The Google My Business Optimization Tactic You Should Do for Maximum Rankings

Hey there, it’s Chaz here, and I’m releasing one of my Google My Business optimization tips that very few SEO’s are doing, but you should be. How to spy on your competitors’ secondary categories.

Google My Business categories are perhaps one of the most important parts of ranking in the 3 pack for your chosen keywords, get it wrong and you will often find yourself stuck at number 4 or 5 no matter what other tricks and tactics you use.

Only a few top-level local SEO’s even know about it. I didn’t invent it but I did learn it from a high-level mastermind and I use it to gain a competitive advantage in my Google My Business SEO Campaigns.

Watch as I Do Category Research for Better 3 Pack Rankings

In this 20 minute video, I cover the exact steps I use to choose the correct Primary Google My Business Category, how I make sure I am using the correct secondary categories, and share my actual category workbook and set-up lists.

Key Takeaways

We use a systematic approach to researching and selecting the perfect categories to use for our Google My Business Optimization campaigns. So let’s recap exactly how you should do this.

  1. Determine Your Main Keyword
  2. Do a Google Search to Pull the 3 Pack for your Keyword
  3. Write Down the 3 Primary Categories Being Used
  4. You’ll Use the Majority Primary as Your Primary 98% of the Time
  5. Click into the Local Finder
  6. Copy and Paste the #1 Listing into Google Maps Search Bar
  7. Right Click on the Blue Part of Listing and View Page Source
  8. CTRL + F and Type in the Primary Category
  9. Scroll Down to See a List of All Used Categories
  10. Sort Through Categories and Category Hierarchies
  11. Copy Secondary Categories into Workbook
  12. Repeat for other Competitors and Keywords
  13. Use this List to Select up to 4 Secondary Categories
  14. Choose the Most Common Denominators

March 7, 2018, Update: There has been some discussion amongst the local SEO community that Google may be limiting local business’s brand knowledge graphs if they choose to select too many GMB categories.

This was first brought to my attention by Mike Chrest of MRC SEO Consulting when he experienced this for his own listing for Calgary SEO. It was further confirmed by numerous other professionals. After some further investigation, the sweet spot appears to be either 3 or 4 total categories if you are affected by this. I have checked multiple of our listings but could not find this issue affecting ours. But the solution seems pretty clear, simply drop all but your secondary categories and then add those back one at a time. I would test at two and three to determine where the sweet spot is for your particular niche and area. Special thanks to Mike Chrest of MRC SEO Consulting and Dan Hale of Cloud Inspector Web Design for sharing their experiences with me.

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