Google Business Profile is such an excellent tool for businesses out there. It helps you get discovered by customers in your area who may not have even known about your business at all. To ensure you get the right leads off your GBP listing, you need to use the right categories. Here’s how to do it and create lots more new leads, every day.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GBP CATEGORIES
GBP categories are more important than you’d think. The categories you select will influence which areas of GBP you can use. For example, listing your business as ‘educational’ won’t allow you to use reviews on Google. If you’re Google Business Profile is listed under ‘car dealerships’, you’ll be able to have multiple listings for different dealerships. You want to get this right, so you can use the aspects of GBP that will bring in the most new business.
The categories you choose will have the most impact on your GBP ranking, overall. The higher your ranking, the more likely you are to show up in search results. If you choose wrongly, then Google may exclude you from certain rankings. It’s an easy mistake to make, but you’ll see that it can have a massive impact on your success.
You’ll be asked to choose a category for your business as soon as you sign up for Google Business Profile. It’s important you choose carefully, but be aware that you can change them later if needs be. You’re allowed to choose up to 10 categories, and the first one will be your primary category. That’s the most important listing, so choose this with care.
WHICH CATEGORY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
It’s so important to choose the right categories, as they impact your ranking so much. That’s why it’s so important to take your time with it and choose carefully. Here’s your guide to getting it right:
Research search terms: What are the most important search terms for your business? You need to nail this down so you can pick out all the right categories. First, create a list. Include the type of business you are, and all the sub terms that can include. For example, if you’re a supermarket, you may also be listed as a ‘natural foods store’, ‘health store’, ‘grocers’, and so on.
Also, list all the services you offer. If you own a laundry service, then you may list ‘coin operated laundry’, ‘ironing services’, and ‘dry cleaning’.
Now, take these terms and plug them all into a keyword volume tool. Note down the volume of each keyword, as you’re looking for the terms that get the most results.
Research your competitors: Now you have your keywords, start using them to search your local market. You’re looking to see who’s your competition in your local area. This area can be larger or smaller, depending on your business. An auto trader, for example, would cover the whole city. A local coffee shop, on the other hand, may only cover the immediate neighbourhood.
Once you’ve searched, make a list of all the competitors you found as you were looking. You can then use online tools to look up their GBP categories. Once you know these, you can start considering what categories you’ll use.
Use tools to get category suggestions: It’s not always apparent which categories you should use when it comes to GBP. That’s why you should every tool at your disposal to get recommendations. These will fetch all available categories that are relevant to your business, so you can pick out ones that your competition are missing out on.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE CHOOSING CATEGORIES
There’s a lot to know about GBP categories, and it can feel overwhelming trying to get it all right. Here’s what you need to know.
Choose as many categories as are relevant to you: You have the option to choose up to 10 categories for your business. It’s tempting to fill all 10 slots, to try and get more business. In truth though, you should choose only as many as are relevant to you. If you pick categories that aren’t quite right, it may hurt your rankings. For example, if you’re a take away pizza restaurant, it won’t help you to list your store under ‘French cuisine’ or something similar.
Don’t worry if you can’t find the right category: In most cases, you’ll be able to find the category that works best for your business. If you can’t though, you can go to Google with evidence showing why your category should be added. In the mean time, you can use the category that most closely matches your business. You can use images, description, and more to create more accurate info about what your business does.
Ensuring you have the right categories: You’ve done all the work you can, but you aren’t getting the results you need. If that’s the case, you can do some trouble shooting to see if you’re using the right business categories. Check to see that your categories match other top ranking businesses, and keep an eye on Analytics. Also, remember that sometimes edits are made to categories which will affect your rankings. These can be based on bad data, so be ready to make adjustments if needs be.
Create listings for multi entity businesses: Normally, Google won’t allow for a business to have more than one listing. There are some examples though, where they will. These can be places with multiple departments, like medical centres, or multi practitioner businesses such as legal firms. It makes sense for them to have different listings as they’ll need different categories, to send customers to the right place.
It’s so important to get your categories right when you’re setting up your GBP listing. Get them right, and you’ll be able to drive more business your way then ever before. Get them wrong though, and they may not be able to even find you. With these tips, you’ll get it right and create more leads than ever before.