Categorizing your business pages on Facebook and Google+ help users find what they are looking for in businesses online. But beyond that, what is the impact of categories on Facebook and Google+?
The main category will affect what is displayed on the About section:
- If the Category of the page is set up as a “Local Business” then the contact info and hours will display and there is no ability to add any other content here.
- If the Category is set up as a “Company & Organization” then the content can be completely controlled by you! Edit this content in the “Short Description” field in the Page Info settings. The space here is limited when displaying on the profile page and only 3 lines of content will display (the first line is the page’s subcategory).
The sub-category is used by Facebook to categorize your page. Facebook is intentionally forcing you to pick a specific category from a list so that they can more readily index your business Page and use it to send more traffic to it via ads that generate revenue for Facebook.
When you’re selecting a sub category, it’s important to give consideration to your business model and how you generate income.
Google places show categories to help users find the sort of businesses they want. Choose the category that you want your business to show up for. If you want to appear in local results for a search like “naturopath in Guelph,” your business must be categorized as a naturopath.
For the most part, Google will show a business’s first three categories to help users decide which listings to examine further when it displays local search results. Additional categories are often displayed only when the users clicks a link.
There are strong indications that Google uses the category information you provide, in part, to decide when or how prominently to display your listing.
Mike Blumenthal, an expert in local search, has a helpful tool to help you choose categories for your Google Places for Business listing based on words or phrases.