We decided to give our readers a sneak peak of what kind of information is in the Expert's Guide to Local SEO which just went on sale last week.
This particular section only covers 2 out of the 140+ pages in the manual currently. Current LocalU Forum Members can receive 20% off, just visit the forums with your logins for details in the sidebar!
How to See ALL the Categories Your Competitors are Using on Google Maps
Since MapMaker has died, there appears to be no obvious way to see all the categories your competitors are targeting on their Google My Business listings. This is important to know to confirm if you have all the right categories on yours. Sometimes it’s really obvious which categories you want to use, and sometimes it’s not. For example, is it better to use Dental Clinic or Dentist? What about Physical Therapist vs Physical Therapy Clinic? Some might advise you to use the one that makes most sense to describe your business, which is usually true, but won’t always result in you ranking for the keywords you want to.
Good news - there is a way to see these categories even though Google isn't publicly showing them on the listing. What you want to do is open up the listing in question on Google Maps. The category that shows up under their business name will be their primary category (which holds more weight when categorizing your business so choose this wisely).
To see the rest of the categories on the listing:
- Right-click on the listing on Maps
- Click View Page Source
- Press CTRL + F (to open the find box)
- Type in the primary category name you saw (For example “Handyman”) and you’ll see a list of all the categories in the page source.
Now here is the annoying part. The list of categories actually aren’t all categories that you can choose in GMB. Some of them are kinda like “category folders” which could give you insight into how Google defines the category they fall under.
Here is an example of one I copied from the source code for a business. The red one is the primary category - it always shows up first. Then, after that, it gets sorted alphabetically and mixes up the categories and category folders (that don’t exist in GMB). The ones in blue are actual categories.[\"Handyman\",\"Bathroom Remodeler\",\"Business Service\",\"Carpenter\",\" Ceramics\",\"Construction and Planning Services\",\"Construction Company\",\"Craft\",\" Decoration\",\"Dry Wall Contractor\",\"Fence Contractor\",\"Flooring Contractor\",\"Furnishing\",\" General Contractor\",\"Home Furnishings\",\"Home Services\",\"Interior\",\"Kitchen Remodeler\",\"Kitchens\",\" Machining\",\"Services Companies\",\"Tile Contractor\",\"Tradesperson\", \"Wood\"]
By outlining these in a spreadsheet, you can better map out what categories you need to have on your listing in order to rank better in the 3-pack based on what the businesses that are currently ranking are using.