Google My Business is perhaps, one of the best free online marketing and review platforms of our time. Research shows that local google search is the number one online income-generating and new customer acquisition factor for most businesses today. It, therefore, goes without saying that a verified and optimized Google My Business profile is a big competitive advantage for your business.
Creating your Gmb page is relatively easy, as you’ve probably seen from our Google My Business setup guides. However, your page will remain unpublished until you verify it as required by Google. How then should business owners approach the verification process and get their Google My Business account published?
This guide shows an easy and foolproof way to go about the Gmb verification process using the verification methods allowed by Google. You will learn how to:
- Set up Your Gmb Profile properly, So You don’t hit a snag when verifying
- Verifying that you own an unclaimed Google My Business Listing
- Editing wrong details before you ask for verification
- Each Google My Business verification method
- Verify now- instant verification
- How to verify your GMB listing by mail
- Verifying your Google business by email- if eligible
- How to verify your Google My Business page by phone- if eligible
- Verifying your location
- Bulk verification for chain store owners
What Is Google My Business?
You might be wondering what Google My Business is and why you should even bother verifying your local business on Google. In brief, Google My Business is a free business listing service that also happens to be the biggest on the internet. Remember Yelp and Yahoo business reviews? Well, those are no longer the hottest or even relevant as compared to Google reviews on Google Businesses.
Having a free business listing on Google My Business means your business details will come up on local searches (local SEO), will be identified as a local business on Google maps and Google search and so much more. Every time a person does a search on the Google search console on a business category related to yours, they will see a snippet of your business details on Google SERPs and Google maps.
Verifying Google Business- Start from The Setup
To avoid trouble with verifying your Google My Business page, you should think ahead when you go through the verification process. Make sure you put the correct business name, address, phone number, and business address during setup. This will make it easier for you when it comes to verification using any of the verification methods available.
However, you can also change the business address and phone number from the Google My Business dashboard before verifying should you make a mistake during setup. This will, of course, force you to skip the verification during setup, which is not ideal or recommended.
More importantly, ensure that your business address and phone number are correctly formatted as guided by Google during setup. Depending on the verification method you choose, wrongly formatted addresses and phone numbers will make it impossible to verify your business.
Verifying That You Own an Unclaimed Google My Business Listing
There are two ways you can use to get to the verification of a business on Google My Business. One of the methods involves claiming an already published business on Google by clicking on “Claim this business” on Google Maps or “Own this business?” on the correct Google profile snippet on Google search.
If your business is already published on Google either through a former employee or user-generated review data, then you will have to claim it and go about the setup process as if you were setting the page for the first time. You will eventually get to a point where you will be asked to verify the business using any of the verification methods discussed here.
The second route you can use to get to the Google business page involves setting up a new business from scratch if it does not exist on Google search or Google My Business. You can do this by signing into your business Google account and visiting business.google.com. Follow our comprehensive guide on how to set up your local business on Google My Business page from scratch until you get to the verification page.
Verification Methods on Google My Business
Depending on the type of business you register on Google My Business, your physical location, and the business category, you will have one to four verification methods available to you. Some businesses will require verification by postcard, especially if they are a brick and mortar establishment. Others may be allowed to verify location details through email, phone call, or instantly using a 5-digit-verification code.
All these options are automatically generated by the Google My Business verification system and enabled on the page. For instance, you may only have verification by postcard enabled for your business when you try to verify. Don’t’ worry; it’s not a hitch as Google has already established what they need to verify that you are the owner of the said business, have a legitimate physical/postal address and can get a hold of the postcard with the verification code when they mail it to you.
Here are the main verification methods you can use to verify your business on Google:
Verify Now- Instant Verification
The first and perhaps, the easiest and most convenient verification method is instant verification. This verification method is only available to a particular type of business and for only those business owners who have verified their business website on Google Search console. If you sign in to Google business with the same business email you used for the website verification, you may have the instant verification method enabled automatically at the end.
What is Google Search Console, and how do you verify your business website?
Formally known as Google Webmaster tools, Google search console is a tool used to verify business websites and manage key search and ranking-related aspects on Google. While it is not a requirement to verify or register your business website on Google search console to rank, it’s recommended. According to Google, registering your business on the Google search console helps you fix issues that might affect your search rankings, indexing, showing your backlinks, and improve your site’s responsivity on mobile devices.
If you have verified your website on Google search console, just follow these three simple steps to verify your Google My Business listing instantly:
Sign in to your Google account with the same email address you used to verify your website on Google search console.
Visit business.google.com and follow the setup process for Google My Business if it’s a new listing. You can also search for your GMB listing on Google maps and claim it.
Once you get to the verification stage, Google My Business will allow you to verify your business instantly without any extra steps. This is mostly available for businesses operating online with no physical location or those who don’t have customers visit their premises at all.
How to Verify Your GMB Listing by Mail- Postcard
The second, and perhaps most used verification method for local business is the postcard or verification by mail. This is where Google mails a unique verification postcard to your address containing a 5-digit verification code. You will then use this code to verify your Google business listing and have it published.
Add the contact name and click post to request for the verification postcard to be mailed to your address.
There are two ways you can verify your GMB listing by mail. Enter your mailing address at the end of the setup process and request for the postcard or skip and add the mailing address later on the Google My Business console, as shown above. Ensure that you enter a correctly formatted physical address at this stage otherwise, you won’t be able to verify your business on Google
On the dashboard, you will see a notification at the center or above, saying that you need to verify your business. If you have received the verification postcard, click on the “enter verification code” link, and you will be sent to a page where you can verify your business. Verification postcards typically take three days to two weeks maximum to be delivered depending on the distance between you and the nearest Google offices.
On the dashboard, you will see the above notification asking you to verify your business through the postcard sent your address. Should you have, by chance, or error entered the wrong mailing address, please click on the link labelled “I don’t have a code” to request a new postcard with the correct address. Don’t worry; the folks at Google wouldn’t mind mailing a new postcard with the 5-digit verification card to the new address.
If you have received the postcard, look for a 5-digit verification code printed in bold. Enter the code in the textbox below the address, as shown above, and click on verify. If the code matches the business account, your Google My Business page will be verified and published on Google for free! Now you can go ahead and start optimizing it for rankings and reputation by creating posts, responding to reviews, requesting for reviews, and so much more.
Note: If on the Google dashboard, you have more than business, you’ll need first to choose the correct location you want to verify.
Verify with a Postcard on Mobile
In addition to the desktop dashboard, Google My Business also comes with a dedicated Google Business app. You can still use the app to verify your business following these steps:
Step 1- Launch the Google My Business app
Step 2- Tap on the Send postcard button on the app home screen or in the menu.
Step 3- If you have registered more than one business, you need to choose the one you want to verify.
Step 4- Wait for the postcard to arrive and use the app to verify your business by going to the business and entering the 5-digit verification code.
Verifying multiple businesses individually can be cumbersome. You should instead use Google’ bulk verification method discussed later.
Verifying Your Google Business by Email- If Eligible
You can verify your business on email if it’s an online business, and you don’t have a physical address or physical service area. However, it depends if Google sees it’s enough to verify your business through email. If you can see the email verification method on the last page of the setup, follow this procedure to verify your Google business quickly:
Step 1- Choose to verify by email if you are on the last page of the setup process or visit the Google My Business dashboard and click verify.
Step 2- Wait for an email to be sent to your mailbox- The one you used to register your business on Google My Business.
Step 3- If you receive the verification email, just click on the verification link to verify your business. If your mailbox does not support live links, look for a verification code in the email you received and enter it on the dashboard to verify your business.
Verifying Your Google Business by Email on Mobile
You can also verify your business through email using Google My Business mobile app with the following 4-step process:
- Launch the Google My Business app and tap on “send email” on the app home screen.
- Google will use the email address you used to register your business to send a verification email.
- Find the verification email and use the 5-digit code to verify your business by tapping on “enter code” and submitting on the app.
Verifying Your Business by Phone
For some business types, Google My Business may allow you to verify by phone call. If this option is available to you at the verification page, follow this procedure to verify your small business.
Open the dashboard and click on verify now (be sure to select the right business to verify if you have multiple businesses linked to your dashboard).
Choose Verify by phone, and a verification code will be sent to your phone via SMS. Use that code to verify your small business.
Verifying Your Business by Phone on The App
It’s easier and faster to verify your business if you have the Google My Business app. Just launch the app on your phone, tap on the “call me now” button, and you will receive an SMS or automated call to verify your business.
Bulk Verification for Chain Store Owners
This last verification method is only available to account holders with more than ten stores registered on Google My Business. You’ll need to request for bulk verification by filling out a bulk verification request form on the dashboard and sending it to Google for review. You can access the form by going to “get verified” then chain on the dashboard. From there, you will fill out details such as business name, account manager emails, and submit.
You will then need to upload a spreadsheet with information about your businesses as per the guidelines set out by Google.
Verifying and managing multiple accounts can be time-consuming if you have other marketing projects to worry about. If you find that you are struggling with Google My Business optimization, verification, and reviews, you may want to consider using our GMB automation software. The software helps business owners to remove the manual work and stress out of Google My Business management and optimization for success in GMB marketing.