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The Role of Google Categories in Local SEO


Whether you are just getting started with local SEO or you have been refining your strategy for years, it is a good idea to check in on how your account is set up from time to time. Selecting the right business category in Google is an important part of connecting to customers online.


Within Google, categories are used to describe businesses and connect businesses to customers searching for specific services or products. For example, when a person searches for “pizza restaurant,” Google will pull up local search results for businesses in the “Pizza Restaurant” category.


If the category you were planning to select is not available, select a more general category.


Even if your business appears to fit into multiple categories, you’ll still need to select a primary category that best describes your business as a whole. Do not add multiple categories as a way list all of the products and services you offer. For example, a supermarket that includes a coffee shop should not add the category “Cafe.” In that scenario, Google suggests that the coffee shop operator should create a separate listing with “Cafe” as the primary category. However, if your grocery store has a pharmacy, then you will want to choose “Grocery store” as the primary category and “Pharmacy” as an additional category.


To add a category to your listing, sign in to Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), open the location you’d like to manage, and click the pencil icon next to the primary category. If you add or edit an existing category, or if you make significant changes to your listing, you may be asked to verify your business again.


Tips When Selecting a Business Category


  • Choose the primary category that best describes the business as a whole.
  • Do not add multiple categories to list all available products or services.
  • Do use secondary categories to indicate separate lines of business offered at your location. 
  • Be as specific as possible.
  • Businesses cannot create their own categories.


While selecting the appropriate category is important, keep in mind that category is just one of a number of factors that Google considers in local rankings. To learn more about the other factors that could impact your brands’ position in local search, reach out to SOCi for assistance.

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localized marketing to the next level.