The business category that you choose to list in Google My Business (GMB) is critical. It will determine how Google will rank your business based on its relevance, every time your target audience goes on Search. You must choose one major category, and may add up to nine sub-categories.
Here are some pointers to help you maximize your success potential by choosing the best categories and sub-categories for your business:
- A category describes what your business is, not what it does or what it sells. For example, “Spanish Restaurant” is a category. “Tapas and Paellas” is not.
- Decide what your business priority will be in both the short and long term.
- Choose the category that completes this statement: “My business IS a” as opposed to the statement, “My business HAS a”. The same statement should also apply when you choose your sub-categories.
- Your category must describe the whole of your business, rather than parts of it. For example, if you own a department store with an ATM, don’t include the category, “ATM”. The ATM provider should create its own listing.
- Be very specific. If you sell organic vegetables, you will rank higher if your category is “organic vegetables” versus “shop” or “food seller”.
- Plan your main category and sub categories in advance. By choosing the most specific category, you make it easier for your target audience to find you.
- Check the list of Google categories in advance. For starters, you can check a list of synonyms at http://blumenthals.com/Google-Categories.html.
- Your main category should be consistent in all locations that you have. Consider this if you are planning future expansion nationwide and overseas.
- GMB has different category lists per country. You can consult the different business categories file list per country at https://developers.google.com/my-business/content/categories, and download the list for your country. This list is also useful if you plan to create new locations in different countries.
— Google My Business (@GoogleMyBiz) August 25, 2016
How to add a primary category:
- Go to GMB’s “Add your business” page.
- Select your country using the dropdown menu.
- Under “Category”, type the category that you have chosen.
- Auto-complete will recommend similar categories. Click one from the list, and copy it.
- Paste the category in the “Primary category” column. This will determine what icon will be displayed when your business appears in Google Maps.
- If the category you want isn’t listed, choose the next best alternative.
- If the category you want isn’t on the list, go to the three dash menu, click Feedback, and suggest your category. The list of categories is regularly revised by Google.
— Sam Hurley 😎💻😎 (@Sam___Hurley) February 25, 2017
How to add up to nine more categories to your business
Your sub-categories should also complete the statement, “My business IS a” instead of “My business HAS a.” To add more categories, do the following:
- Go to Google My Business.
- Click “Add a location”.
- Type the country where your locations are located. Choose the supported country from the list.
- Click “Categories”. Type the category you have selected. Auto-complete will provide a list of similar categories.
- Copy the category that you have chosen, then paste it in the “Additional categories” column.
- Separate each category with a comma.