To most business owners, it is easy to verify Google My Business profile. Step one create a GMB profile, step two claim your GMB listing, and step three, verify it. However, the process is neither simple nor linear. This is because you need three different Google accounts and two Google platforms to add a business to Google maps and verify Google My Business listing.
Google renamed its local listing platform GMB (Google My Business) recently to Google Business Profile. That means businesses can now manage their profiles directly on Google Maps or search. In this article, we will use GMB and Google Business Profile interchangeably.
Why verify the Google My Business listing?
The primary reason for GMB verification is quite simple – you cannot manage your business information in Google search, Google maps, and other Google platforms unless you can successfully verify it. Remember, Google must first confirm the physical location of your business premises and check whether you are authorized to own a business listing. After that, you’ll be able to make changes to your GMB profile’s information across Google, upload new GMB photos, view listing statistics known as insights, respond to google reviews, publish posts, and more.
Additionally, GMB signals such as categories, proximity, keyword in the business title, and more often make up about 25% of the essential ranking factors in the local pack. That means if you own a GMB profile, your chances of showing up in the local pack are higher than if you focus on ranking factors such as Google reviews, links, citations, and more. This is the primary reason it’s essential to have complete control over the information included in your GMB listing.
Another reason to verify Google My Business listing is that according to Google, verified business profiles are twice as likely to be perceived as trustworthy and reputable by users. Google My Business profiles often look more trustworthy and consistent when they are edited and optimized by the owner.
Remember, verifying your Google My Business listing can protect it from other people who might want to act as a representative of your business and probably claim the Google listing as their own. This is an example of simple and pure fraud, so you must ensure you are aware of such cases.
Check if you have verified your Google My Business Listing
To check the specific business associated with your Google account, you must use a special tool from Google. Just sign in to your Google account and choose the specific business you want to check, and you’ll see its verification status.
You can also check the verification status of your business manually from the search results. This approach is effective if you suspect that your business listing was created by someone else and you intend to claim it as your own. Simply Google the business name and check the knowledge graph. If the “own this business” option near the “suggest an edit” option isn’t available, that GMB listing is verified.
If you realize that the business listing isn’t verified, it’s time to claim and verify Google My Business listing.
Ways to verify Google My Business listing
There are different ways to verify Google My Business listing. Your choice will depend on your business type and geographical location. Right after claiming or registering your business on Google, you will be offered to choose the specific method to verify Google My Business listing. Some of these verification options include;
1. Standard mail
Standard mail is the widely used verification method. It allows Google to know your business address and exact location. The delivery process usually takes up to two weeks, depending on your region. During the verification process of your Google My Business profile, don’t change your business information such as name, address, business categories, and more until you successfully verify Google My Business listing. Also, remember that Google will not send a verification code or verification letters to PO boxes.
Once you fill in the right business name and address, you will get a pop-up saying verification postcards are on the way. This postcard has a 5-digit verification code. Log into your GMB account, choose the business you intend to verify, then click ‘verify now.’ Enter the code in the appropriate field.
Some organizations want to verify Google My Business listing (Google business profile) by phone. However, this option is not available to everyone from the start. So, consider yourself lucky if you get this option because it takes just a few minutes.
During phone verification, you can choose to get an automated call or get a text message on any of your mobile devices, particularly your business phone. If you choose to get code by phone, you will get an actual call from a Google representative.
3. Email option
Once you begin the verification process of your Google business profile, you will see ‘verify business by email’ if your business is eligible. Before you click ‘verify now,’ ensure the business manager email or any other email displayed is correct. Next, open your email inbox and find an email message from GMB. That’s where you get the code you need to verify Google My Business listing. Remember, verification via email requires you to have access to the email address used.
4. Instant verification
One of the top ways to verify Google My Business listing that business owners rarely take advantage of is instant verification. If your website is already verified by the Google search console, you are eligible for instant verification. Remember, not every business verified by the Google search console is eligible for this option.
In fact, it is an issue of how much trust Google has in your business. Suppose you own a new business or one with a limited online presence. In that case, it is unlikely that you can get it verified instantly. For this reason, postcard verification is the best option. To use instant verification to verify your Google business profile, ensure you are signed in to your GMB using the same account you usually use for GSC.
5. Bulk verification
The bulk verification option is accessible for organizations that need to verify over ten locations of one organization. Once you sign in to your GMB account, click ‘verify now’ next to one of the locations. Then select ‘chain.’ Be sure to fill in the necessary information and then submit the verification form.
6. Video chat
Video chat verification isn’t widely used but has been available since November 2018. However, if your business is eligible for a video chat verification option, you can use it. It is done via a video chat with a Google representative, which means you must install the Google Hangout app, not just provide a video recording of your business. Remember you need more than a video recording because the specialist may want to see your storefront, logo, public space, employees, workplace, and more.
7. Trusted verifiers
Another way to verify Google My business listing is to consult with a trusted verifier (certified partner allowed to verify Google business profile via Trusted Verifier mobile app). Note that this is an invitation-only program that can’t be applied for unless you get an invitation from Google. It was available until 2019 and then was replaced by My Business Provider.
8. Google product experts
Recently, Google introduced the Product Expert Program. That means the most dedicated and passionate webmasters have become official Google Product Experts on different levels, including Alumni, Platinum, Gold, and Silver. These experts can bypass most traditional methods of verifying your Google business profile.
9. Local Guides
You can use Local Guides to verify Google My Business listing. Note that Local Guides is simply a global community of explorers who usually create customer reviews, answer questions, share photos, edit places, and check facts on Google search and maps.
Do you need help to verify your Google business profile?
Verifying your GMB profile may be a challenging task, particularly if you’re not sure about the appropriate option. Consider consulting with an expert with access to an efficient toolbox to evaluate and control your business representation on Google search or maps. Once your business is verified, you can optimize it to feature on Google search and maps.