How to Choose the Right Google My Business Primary Category

In this episode of Local Search Tuesdays, we’re talking about how to choose the right Google My Business primary category.

So let’s get right to it. Most people don’t realize that your primary GMB category carries more weight in the local search algorithm. For the non-SEO nerds out there, that means there’s more value associated with that primary category, so you’re more likely to show up in local searches for that phrase.

Most businesses out there simply tick all of the applicable categories when they optimize their Google My Business listing, without putting much thought into the order they’re selected.

Since the first category has more weight, you should be more strategic with your category choices.

Let’s use a Ford dealership as an example. If you’re a Ford dealer in the Dallas market, you’re competing against a lot of other Ford dealers in the local area. You’d want to list “Ford dealer” as your primary category, since that’s where you’re competing the most for customers. You want to be the winner when someone searches “Ford dealer’ anywhere in the area.

But what if your dealership is out in the sticks? If you’re a Ford dealer in a more rural area, and there’s not another Ford dealer for 50 or 60 miles in any direction, you wouldn’t put “Ford dealer” in the primary slot. With no competition, you’d automatically rank #1 for “Ford dealer” searches in a wide radius.

Instead, you’d want to put “used car dealer” in the primary category slot, since your main competition would be the other new car dealers and all the used car dealers in your area.

Keep in mind that the primary category is the only one that carries additional weight. Every other category is equal in value.

Like I mentioned in a video a few weeks ago, your Google My Business profile is basically your new home page, and it’s critical for success in local searches. If you’re more strategic with your primary category choice, you’ll have a leg up on the competition for your most competitive search term.

So that’s it for this week’s video, which means it’s that time … put your hand on the screen right here. We totally just high fived ’cause you learned something awesome. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.

Exditor’s Note – For more information, be sure to check out our Ultimate Google My Business Optimization Guide

Google My Business Primary Category
Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at SearchLab, a boutique marketing agency that provides Local SEO and PPC to SMBs all over the US and Canada. He's got over 17 years of online marketing and web design experience, and he’s one of the most in-demand conference speakers at digital marketing conferences all over the world. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.