Google My Business categories

Dhiraj Nallapaneni

11 min read Last Updated Nov 28, 2022

Google My Business Categories - an illustration of a woman running with a magnifying glass

The Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is going to be your first introduction to many of your customers. That’s why it’s important to claim your profile, add accurate contact information, and add the right Google My Business categories. 

But what Google My Business categories are right for your business? For many businesses, it might not be immediately clear. Let’s share some facts about Google Business Profile categories and talk about how you can select the right one for your business.

What are Google Business Profile categories?

Google Business Profile categories describe your business and are one of many factors that affect your local ranking on Google. The category shows both Google and prospective customers what kinds of services you provide.

For example, if your main category is “Hamburger Restaurant,” Google can display your business when a user searches for Restaurants, Hamburger Restaurants, or Hamburger. The main category describes your business as a whole.

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Why are Google My Business categories important?

According to Moz, Google My Business is the #1 factor determining your local search ranking. The more complete your Google My Business listing is, the better chance your business has of ranking at the top of local searches. That makes it important to select the right Google My Business categories.

If you’re in the right Google My Business categories, it will make it more likely that your business will rank higher for relevant searches. If you’re an urgent care facility, you’re much more likely to show up in searches for “urgent care” if you have “urgent care” as your primary category. 

Of course, Google My Business categories can hurt you. If you have a category that isn’t an ideal description of your services, it’s going to be much harder for you to get discovered by potential customers.

3 things you should know about Google Business Profile categories 

Before we start talking about how you can choose your Google Business Profile categories, here are three things you need to know. 

  1. You can’t create your own category. There is no way that businesses can create their own category. You must use one of the existing Google My Business categories that Google has created.
  2. Google Business Profile categories are constantly changing. The list of categories does not stay the same year after year. Google may add or subtract different categories as time goes on. 
  3. Your primary category matters. While you can choose up to ten categories, the choice that has the most impact is your primary category. Make sure that you choose the primary category that best fits your business services (more on this later).

Complete list of Google Business Profile categories

There are thousands of categories Google has created. Finding a match for your business shouldn’t be a problem. Below is only a partial list just to give you an idea of what’s available.

Google Business Profile Categories

AbbeyBaby clothing storeCabaret clubDaihatsu dealereCommerce agency
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizationBaby storeCabin rental agencyDairyE-commerce service
Aboriginal art galleryBaby swimming schoolCabinet makerDairy farmEar piercing service
Abortion clinicChildminderCabinet storeDairy farm equipment supplierEarth works company
Abrasives supplierBaden restaurantCable CompanyDairy storeEast African restaurant
Abundant Life ChurchBadminton clubCadillac dealerDairy supplierEast Javanese restaurant
AccountantBadminton complexCafeDan Dan noodle restaurantEastern European restaurant
Accounting firmBadminton courtCafeteriaDance clubEastern Orthodox Church
Accounting SchoolBag shopCajun restaurantDance CompanyEating disorder treatment center
Accounting software companyBagel shopCake decorating equipment shopDance ConservatoryEclectic restaurant

Follow this link for the complete list which includes nearly 4,000 more categories.

How can I pick the right Google Business Profile category 

Google lets you pick one primary category and up to nine secondary categories. Right now, there are nearly 4,000 Google Business Profile categories. It’s hard to go through the entire list and pick just a few categories that are right for your business. Here’s how you can make the job easier. 

Use Secondary Categories 

While your primary category holds the most importance when it comes to search ranking, secondary categories can still provide a boost in your search ranking. If you’re an Italian restaurant, you can put “Italian restaurant” as your primary category but also put in “restaurant” or “pizza restaurant” as secondary categories. You are allowed to select up to 9 secondary categories. 

Have a broad focus 

There are some businesses that have broad focuses. Maybe you’re a contractor who provides a variety of different home services. In this case, you will need to find one category where you want to attract the most customers. If you decide that you get the most income from plumbing, you can put that as your primary category.

Keep in mind seasonality 

Your business might have different focuses based on different times of the year. For example, a retailer might focus on selling costumes near Halloween but might sell Christmas clothing during the holidays. Make sure that your primary category reflects whatever your business’s current focus is. 

Experiment with your categories 

If you really don’t know which primary category would be best for your business, don’t worry. Just take some time to experiment with different primary categories. You can use Google Business Profile insights to monitor how often your listing is being viewed over time. Do some tweaking to figure out which categories perform the best for you. 

Unsure how to add or edit your Google Business Profile categories that show up in Search. Let’s go over step-by-step how to accomplish this on some of the most popular devices.

Android

  1. Sign in to your Google account on your Android device.
    1. Be sure you’re using the same Google account that controls your Google Business Profile.
  2. Next, go to your Google Business Profile.
    1. To locate your profile either search Google using your exact business name or type ‘my business’ in the search bar.
  3. To begin editing your profile, near the top tap Edit profile > Business information.
  4. Under ‘About,’ select Business category.
  5. In the ‘Primary category’ box, enter and select the appropriate category for your business.
  6. To add secondary categories, tap Add another category.
  7. In the ‘Additional category’ box, enter and select the category you want to add.
  8. Tap Apply.

Apple

  1. Sign in to your Google account on your Apple device (iPhone, iPad, etc.).
    1. Be sure you’re using the same Google account that controls your Google Business Profile.
  2. Next, go to your Google Business Profile.
    1. To locate your profile either search Google using your exact business name or type ‘my business’ in the search bar.
  3. To begin editing your profile, near the top tap Edit profile > Business information.
  4. Under ‘About,’ select Business category.
  5. In the ‘Primary category’ box, enter and select the appropriate category for your business.
  6. To add secondary categories, tap Add another category.
  7. In the ‘Additional category’ box, enter and select the category you want to add.
  8. Tap Apply.

PC

  1. Sign in to your Google account on your Apple device (iPhone, iPad, etc.).
    1. Be sure you’re using the same Google account that controls your Google Business Profile.
  2. Next, go to your Google Business Profile.
    1. To locate your profile either search Google using your exact business name or type ‘my business’ in the search bar.
  3. To begin editing your profile, near the top tap Edit profile > Business information.
  4. Under ‘About,’ select Business category.
  5. In the ‘Primary category’ box, enter and select the appropriate category for your business.
  6. To add secondary categories, tap Add another category.
  7. In the ‘Additional category’ box, enter and select the category you want to add.
  8. Click Save.

When you add or edit your categories, you may be asked to verify your profile again. This helps prevent unauthorized changes from happening.

Add and edit your Google Business Profile category in Maps

Google Maps is one of the most popular GPS applications on the planet. Not only does it provide maps and directions, it also doubles as a listing directory for businesses as well. However, adding or editing Google Business Profile categories in Google Maps can only be done on mobile devices like phones and tablets. Here are the steps to do that for Android and Apple.

Andriod

  1. Sign in to your Google account on your Android device.
    1. Be sure you’re using the same Google account that manages your Google Business Profile.
  2. Open the Google Maps application.
  3. Within the Google Maps app, tap your profile picture in the top right corner. 
  4. Select the Your Business Profile option.
  5. To begin editing your profile, tap Edit profile > Business information.
  6. Tap the ‘About’ tab located near the top.
  7. Under ‘About your business,’ select Business category.
  8. In the ‘Primary category’ box, enter and select the appropriate category for your business.
  9. To add secondary categories, tap Add another category.
  10. In the ‘Additional category’ box, enter and select the additional category you want to add.
  11. Tap Save.

Apple

  1. Sign in to your Google account on your Apple device (iPhone, iPad, etc.).
    1. Be sure you’re using the same Google account that manages your Google Business Profile.
  2. Open the Google Maps application.
  3. Within the Google Maps app, tap your profile picture in the top right corner. 
  4. Select the Your Business Profile option.
  5. To begin editing your profile, tap Edit profile > Business information.
  6. Tap the ‘About’ tab located near the top.
  7. Under ‘About your business,’ select Business category.
  8. In the ‘Primary category’ box, enter and select the appropriate category for your business.
  9. To add secondary categories, tap Add another category.
  10. In the ‘Additional category’ box, enter and select the additional categories you want to add.
  11. Tap Save.

Unique features for specific categories

Not all categories are built the same. For the majority, it’s a cut-and-dry process of selecting your categories so that it’s displayed on your Google Business Profile. However, there are some categories that will include additional features to help customers better understand your business and services.

Hotels

When selecting the hotel category you’ll notice two extra features: class rating and amenities. For class rating, a range between 1-5 will be displayed. Google determines a hotel’s class rating based on a number of variables, including third-party partners, direct research, guest reviews, and machine-learning data. This helps Google to evaluate hotel characteristics such as price, location, room size, and services to determine an appropriate class rating.

Similar to class ratings, Google pulls amenities information from a variety of sources with your hotel’s website being the main source. If an amenity isn’t listed or is incorrect, you can add or correct the information in the settings section of your Google Business Profile.

Food and drink

For businesses in the food and drink industry, you’ll have the option to add links to your profile that point customers to online ordering, reservation, and menu pages. Your business can also add menu items directly using the menu and services editor. This will make sure that your menu items and price are accurate and up-to-date for a better customer experience.

Health and beauty

In the health and beauty category, businesses can add links to help customers book reservations. And similar to food and drink, you’ll be able to directly add and edit your services menu using the menu and services editor.

How to find your competitor’s business categories

Finding your competitor’s Google Business Profile categories can be a helpful way to understand what keywords they’re targeting and how they’re positioning themselves in the market, especially if they are outranking you in local searches. There are a few different ways to do this: 

  1. Start by searching for your competitor’s business name on Google Maps.
  2. On the competitor’s Google Maps listing, place your cursor next to the primary business category and right-click.
  3. Then select the “View Page Source” option.
  4. This will open up a new window with the listing’s HTML code and a list of all the categories that your competitor has associated with their business.
  5. Depending if you are on a PC or Mac, use CTRL + F or CMD + F to open the document search box.
  6. Enter the competitor’s primary category that was right under the business’s name.
  7. Scroll through the highlighted text in the source code to the third instance of the primary category to find the secondary categories.

By following these steps, you can gain valuable insights into how your competitors are marketing their businesses online. Additionally, you can ensure that your own listing is as comprehensive and relevant as possible.

Want to rank higher on Google? 

Optimizing your Google Business Profile categories isn’t the only way to rank higher on Google searches. Download our complete toolkit to generate more leads from your Business Profile by clicking on the image below.


Originally published Jun 02, 2020 9:42 PM, updated Nov 28, 2022