Switch the Primary Category?

mattheffner

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Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
16
Reading Joy's recent category article and this one from Carrie Hill reminded me to jump in here and ask for your opinion on a situation with a client. We've been working with a client known for their Landscaping and Hardscaping. They have been landscaping for 15 years, considered the largest and best in the area, have a lot of reviews related to landscaping. Basically they are an authority in landscaping side of things.

However, they are pushing into a totally different category with the same brand - Remodeling and Construction. Kitchen Remodeling being the most obviously profitable part of that business type. We're doing the Local Maps optimization and have them to the top for Landscaping but still not doing anything significant in the Construction side of things in maps. Thus far we've not been allowed to do much on the website part of things outside of adding schema which is a huge factor and should be changing soon.

But I'm wondering if changing their primary category in GMB to Kitchen Remodeler and demoting Landscaper to secondary would help jump us up. Worried about losing rankings for landscaping long-term (ranked near #1 on that right now) if we try it which is why I've been chicken to do it. What do you all think?
 

nwinezog

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Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
26
Curious about this as well. I have a client that's an orthodontist but the category for GMB was set to dentist by the previous people working on it.
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
313
Changing the primary category will help you rank better for Kitchen Remodeling, but you will definitely drop for landscaping if you change the primary category. You would keep at as a secondary category, of course, but you will still lose some rankings. How much you drop will depend on many factors. You could test, and if you don't drop too much, you could leave it. Make sure you're rank tracking both terms and related terms, and you're tracking from multiple points around the city, so you can measure the impact.
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
190
I agree with Darren on all his points.

Not sure where the business is located, but if the outdoor part of the business is slow right now because of winter, it might make sense to switch the category to try to bring in other types of projects. Otherwise I would be hesitant, but definitely review the current rankings to see how much risk their might be.
 
Joined
May 3, 2018
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51
Not sure where the business is located, but if the outdoor part of the business is slow right now because of winter, it might make sense to switch the category to try to bring in other types of projects.
Seasonal changes to the primary category! Very clever @Yan Gilbert!
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,726
Reading Joy's recent category article and this one from Carrie Hill reminded me to jump in here and ask for your opinion on a situation with a client. We've been working with a client known for their Landscaping and Hardscaping. They have been landscaping for 15 years, considered the largest and best in the area, have a lot of reviews related to landscaping. Basically they are an authority in landscaping side of things.

However, they are pushing into a totally different category with the same brand - Remodeling and Construction. Kitchen Remodeling being the most obviously profitable part of that business type. We're doing the Local Maps optimization and have them to the top for Landscaping but still not doing anything significant in the Construction side of things in maps. Thus far we've not been allowed to do much on the website part of things outside of adding schema which is a huge factor and should be changing soon.

But I'm wondering if changing their primary category in GMB to Kitchen Remodeler and demoting Landscaper to secondary would help jump us up. Worried about losing rankings for landscaping long-term (ranked near #1 on that right now) if we try it which is why I've been chicken to do it. What do you all think?
Why won't they let you do anything on the website yet? Are they not ready? If they're not ready, then I would tell them we need to wait for SEO on it until they're ready to put it on the website. When they're ready, see how far you can get without the GMB category.

I will say you're in a tough'ish spot. It's definitely doable but if their location is relatively competitive, you're going to have actual kitchen remodelers that have optimized 100% of their website just on kitchen remodeling and their primary category is "kitchen remodeler" to compete with. That's an uphill battle considering you would be somewhat splitting your ranking (kind of).

I have lawyers ask me all the time about ranking for multiple disciplines. They want to rank for say, bankruptcy and personal injury. I tell them that's a tough task because we'll be splitting our resources 50/50 between the two when his top ranking competitors are devoting 100% of their resources to one or another. Even the Suns would beat the Warriors if the Warriors had their score halved each game, you know?

With all of that being said, you can definitely still win. And that's not exactly an apples to apples comparison necessarily. It may not be a 50/50 split. But I think it helps explain the idea. And if you do succeed at this, I'd make sure you get an increase in fee for that.

On your other question, it's possible you change the primary category and lose ranking but don't drop positions because of your authority. That is possible. But my hunch is you will drop positions a good amount.

I think the real question you're asking is about the long term adverse affects of changing the primary category and then changing it back, right? I'm not sure if changing the primary category will have a lasting effect but it could. Someone else would be better equipped to answer that question I think.
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
190
Darren did a recent test (not sure if there is a thread here about it already but couldn't find one) where he added extra non related categories to a listing. Results were not good.

Kitchen Reno and Landscaping are not really related categories, especially if there is no content on the site for both yet.

 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,726
Darren did a recent test (not sure if there is a thread here about it already but couldn't find one) where he added extra non related categories to a listing. Results were not good.

Kitchen Reno and Landscaping are not really related categories, especially if there is no content on the site for both yet.

I'd say they're at least somewhat related. Enough to where I wouldn't worry about trying it. Just keep an eye on ranking afterwards.

Darren also seems to answer our question about long lasting impact of adding categories. Although, I doubt he changed primary category. So take it with a grain of salt.

Great find Yan!
 

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