More threads by chrish


Jul 19, 2012
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I have a client who is ranking #4 (in 'more places') on a Local 3 Pack listing on Google for a search query around 'personal injury.' The top 3 attorneys are all listed as 'personal injury attorneys' and my client is showing as 'General Practice'. All of these lawyers, including my client, have multiple practice areas, but personal injury is probably the biggest area.

Could changing their GMB category from 'general practice' to 'personal injury' hurt other areas of their practice in the SERPS?
Yep. GMB category makes a huge difference, I've definitely seen clients jump when changing to match top competitors. The flip side of that though, it means GMB listings can only target a narrow range of the full services many businesses offer. You'll have to decide with the client if it's worth it to risk other practice areas to try and get higher up in personal injury. If you do make the change, make sure you're running a rank tracker to measure how things are going.
I agree with James, category changes have a bigger impact on ranking than virtually anything else.

If personal injury is their main line of law than I would test it out for sure. You can always change them back if you don't get a desired result.
I agree with both responses, see below in regards to what Google says about categories. The part that says "choose categories that are as specific as possible" is key! In your case, changing the primary category to "personal injury" is definitely more specific and is a representation of the biggest practice area for your client.

In addition, continue to build general and niche citations, quality backlinks, and optimize the website for desktop and mobile speed to increase your client's position in the local pack.

Analyze what your competitors are doing and do it better!


Categories help your customers find accurate, specific results for services they’re interested in. In order to keep your business information accurate and live, make sure that you:

  • Use as few categories as possible to describe your overall core business from the provided list.
  • Choose categories that are as specific as possible, but representative of your main business.
    • Do not use categories solely as keywords or to describe attributes of your business.
    • Do not use categories that pertain to other businesses that are nearby or related, such as a business physically contained within your business or an entity that contains your business.

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