One of the most important aspects of optimizing your Local Business Listing (LBL) is choosing the right categories to associate your site with. In fact the “Association of Proper LBL Categories” was named the 3rd most important factor for local search rankings according to David Mihm’s annual survey results.
For reference, here’s an example of where the categories show in Google’s LBL.
So, how should local companies choose what categories to include in their listing? Have you used Blumenthals.com’s Google LBL Categories Preview Beta? If not, you should! This is a great tool, simply type in your keyword and it will help you choose a category that matches your keyword.
But what if there isn’t a category that matches your target keywords? Did you know that you can actually create your own categories!?! For example, if you know visitors search for a certain keyword to find your business but it doesn’t exactly match the categories Google has – you can create your own.
Test this strategy out and see if you get more traffic from Google Maps with custom created categories. But remember you do have to have at least one category (out of five) that matches Google’s LBL Categories.