary category
When selecting your primary category, choose the one that most accurately describes your business as a whole. For example, if your business is a resort that includes a golf course, hotel and restaurant, you would want to select “Golf Resort”. Google automatically implies that your business includes a “Golf Course” and “Resort Hotel”. In essence, don’t choose the category that brings in the most money, perhaps the “Golf Course” in this example, select the most broad and accurate.
If you are in doubt, search for businesses that are similar to yours in other locations and see what their primary category is.
You can’t create your own category. If what you had in mind isn’t listed, choose something more general that still accurately describes your business.
In the above example, if the restaurant is owned by someone else, they should claim their business as a separate entity with Google My Business and not rely on being found as a sub-category under your listing. This will help both businesses in many ways as far as local search visibility.
Choosing other categories
When selecting other categories, use as few as possible that are not redundant to your primary category. You want to select categories that answer the question “this business IS a” opposed to “this business has a”. Do no use categories as keywords or that pertain to other businesses nearby or related. Doing so will dilute the importance and relevance given to the categories that do describe your business, hurting your search rank.
Domino’s offers pizza delivery and takeout but not on premise dining. They would want to use the the primary category of “Pizza Delivery” and additionally “Pizza Takeout”. (Opposed to the less specific “Delivery Restaurant” and “Takeout Restaurant”)
Motel 6 is a motel that has a pool, it should select “Motel” opposed to “Hotel” and not include “Swimming Pool” as a category.
Adding or editing your categories
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
- Click the pencil icon next to your primary category. Edit your primary category, or click Add another category.
- Click Apply when you’re done editing. You may be asked to verify your business again if you’ve made significant changes.
If your business is a certain type, your selected categories may unlock special features that you can highlight and include in your listing.
- Service businesses may be able to add a button to schedule or book a service and include a menu of their services.
- Hotels can list their amenities and display their class rating.
- Food and beverage businesses can add links to their online ordering, reservation system and menu. Menu items can be added directly to their listing.