In August 2019, we started noticing pre-defined services show up as an option in the Google My Business dashboard. Certain categories have several items listed like plumbers:
Others do not and allow you to create your own (we call these custom services).
In order to see the list of pre-defined services, you need to click first on the Services tab in the Google My Business dashboard and then “add another service”.
We wanted to see if adding these services to a Google My Business listing increased ranking for keywords related to the service. The first business we tested this on was a security system supplier. We added the pre-defined service “security cameras” to their Google My Business listing.
We monitored the keywords related to “security cameras” for several weeks and saw no noticeable increases (screenshot from Whitespark).
The second business we tested it on was an insurance company. We added the pre-defined service “auto insurance” and watched their rankings for auto insurance over several weeks. Just like the first test, we saw no improvement (GIF created in Places Scout).
We also tested custom services, which are the type where you can define the name of the service and also add a description:
For the first test, we used a family lawyer and added a service targeting a very specific keyword. Using the Local Falcon, we tracked ranking on this keyword over the span of several weeks and noticed no significant changes in ranking. The ranking movements shown below are minor which is completely normal. Small ranking changes consistently happen when your re-run ranking reports in competitive industries.
The second test was for a criminal lawyer and we also added a very specific custom service in GMB targeting a really niche, long-tail keyword. Using BrightLocal‘s rank tracker, we saw no positive movement after adding the service.
In conclusion, like many of the Google My Business features, we found that the services menu has no impact on ranking. Wondering which fields do have an impact? See our articles on categories, the business name, reviews, & the website field.
This article is part 8 of 9 from my LocalU presentation from March 2020. If you missed the event, the videos are available for purchase here.