It’s not too hard to find categories on Yelp to list your business under. But it’s much easier to miss some and lose out on easy visibility – both in and out of Yelp – simply because you didn’t find the best categories to describe your business.
Yes, it does take time to identify all the categories that might be relevant to your business. There are 698 categories. You can pick up to 3 for your listing.
Yelp doesn’t let you see all of them at a glance. You have to pick a primary category (there are 22) and then a secondary one (of 498), and perhaps a tertiary one (of 178).
The categories are scattered all over the place, and there isn’t even a “search” function on the site. You get sick of rifling around and having to assume that you’ve picked the most-relevant categories.
Yet, your categories are crucial to your Yelp rankings, . Yelp’s results also consistently rank well in Google for local search terms.
You must get your categories right.
I’ve put together a complete list of all the Yelp business categories. Why? So that you can see all of them at a glance (and how to navigate to them), and so you can search the list or edit/process it. The list helps you make sure you’ve got the 3 best categories.
You can download it here:
Update, 5:54 pm, 7/19/13: Thanks to Luther Lowe, director of public policy at Yelp, who just sent me the the links to two category lists that are buried under the “Yelp for Developers” section:
The first is a long honkin’ page with all the categories you’ll find in my list.
The second is another long honkin’ page, but this one (meant for developers) tells you the categories available in each country Yelp serves. You only need this if your business is located outside the US.
What should you do now?
Go to biz.yelp.com and log into your business listing.
Click on “Business Information” and then click to edit your “Basic Business Information.”
See which categories you’re listed under. If you’ve got fewer than 3 or think you’re missing the best ones, search through my category list and see if you can find better categories. Even if you’re confident you’ve already got the most-relevant categories, spend 5 minutes flipping through the list anyway, just to make sure.
In general, Yelp is a pain to deal with – especially when it comes to reviews. But getting your categories right is an easy win.
Daniel C Berman says
Thank you for compiling this list of business categories!
Between this category list for yelp and Blumenthal’s Google Place’s for Business category list it’s finally starting to feel like we have a chance at wrapping our heads around some of these online business databases. Do you know of any other category lists for reputable online business citation databases that have been released? Especially Bing’s Places for Business Tool?
Thanks, Daniel. I’m not aware of any other category lists, other than the ones I did last year for LocalEze and ExpressUpdate (the latter of which I think is no longer relevant). Most sites either don’t have many categories to choose from, or they’re searchable, or somehow easier to deal with than Yelp’s are. But someone should do one for Angie’s List.
Adolf Satzinger says
There is no category even close to Manufacturing; we are a Machine Tool Manufacturer, what would our category be?
Jo Shaer says
I agree with Adolf – nothing even close to Manufacturing or Engineering. But if you are a lactation service, you’re golden? The US is a very strange place 🙂
You’re too polite, Jo 🙂
Susan Walsh says
Thanks for this post and the list of Yelp categories. I was reading your most recent article on Yelp and it linked me here (somehow I missed it). We have been a fan of the free Yelp listing for 3 years now, have claimed and optimized a good amount of Yelp (free) listings and have never had a problem. Their dashboard is easy-to-use and the page easy to setup. You can do a lot with it as you point out. We have found that people are more apt to leave a review for one of our clients on Yelp before Google+ (not sure why).
We now train businesses on how to claim their citations and most importantly, claim and optimize their Yelp page and encourage them to use it. The list of categories you provided very helpful!
You’re quite welcome! I also like the Yelp dashboard quite a bit.
Travis Van Slooten says
You mentioned in your comments that someone should put together a list of categories for Angie’s List. Is this what you’re looking for?
Travis Van Slooten
Sure looks like it. (I’m assuming those categories match the ones you can choose from when setting up your listing; it looks that way.)
Dharam Chaudhari says
Phil, Thank you for sharing this list of category. it was talking too much time to go trough all the category to find niche category for my clients. Thank you for saving my time…
No problem, Dharam.
THank you for your list. However, one of the strange things about Yelp is that some businesses are categorized as an Attraction. Yet it is not in the category list. Any idea how to get your business put in the “Attraction” category?
Sounds familiar, but I don’t recall seeing an “Attraction” category in Yelp. Can you provide the link to a specific listing?
Hello! my business offers 3D virtual tour solutions for real estate agents, vacation rentals and others. I listed my business on Yelp but there is not category that fits the type of business I’m offering. What is the best way to go about this?
Thanks a lot!
I’d pick “Photographer.”
Thank you much Phil! have a good one 🙂
Which Category’s are eligible for service areas to be selected??
Randall West says
“the categories available in each country Yelp serves.” is a 404