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Breaking Boundaries of Traditional Google Business Profile Categories: The Power of Semi-Unrelated Categories

Adding as many Google Business Profile (GBP) categories as possible (as long as they are relevant) will have a positive impact on rankings without diluting them.  Each profile can have up to ten categories.

The GBP Category Spectrum

When it comes to selecting GBP categories, there is a spectrum where at one end you will find categories that are directly related to your business. On the other end, you will find categories that have nothing to do with your business whatsoever.  However, what we have noticed is that there is a gray area in the middle of the spectrum that I like to call the land of semi-unrelated categories. This land can contain some valuable category options, and I think it’s worth spending time there.

Case 1: Christmas Lights Installation

Sometimes a business wants to rank for something that doesn’t have a category.  For example, this lawn care company installs and sets up Christmas lights and decorations in November and December when lawn care is not needed in Toronto, Ontario; however, there is no category for this on Google.  Instead, we found the closest category that we could.  In this case,  Christmas shop.

This business is not a Christmas shop.  But, by using this category, even though it is not an exact representation of the company, Google does associate it with “Christmas light installation” when people search for it on Google.  This was extremely helpful and enabled the business to rank in the local pack and drive sales.

Case 2: Invisalign & Ceramic Braces

Another example is dentists who want to rank for Invisalign or ceramic braces.  What we noticed is they cannot rank for those queries unless they have the category “orthodontist.”  This can be controversial because you don’t technically have to be an orthodontist to do Invisalign or ceramic braces; however, it may not be the best idea to advertise that you are an orthodontist if you do not have one working for your business.  This is something you definitely want to have approved by the dentist before using this category in this instance.

So What?

Adding additional GBP categories to your business listing was the #7 local pack ranking factor according to the 2023 Local Search Ranking Factors survey. Considering that, and the fact that GBP services impact ranking, which means the more categories you select the more services you can select, there is a massive amount of incentive to go deep and add as many GBP categories as you possibly can. And keep in mind that just because a category doesn’t directly relate to your business, it doesn’t mean that it won’t help you rank and increase sales.

Have you discovered an interesting semi-unrelated category? Let us know!

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Colan Nielsen

Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Read Colan's full bio here.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I try To list My business On Google My Business But I fail to Verify My Business Listing and Mailed To Google with Legal Documents Of My business. Please write blog On How To Verify Business on GMB.

  2. Interesting. I have an HVAC client who also does insulation installation and repair so we are thinking of adding the Insulation Contractor category to his GBP and the related services. Since these secondary categories seem so different from his other listed categories (HVAC Contractor, AC Repair Service, etc.), I was curious if adding it would negatively affect his HVAC keyword rankings. Have you found any negative effects with the rankings for primary keywords when adding these different secondary categories?

    1. Hi Brad, adding the insulation category should not have a negative impact. It should improve visibility for queries related to insultation.

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