Facebook Local Business Categories List

Pick the wrong Facebook categories or not enough of them and your local-search visibility will suffer.  Not only in Facebook, but also likely in Google (because Facebook results are often all over page 1).

The trouble is once you’ve picked the basic “Local Business” category, you can’t see all the subcategories available to you.  You have to type in a category you think Facebook has, and see if you’re lucky.

With almost 800 categories to choose from, you probably won’t pick the 3 best ones for your business.

Problem solved.  Here is a Big Ugly List of all the subcategories you can choose for your “Local Business” Facebook page:

https://goo.gl/K618Jn

Best way to use it?  Skim through the list and find the 3 categories you think would be the best to list your page under.

If that sounds tedious, may I suggest the Laphroaig Triple Wood.

Huge thanks to Alex Deckard of CAKE Websites for doing most of the research.  He’s a smart SEO and a good guy.

Some related resources:

Facebook Reviews Now Get You Rich-Snippet “Review Stars” in the Local Search Results

Moz Local Category List

Mike Blumenthal’s Google Places Category Tool

Apple Maps Local Business Category List

Business Categories Lists for Major Local Search Sites

Any category-related tips on Facebook?

Are there any categories that Facebook should have but doesn’t seem to?

Any categories I’m missing?

Leave a comment!

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How to Pick the Best Barnacle SEO Sites: a Checklist

The concept of barnacle SEO is simple enough: get visible on a site that ranks well in Google for the local search terms you’re going after, because that’s usually easier than getting your site to rank for those terms.  (You’ll still try to do both, of course.)  I’ve also written about the most-practical ways to execute it.

But barnacle SEO poses three challenges:

(1) It takes work.

(2) Most people overlook easy wins.

(3) The payoff usually isn’t as obvious as, say, high rankings in Google.

I’ve put together a checklist of all the ways (I can think of) that you can gauge the usefulness of a “barnacle” site.  I hope it helps you figure out where to channel your efforts.

To be more specific, I hope the checklist helps you determine:

  • Which review sites bring the most payoff with the least effort
  • Which “barnacle” site(s) would be best to advertise on
  • Which listings might be worth paying for
  • Which sites you might want to publish content on (where possible)
  • How you can get more benefit from a site where you’ve already got some presence

Here’s the checklist:
(click to open PDF)

How to pick a barnacle SEO site

Of course, there’s no site that meets all the criteria.  Yelp, Facebook, and YouTube probably come closest.  But those sites are saturated, and getting visible there may or may not be practical for you.  Just use the checklist to understand how one site stacks up against another, in terms of how it might help your local visibility.

By the way, because I had to fit all those points onto one smelly old pirate scroll, some points could use a little more explaining.  Here’s a little more detail on some of the criteria:

“Does it show “review stars” if you get a review?”

I’ll be lazy and recycle the example I used in my last post:

 “Can visitors immediately see the info they’re looking for?”

The trouble with an otherwise decent “barnacle” site like Angie’s List is that you’ve got to be a paying member to read the reviews.  Even on the BBB (an overlooked place to get reviews) the reviews are a little buried.

Not a reason to ignore either of those sites, but the semi-hidden reviews detract from the payoff a little bit.

“Does it give you an extra way to stay in touch with visitors?”

You can stay in touch with Facebook fans, YouTube channel subscribers, Pinterest followers, and the like.  Maybe they’ll become customers (even returning customers) one day.

“Is its SEO enviable?”

I’m referring to the point Nyagoslav makes in this excellent post, where he shows what a rock-solid job Yelp has done with its on-page SEO, and how that can indirectly help your business.

Thanks to David Deering for helping me with the design work on the checklist.  (Contact him if you need a new site, help with SEO, or heavy-duty help with Schema markup.)

Do you have a favorite “barnacle” site (especially an often-overlooked site)?

How about a barnacle strategy that’s worked well for you / your client?

Any questions about the checklist?

Leave a comment!

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Facebook Reviews Now Get You Rich-Snippet “Review Stars” in the Local Search Results

Facebook has been a sleeping giant in the local-reviews game for a couple of years now – just as it’s been a sleeping giant in local search in general for longer.  It’s an excellent place to get reviews, because it’s got the user-base, because it’s quick and easy to post a review, and because Facebook reviews don’t […]

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Can You Repurpose Customers’ Yelp Reviews on Your Website? An Answer from Yelp HQ

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidberkowitz/5923527436/

There’s long been a concern among “local” business owners and marketers that Yelp might filter or otherwise remove your hard-earned reviews if you copy and paste them onto your site.  Yelp’s a killjoy, so there’s some basis for that assumption. But it turns out Yelp is fine with your publishing Yelp reviews on your site […]

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Hiring Another Gun at Local Visibility System

It’s busy around here. Lots of projects for clients old and new.  Then there’s blogging, LocalSpark, the time I spend running and lifting, and the need for a little time left over to be a halfway decent husband and to kinda sorta have a life. Much of what clients pay me for is work that only […]

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Citysearch Local Rewards: the Newest Answer to Yelp’s Elite Squad

When I went to Citysearch today, I noticed a wee something on the homepage: Citysearch has been in the reviews game for years.  But this is CS’s first attempt at creating a program akin to Yelp’s well-known “Elite Squad” and Google’s lesser-known knockoff, “Local Guides.” CS’s twist is that die-hard reviewers get Amazon gift cards. […]

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Interview with Bryan Seely: Google Maps Spam Fighter and Ethical Hacker for the Little Guy

Try to guess which one of these things isn’t true of Bryan Seely: Created fake Google Places pages for the FBI and Secret Service, listed phone numbers he controlled, intercepted their phone calls, and then turned himself in to the FBI to show them the security hole that Google left. (And he didn’t get shipped […]

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What If Yext Gobbles up More Local Directories?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/minicooper93402/9582751114

Yext has formed tight partnerships with some notable directories in recent years: MapQuest, InsiderPages, and CitySearch, among other bigger sites (and some rinky-dink ones). The core feature of Yext’s “PowerListings” offering is that you can standardize your business info on a bunch of local directories (AKA “publishers”) at once.  On some of those sites Yext […]

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Updated for 2015: How to Write a Google Review of a Local Business

New Google Plus review instructions

Google has changed the steps for writing a Google Plus review…again. Unlike 3 years ago, this time Google made the steps a little simpler for customers, clients, and patients.  The new “Collections” feature in Google+ seems to have been the impetus for change here. The review steps haven’t changed much.  Google removed the “Local” tab in […]

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How to Know If Your Local Reviews Strategy Works

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/275890177/

Your review count and average ratings are just the tip of the iceberg. Your business might have 200 reviews and a 5-star average and your review strategy could still be a flop. That’s because lots of other factors – I can think of 51 – determine how much your customers’ reviews help your local visibility and […]

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