Being a digital marketing consultant means I spend most of my time looking for new ways to market my clients’ businesses to attract new customers.
That’s why I was so excited when I first discovered Google My Business (GMB). This latest offering from Google is designed to help business owners to take charge of what people see when they search for their businesses.
With Google My Business, you can create and manage your business profile and have it listed on Google Search or Maps, making it way easier for your customers to find you. Since business listing management is one of my skills and areas of interest, I was happy to introduce GMB to my clients as a new way of promoting their businesses and engaging with their customers.
Choosing the Right Category on Google My Business
Once you sign up for a business profile on GMB, you need to choose both a primary and secondary business category. This not only helps complete your profile but also boosts your business ranking in local packs and maps. The categories you choose play a huge role in determining your business’ online visibility.
The GMB categories change regularly so I always advise my clients to ensure that the primary category they select for their business is the best possible choice based on their business’ products or services as well as the goals they’d like to achieve.
So how do you go about choosing the best category for your business?
Let’s start with the primary category:
For single-location businesses with a narrow focus
e.g. a divorce attorney. In this case, you should select the specific category that best answers the question “This person is a/an…”
For single-location businesses with a broad focus
e.g. if your client is a gardener and landscaper. Here you ask the client to prioritize the business they’d like to concentrate on or build more. That’s the one you use as the primary category.
For practice/practitioner or agent/agency listings
e.g. a real estate office vs. a real estate agent. This happens where a business employee has their own designation and customer base. In this case, both the business and employee can technically have their own GMB listings but you need to test and see if they’re competing with each other which isn’t advisable.
For multi-location businesses
e.g. a business with different physical locations. The separate locations can also technically have their own GMB listings as long as you ensure their primary category listings are aligned with what they do in their respective locations.
Don’t forget about the secondary categories as they also influence business ranking and relevance. When choosing the secondary category, feel free to pick the business tags that didn’t make it to the primary category slot e.g. if you choose dentist as your primary category, choose dental office, dentistry, etc. as secondary categories.
Reach out to me if you need help with not only your GMB profile but also your local search rankings. We’ll work together to craft a digital marketing strategy that works for you and your business.