Categories are key – why categories play a crucial role for your business in local search

Setting up the right primary category of your business is crucial for your ranking on Google search and Google Maps. Choosing the wrong primary category could hurt your business more than you think, mainly by losing both customers and revenue. In fact, according to Search Engine Land, the business category is one of the most important ranking factors. However, Google makes updates and changes all the time, from adding to removing categories. Staying up to date with the changes and adapting to them requires both time and effort. 

Today there are almost 4000 categories to choose between on Google My Business. You can choose one primary category, but up to ten subcategories of your business. To make the right decision regarding the category is one of the most important decisions when optimising your Google My Business profile. 

Local SEO really matters 

Google awards companies by relevance, distance and prominence. 

 “Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for your search.”

Google

Relevance is all about how well your company fits the search intent of the customer. In order to be relevant you have to be specific and keep your focus. Proximity is all about the location of the searcher and your business. Proximity is not only about the distance between you and your customer, but also about how good your local oriented content is. Last but not least, prominence is all about the online activity around your company and on its Google My Business profile. This includes reviews, content, events and the accuracy of the profile. 

The category defines whether your business shows up in relevant searches or not. Therefore, it is recommended to keep these three simple rules in mind when choosing your category. 

Be specific. The more specific your category is the less competition you’ll end up having. 

Only add a few subcategories. The more categories you add to your business the weaker they get. Make sure to pic only the most relevant categories for your business. 

Describe your business. Don’t describe the service provided or any other amenities of your business. For example if your restaurant has a bar or a lounge, don’t use these as categories. Make sure your categories represent the main business. 

Additionally, some categories have category-specific features that make your profile even better. From online booking buttons, hotel amenities to class ratings. These features make the customer journey even smoother than before. Build strong relationships and enhance your customer retention by providing your customers with a seamless experience online. 

By following these recommendations and by constantly being proactive on Google My Business you´ll uphold your customer relationships and build new strong ones. In fact, by being relevant and proactive on Google my Business, you can turn online searchers into customers.

Resources

https://searchengineland.com/7-things-you-might-not-know-about-google-my-business-categories-310312

https://support.google.com/business/answer/7249669?hl=en

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