At the moment of writing this, there are nearly 4,000 categories in Google Business Profile (GBP) to choose from. Google adds, modifies, and removes categories each month. Google allows a business to select one primary category and up to 9 secondary categories.
There are two types of categories, primary and secondary. Both play a critical role in how your business is found in localGoogle search. When you set up your GBP, you can only have one primary category, which is given the most importance by the Google algorithm. You can up to 9 secondary categories, but you want to add as few as possible, so you don’t dilute the primary category ranking pull.
Using "finance" as an example, GBP has eleven categories for finance:
- Credit Union
- Savings Bank
- Financial Institution
- Financial Consultant
- Financial Planner
- Mortgage Lender
- Mortgage Broker
- Investment Bank
- Investment Company
So what do you do if your branches have additional services that you want to rank in locally, such as "merchant services," "wealth management," or "commercial bank?" Since the categories are not in the Google Business Profile list, you need to use other methods.
According to Google, when setting up your branches Google Business Profile listing, you'll want to get as close as possible using the currently available GBP categories. [GBP>Info>Category]
In the GBP "From the business"section [GBP>Info>From the business], (750 characters max) create a description that includes the primary services/categories you want to be searchable.
In the GBP "Services" section [GBP>Info>Services], add the service, then a concise description (300 characters max) that uses the service as a keyword.
On your branches location web page, make sure all your local data is on the website and explain in detail what your service is. Having the same Name, Address, and Phone (NAP)information on your branch's location web page as in your branches, GBP is critical.
It is also suggested that your NAP information is marked up with schema.org so that your website speaks the same language as Google bot. At the Financial ReputationGroup, we use the free techicalseo.com free Schema Markup Generator (https://technicalseo.com/tools/schema-markup-generator/). We test the produced JSON-LD Markups with Googles "richResults Test (https://search.google.com/test/rich-results?utm_campaign=sdtt&utm_medium=code)
If you have any questions about Google Business Profile categories or how to optimize your GBP for search terms please reach out to Chris Ransick at the Digital Reputation Group, firstname.lastname@example.org.