The correct setup of your Google My Business listing is imperative to ensure your business is correctly displayed to your future customers in the local pack.
Many business owners and SEO agencies overlook the vital importance of categorization when setting up a GMB profile.
Below we have outlined 6 important facts about GMB categorization you need to know to ensure your listing is set up and displayed correctly.
1. Proper Categorization Could Make Or Break Your Listing.
According to a comprehensive survey by moz proper GMB categorization came in at number 3 in the 2018 top factors affecting local pack listings.
2. Anyone Can Change Your Business Category Without You Knowing It!
Business competition is fierce and tactics are not always ethical. Anyone has the opportunity to suggest an edit by clicking on the “suggest an edit” link on your listing:
Once this link is clicked, a visitor has the option of changing the main category your business falls under:
These changes may occur instantly. Although Google has stated that all GMB account managers receive an email notification whenever an edit is suggested, that is not always the case.
In order to protect your listing from bogus edits, we suggest you regularly log into your GMB profile and review all of the suggested edits.
To view all suggested edits, once logged into your GMB dashboard click on “Google updates”
3. Your Primary Category Fuels Your Overall Rank
Ensure that your primary category is as descriptive of your main service offering as possible.
For example, if you’re a nail salon, your primary category should be “nail salon” and not just “salon”.
4. Use The “Secondary Category Option” Wisely.
Your primary category is the only category that will be visible in your GMB listing:
However, you can also add additional categories to help Google better understand your business.
Though adding a high number of additional categories may increase your visibility in search results, aim at specificity over diversity.
For example, if you own a gym which includes a café, you should not include the additional category “café” but rather include additional categories that are related to the gym to help better define your services.
The café within your gym would need a separate GMB listing specifically for the café.
5. Google Can Add Or Remove Categories At Any Time.
If you cannot find a particular category it may have been completely removed.
To help keep you updated on all current GMB categories, the team at PlePer have developed a dynamic list that is regularly updated every 3 days via the Google My Business API.
Accessing this list is incredibly easy, simply head over to plper tools select your country and you’re done!
To find out which categories were added or removed since the list was last updated; a handy free tool called Diffchecker can be used.
Simply paste different versions of the GMB category listings in each of the two columns in Diffchecker and click “Find Difference”
6. You Can View A List Of The Categories Your Competitors Are Using Without Them Knowing It!
This brilliant technique is presented by the talented Joy Hawkins in her local SEO guide.
It’s a simple 3 step process:
Step 1: Go to your competitor’s map listing.
Step 2: Right click and select “View Source”
Step 3: Press ctrl + F and search for the primary category as displayed on their GMB listing. You will then see their primary category followed by a list of all additional categories:
There you have it, the 6 essential facts you need to know to ensure your Google My Business listing continuously outrank your competitors.