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WilliamGMBE

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Hello community,

We have been experimenting with a new tool to help you increase your traffic by adding more 'GMB Categories' and 'Services' to your business. It is still in testing, but wanted to get your feedback.

This is the tool: Category Finder Tool

We're offering it free to the community for a week and would love to get your feedback. We noticed that there were many questions in the community that this tool could address, so we wanted to reach out before releasing it.

The problem we hope to solve?
There have been some interesting studies recently:

- Categories have a big impact on ranking. It is ranked as the first and seventh most important factor for Local Search Ranking. Here is report from WhiteSpark: 2023 Local Search Ranking Factors Report from Whitespark – Increase local SEO rankings
- Adding services can significantly impact your ranking for that keyword. Here is a test by Sterling Sky: Do Services in Google Business Profiles Impact Ranking? - Sterling Sky Inc
- Having more categories have a big positive impact on ranking. 'There is a broadly positive correlation between top-ranking business locations using more GBP categories', this is from this study by BrightLocal here: Study: Do Additional GBP Categories Boost Local Rankings? - BrightLocal

In short having more relevant categories has a big positive impact. So, we put this together this tool which does suggest additional categories and services. We have also added data like average Google keyword search data per month for these categories here.

Would love to hear your feedback?

How does this work?
You can add your existing categories and it will suggest new categories that could be related. You can click on the related categories and it will update and show more categories.

At the same time it also shows services.

The number in the dark bubble is the average number of search per month on Google.

See screenshot below.
Category finder tool.gif

How did we build this?
We are building on top of Open AI's GPT4 API. The same model what you have on the ChatGPT Plus plan(the latest one).

Similarly we also get Google's keyword search data from some sources.

Some other interesting things to remember?
- Some categories might be unavailable in some countries. We have tried to accomodate many countries. We plan to update these in future.
- Similarly, even though we suggest services for all categories, it is not required that GMB will allow you to add services for all categories.
- We are still in testing. We hope to update the data and some of the other things soon. For now, it is still in testing.

Feedback?
If you tried the tool and updated the GMB and if it makes a difference, would love to hear about it. It would be ok if you want to anonymize the data. Would love to get any feedback for improvement.
 
This is actually a REALLY cool tool. Two thoughts immediately spring to mind:

  1. Ability to search in non-english languages or at least show the names in one non-English languages in addition to English. Category name translations can be extremely finicky and unnatural, and this would be much faster than using Pleper.
    Example: non-English language searching could make it much easier to spot categories that are not translated yet.
  2. A way to explicitly show and even search by predefined services. Sometimes we discover the correct category to use because that category has the right services vs. the one we've been using
    Example: we have a lot of clients using "specialized clinic" instead of "Medical Spa" for example, because "medical spa" is nowhere near the usual term for this type of business in Quebec! We only found "deck builder" by accident after noticing it had predefined services (the French name we had thought was specifically related to restaurant outdoor terraces).
 
This is actually a REALLY cool tool. Two thoughts immediately spring to mind:

  1. Ability to search in non-english languages or at least show the names in one non-English languages in addition to English. Category name translations can be extremely finicky and unnatural, and this would be much faster than using Pleper.
    Example: non-English language searching could make it much easier to spot categories that are not translated yet.
  2. A way to explicitly show and even search by predefined services. Sometimes we discover the correct category to use because that category has the right services vs. the one we've been using
    Example: we have a lot of clients using "specialized clinic" instead of "Medical Spa" for example, because "medical spa" is nowhere near the usual term for this type of business in Quebec! We only found "deck builder" by accident after noticing it had predefined services (the French name we had thought was specifically related to restaurant outdoor terraces).

@JS Girard

Thank you for the feedback.

1) Yes, totally understand how it can be helpful. I also see that since we show keyword search, that wont be relevant in many languages as the search term will be in local languages. We will try to see what we can do.


If more people are using it, we do plan to add more region based keyword search data, but I see that this will break down if the users search with different languages for the term. Let us see if there are intent based search data out there.

2) You mean other way around eeh, category from service. That is a great idea.

At present we have added the related category data based on how likely a business of category X can have category Y. So you might be surprised how the tool in present form can pick up many of these cases, but you are right, we need to make the AI more 'creative' when it shows the related categories.

I had a question, do you think Google just translates the categories when they allow you add categories in different languages or do they curate it specific to lanugages. Example: In Quebec, do they curate specific French language categories, or do you think they translate from English? Are there categories in French that dont have an English equivalent in Canada? There are many country specific categories but havent tested with languages, so was curious?
 
I had a question, do you think Google just translates the categories when they allow you add categories in different languages or do they curate it specific to lanugages. Example: In Quebec, do they curate specific French language categories, or do you think they translate from English? Are there categories in French that dont have an English equivalent in Canada? There are many country specific categories but havent tested with languages, so was curious?
This is a sore point for me, so allow me to rant extensively lol.

As far as I can tell, they don't curate much. Which in the education space, for example, leads to some dubious category names or equivalences. The Quebec, France and US education systems are poorly aligned at best in the type of establishments that exist.

Also, Quebec and France have different category names. One category that we WISH Google would have done the same in both countries is "tree service" because we would like SO BAD to use the same name as europeans got ("Émondeur"). "Service d'arbre" is a rarely used anglicism in Quebec. We say "émondage" or "élagage". "Physiotherapist" is translated as "kinésithérapeute" in France, but in Quebec, this is basically an unregulated term used by massage therapists (my boss used to joke that they are just "massage therapist with a bachelor's degree"). The Quebec French translation (for some reason, that category is not translated for France according to Pleper) for "screen repair service" is something that means "windshield repair service".

The Worst offender may be "podologue", which is not really used correctly for either France or Quebec!
  • (English/Quebec/France)
  • Pedorthist / Podo-orthésiste / Pédicure-podologue
  • Podiatrist / Podologue / Podiatre
Now the issues:
  • The translations for pedorthist are two distinct medical professions, both from France (The correct Quebec one would be "Orthopédiste").
  • A Quebec Podologue is not a medical professional! They just do pedicure and foot massages. And France does not even recognize podiatry as a medical specialty!
The pédiatre/podologue thing is already a problem for us and the new Pedorthist category is just muddying the water further.

I am not aware of any uniquely France-centric category, certainly of none in Quebec (we could use a CEGEP category, for example, but that would cover maybe a hundred establishments at best, so unlikely!). "Lycée" may have been a France-centric creation originally, though a few US places do use the category: it is "senior high school" in English.

English names that we then have to wait upon are more usual, though we rarely have clients where the new categories are relevant. "Home Automation Company" was very relevant and is how I discovered the weird treatment of these untranslated categories in the first place (See my bug compendium for more details). On the other end, it appears the recently added "Financial Advisor" has already been translated AND it uses the correct term! Nice.
 
@JS Girard

Thank you for sharing this insights.

I ran all the terms you mentioned through Google Translate, it seems that categories are just translated from there. In fact, there was not option to select regional language version in Google Translate. Tried the same with ChatGPT, and it is still better at providing context for regional terms.

So, it means that it is just translating. I do see that most countries have atleast some additional categories. Need to do additional testing.

I also tried onpage search with page translation on for our catgory finder. I see that it breaks. Will see what we can do.

Thank you again for sharing these.
 
I didn't quite notice at first because the base category is "dentist", which only has one predefined service. Could the predefined services be marked in some way to make them distinct from the additionally suggested services?
 
I didn't quite notice at first because the base category is "dentist", which only has one predefined service. Could the predefined services be marked in some way to make them distinct from the additionally suggested services?

Hi @JS Girard

This is a bit tricky, but lets see how we can do it. The data for the standard services Google uses in different countries is a little tricky to come by. Let us see. Also, anywhat the users has this shown when we add the category and they just have to click, we where hoping our suggestion will be for any additional categories they would like to add?
 
I see this tool as making two useful kinds of suggestions:
  • Adjacent categories to potentially add
  • Services to potentially add
For categories, this is straightforward, though less practical for non-english users who often have to deduce what name Google came up with in their language (hence the multilingual request). I can't willy-nilly swap to English because we test rankings in French and just the occasional swap for test purposes causes massive internal drama[1].

For services, knowing which one are automatic is useful it means you don't accidentally try to enter a predefined one (which would cause all additions made alongside to be rejected). And in the past I've find an important guidance to interpret what the category is actually intended for (cf. the Medical spa thing above)

Finally, a clarification re: search by services: I meant specifically predefined services. The idea is to take advantage of Google's reusing predefined services. The process I was envisioning was to, say, search for services with "drywall" or "foundation" in the name, and then I can click on a service and know all the categories that use that predefined service.

The multilingual angle is important here due to the baffling translation choices for some of these services. I've mentioned elsewhere how "sewer repair" becoming "sewing machine repair" in French. "water law" also turns into something along the line of "neighbour flooding law". There's also several different services that are translated with the same or nearly-same french terms in the Real Estate space. Being able to switch from one language to another would be dramatically helpful here because you can't even just do so on the user end: the lists are reordered so the translation is listed alphabetically in the new language!

[1] I know the sensible thing is NOT to give everyone direct access to the agency account in the first place, but that bed was made at the agency before my time and I do not have the authority to change it. Besides we cannot afford to manage individual access to 2k+ profiles manually!
 
@JS Girard

Sorry I missed this.

There are good suggestions. Will keep this in mind. We are iteracting fast, so will add this to the backlog.
 
Thank you every one here for providing feedback.

We have now integrated this Category Finder tool to the GMB Everywhere chrome extension tool. You can now click find more beside existing categories and it will automatically suggest other categories and services.

Screenshot below.

Uploading Update.gif
 

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