Google My BusinessLocal Search

Selecting Your Primary Category on Google My Business – Proceed With Care

By July 28, 2020 3 Comments
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When optimizing a Google My Business listing, it’s crucial to understand the importance of your primary category selection. Most marketers understand your primary category will impact your ranking, but many may not know it’s tied to the majority of the features within GMB. Your primary category determines:

    • Which attributes, amenities, and service options you have
    • Whether or not reviews are prominent or available for your listing
    • If Q&A will be available
    • If primary hours will display
    • If you have access to secondary hours and which ones
    • If you have access to Google Posts and which ones
    • If you have access to Product Editor, Food or Service Menus, Food Ordering and Booking features
    • And most recently, when GMB limited functionality, your primary category determined which features returned to your listings and when 

Some attributes display prominently on your listing in the map pack and on your knowledge panel. Others may only display on mobile on the ‘About’ tab. 

In the last few months, Google has rolled out a number of new attributes and amenities to businesses in order to help communicate updates to services and offerings. I’ve dived into the top primary categories and reported on what attributes and features are available for each type. 

It’s important to note that there are two different types of attributes, objective and subjective. We will explore the objective attributes, or facts that can be set by the business owner. Subjective attributes, or consumer opinions about your business, are added to your listing based on user feedback on Google Maps. 

The categories reviewed are top-level and I would keep in mind that more specific subcategories are not guaranteed to have the exact same features. The availability of attributes also varies by country. 

After reviewing 33 different categories, we’ve identified over 158 different attributes and detailed these by category below. 

This is the list of categories we reviewed: 

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Store
  • Bank
  • ATM
  • Mortgage Broker
  • Insurance Advisor
  • Lawyer
  • Car Dealer
  • Hospital
  • Doctor
  • Pharmacy
  • Medical Clinic
  • School
  • Daycare
  • Hotel
  • Property Management/ Apartments
  • Bail Bonds
  • Casino
  • Dentist
  • Dermatologist
  • Pest Control Service 

*Please note, I’ve left hotels off of this list as their attributes are slightly different than other business types and cannot be accessed or updated in bulk or via API

Google My Business Attributes are broken up into a number of categories. Each category of attributes should aid potential customers in the decision making process. These categories include: 

    • Service Options – How you can receive your product or service
    • Highlights – Unique details about the business
    • Place Page URLs – Additional URLs to begin or complete your transaction with the business
    • Accessibility – Locations access details for impaired or handicapped shoppers
    • Offerings – Unique and detailed services or products that will be available when you engage with business
    • Amenities – Features and elements of the business or service
    • Dining Options – How and when you can dine
    • Crowd – Overall customer environment of the business
    • Planning – Considerations to keep in mind prior to visiting or engaging with the business
    • Payments – How you can pay for your product and services
    • About this person – For professional listings, specific details about the person

Here is the list of each section of attributes by category. 

Attribute Service Options

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Attribute Highlights

Please note, at the date of publication, there are 2 new attributes within this category that look to be rolling out to businesses but can not yet be applied and are not in the GMB UI. These are Family-led and Black-owned. These will likely roll out in the coming weeks. 

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Attribute Place Page URLs

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Attribute Accessibility

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Attribute Offerings (broken into 3 charts for visibility)

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Attribute Amenities

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Attribute Dining Options

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Attribute Crowd, Planning, Payments, & About This Person

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As you can see, the available attributes based on your primary category vary greatly. It’s critical to ensure both your primary category and available attributes are selected to inform consumers of the services you offer. Work with your internal teams or local marketing partner to ensure these are selected across all your locations and ensure you are monitoring your listings for new and changing attributes. 

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3 Comments

  • 05girl says:

    Can you please add Plumber?

    • Krystal Taing says:

      Hi there! Thanks for the suggestion. We will be looking to add additional categories every few weeks to this article. We’ll make sure to include plumber. In the meantime, if you have access to a listing with the category of ‘Plumber’, you can look in the Google My Business Dashboard for all available attributes. Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Great research, Krystal! Thanks for sharing. It’s a bummer that they don’t use secondary categories to determine which attributes show.

    Example: Many retreat centers have activities as well as overnight accommodations.

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