Read Time: 3 minutes

How to Choose and Set Your Google Business Profile Categories


As a multi-location business, a strong online presence is a must. Selecting the correct primary and additional Google Business Profile (GBP) categories can increase your local search rankings and make it easier for local users to find your business. 


According to Whitespark’s 2023 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, GBPs’ primary category is the number one local pack/finder ranking factor. Your additional GBP categories are the seventh-highest ranking factor. 


It’s evident GBP categories matter, but how do you choose and change yours? 


In this article, we’ll explain how multi-location companies should select primary and additional GBP categories and how to set them.


What Are Google Business Profile Categories?


GBP categories are labels or classifications businesses can give themselves that describe what the business is to Google and its users. For instance, you can select categories such as restaurant, nail salon, home goods store, mortgage broker, and more.


There are over 4,000 GBP categories, and Google adds or removes categories on a regular basis. Here you’ll find a complete and updated list of categories. 


You can select up to 10 categories — your primary category, which will be shown first, and nine additional categories. We recommend selecting your primary category and two to three additional categories if necessary. Here’s an example of where you’ll see a GBP category.

Screenshot of a DICK’S Sporting Goods store’s business category on its GBP


How to Change Your Google Business Profile Category 


Changing your GBP is relatively simple. Here’s how you can update your GBP category in three easy-to-follow steps.


Step 1: Sign into your Google Business Profile 


Step 2: Once logged in, click the “Edit profile” icon

Example Google Business Profile showing the Edit profile icon with a green rectangle around it.

Step 3: You can then fill in your primary and additional categories by typing in different category names. You can use this GBP category list as a resource to choose categories.

Example of editing your Google Business Profile and choosing a primary and additional category

Tips for Selecting Your Categories


With over 4,000 different GBP categories, it can feel overwhelming to choose the correct ones. Remember, your primary category will appear on your GBP in Google Search or Maps and should best match your line of business. 


In general, we recommend considering the following:


Try to Best Match Your Services:


GBP categories are meant to help customers find accurate and specific results for services they’re looking for. For your primary category, you should select the most specific category that adequately represents your main line of business. For instance, a Motel 6 should be listed as a “motel” and not a “hotel.” 


You want your GBP categories to reflect the statement, “this business is a [insert category]” versus “this business has a [insert category].” For example, a Shell with an ATM inside is a “gas station” Don’t select “ATM” as an additional category. 


Look at Local Competitors: 


Research what other local competitors are categorized as. If most of them use the same category, you should also. It doesn’t help to be an outlier unless your primary services or products differ, e.g., choosing “vintage clothing store” versus “clothing store.”


Consider Attributes:


You also want to consider the attributes associated with each category. If you don’t know, Google attributes are informational labels you can add to your GBP. Available attributes depend on the business category you select. 


For instance, the “apartment complex” category gives you the open and closed hours attribute, while the “apartment building” category does not.


If you need help managing your local listings, including your GBPs and their categories, consider using SOCi Listings

SOCi Listings allows you to manage your local listings at scale effectively. For your GBPs, SOCi’s dashboard and API will show you which attributes match each GBP category, making choosing the correct Google business categories easier.

Learn how SOCi can help take your
localized marketing to the next level.