Monday, December 6Digital Marketing Journals

NEW in Local Search Grid: Primary and Additional Business Categories


Understanding the competitive landscape is a key part of any marketing activity, and local search is no different. To learn how to beat your local competitors in search, you don’t just need to find out who’s beating you, but crucially why.

This is where Local Search Grid‘s competitor tables come in: each one provides you with an overview of how well your local pack rivals are performing in key SEO metrics like citations and reviews.

Beyond these objective performance metrics, though, it’s worth keeping a close eye on the Google My Business (GMB) categories your competitors are using. Why? Because the categories you select have the chance to significantly impact the relevance of your business to searches.

Did You Know? According to research carried out in 2020, ‘Primary GMB Category’ and ‘Additional GMB Categories’ are considered two of the top five most important ranking factors in local search results… and the former is Number One!

Local Search Grid has always done a great job of surfacing GMB categories in reports, but from today you’ll see an update that, for the first time, shows you both Primary and Additional Categories in the Top Ranking Competitors table.

Until now, there was no easy way to collect all category data on competitors in one place. You would have to access source code or use a Chrome extension on a laborious page-by-page, profile-by-profile basis. This update brings all these insights together, allowing you to see with ease how these additional categories might be influencing rankings for certain keywords.

How does it work?

As you can see below, we’ve split out the existing ‘Category’ column in this table to two new ‘Primary Category’ and ‘Additional Categories’ columns. I’ve highlighted ‘Additional Categories’ in the screenshot as that’s where the new data sits.

Lsg Additional Categories

If you’re thinking “that’s not many additional categories,” you’d be right! That’s because we’ve made the full list of Additional Categories for each business available with a quick click of the ‘arrow’ button. This way you don’t have to contend with an incredibly long table until you’re ready to dig into this data.

Lsg Add Cats Expanded

Ready to see Additional Categories in your report? Simply run the report again to see the new data!

How can I use this new data?

Looking at the example above, we can see that the (amazingly-named) Storm Balgeman Miller Klippel is a law firm not currently ranking in the local area for the search term ‘law firm’.

Their Primary Category is ‘Legal Services’, which is particularly suitable if they don’t specialize in a particular area of law. One of the things they might want to look at, based on the findings of this report, is adding additional categories to their Google My Business profile.

Where do they get inspiration for these categories? From the competitors in the report, of course! Looking at which additional categories might be helping competitors leap to the top for different keywords allows you to map out the additional categories you should be using.

In the above example, the business could consider adding categories like ‘family law attorney’, ‘civil law attorney’ and ‘personal injury attorney’, where relevant, to get some added visibility in SERPs.

Let me at those Additional Categories!

BrightLocal customer? Just set up a new Local Search Grid report and see this fresh data for yourself!

Interested in trying out BrightLocal and Local Search Grid? Start your 14-day free trial here!

Knowledge is Power

With this new information, available on all new Local Search Grid reports, you can see the finer details of your rivals’ GMB profiles, allowing you to understand the playing field better and making strategic decisions about the GMB categories you choose for your own, or your client’s, business.

It’s good practice to know who you’re up against in local marketing. With this new feature, we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know them a whole lot better

Jamie Pitman

Jamie heads up BrightLocal’s content team, ensuring we produce insightful articles, research and resources that enable businesses and SEOs to get even better results in local search.

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