Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is an essential part of a good local SEO campaign, so it’s important to understand all the different features it offers.
The business category list is a commonly overlooked part of citation building, but ignoring them could be costing you rankings and the revenue boost that comes with it.
Choosing the right GBP categories for your business not only helps users find you online, but also gives search engines the information they need to decide how to rank you.
Browse the list of Google Business Profile categories and choose the one that best suits your company to start with.
Choosing the most relevant GBP categories is a fast way to signal what your business is all about and start appearing in local search results for people looking for businesses like yours.
Consistent categories: Once you’ve added the most relevant Google Business Profile categories to your profile, make sure they’re consistent with your choices in other business category lists. To make life simple, Semrush’s Listing Management allows you to select up to 10 categories for your location, then matches it up with the small business categories list on up to 70+ top directories.
It’s not necessary to select 10 options from the list of business categories if there aren't 10 categories that are relevant to your business, so just choose the ones that most accurately describe what your business does.
Take your time browsing the Google Business Profile categories list to make sure you don’t miss any that could help you rank. Check out what your direct competitors are choosing for their categories and emulate them if it makes sense.
The more specific you can be, the better. For example, if your business is an Italian restaurant, that’s a better choice for your primary GBP category than simply “restaurant.”
If you’re not sure if a category is well suited to your business, run it through a Google Search and see what types of companies appear. If they’re similar to your business, it’s probably a good idea to include it in your own Google Business Profile categories list.
Change with the seasons: If your business focuses on different services at different times of the year, changing your GBP categories accordingly could help you maximize visibility year round. For example, perhaps you’re a small cafe that functions more as a coffee shop in the winter but sells more ice-cream in the summer months.
New options are added to the Google Business Profile categories list all the time, so if you can’t find the exact GBP category you’re looking for, check back at regular intervals.
Businesses with multiple distinct departments should choose the main product or service as the primary category and the other departments as additional categories. For example, a department store that has a pharmacy and florist should select “department store” as the main GBP category and “pharmacy” and “florist” as additional categories. However, a shopping mall housing multiple individual businesses should be listed under the “shopping mall” category, while each business should have its own Google Business Profile and relevant categories.
Some options from the business categories list unlock special features that can better showcase your business in SERPs. For example, Google Business Profiles listed under the “hotel” category can show their class ratings and even list the amenities available. Businesses listed under the “restaurant” category can add links to make reservations, as well as menus for users to browse before they visit.
To add or edit Google Business Profile categories:
Once you’ve added your new Google Business Profile categories, it can take up to 10 minutes for them to be approved.
Adding new categories may result in Google forcing you to re-verify your business to confirm you are indeed operating as the type of business you claim to be.
Optimize your website with content about your Google Business Profile categories so it’s clear to search engines that you’re an expert in your field.
It’s important to regularly edit your Google Business Profile to reflect any changes in your business categories to provide users with the most accurate, up-to-date information.
Track your progress: Semrush’s Listing Management is the best way to check the impact of your Google Business Profile category optimization, with reliable local rankings and an advanced Heatmap for Premium Location users that shows positions in a handy visual.
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