The question of “How do I use Google to verify my business?” is an important one. Without verification, a business doesn’t show up on Google’s many services including search results and Maps, which means missing out on a massive opportunity for more customers.
Verification can be an intimidating process, but you can get it done in a few steps. Here’s how to do it.
How do I use Google to Verify My Business?
A Google My Business (GMB) account is all you need to start the process of verifying your business. According to Google, most local businesses will go through the verification process by mail, but other establishments, like “service area businesses” have other verification options available.
Option 1: Verify My Business By Mail
With this method, Google will send you a postcard within 14 days with a verification code attached to it. Before requesting verification, make sure that your GMB listing address meets Google’s guidelines. Otherwise, the arrival of the postcard might be delayed, or it arrives in the wrong place.
To start the process, log in to your GMB account and click on the “Verify Now” option on your listing. When you get to the postcard request screen, make sure that the listed address is correct before clicking the “Send Postcard” confirmation button. You can also request a postcard through the GMB app by tapping the “Send postcard” button and pressing the “I don’t have a code” option.
Google also says to not make any other changes to your listing name, address, or category while waiting for the postcard. Doing so could further delay your verification process.
Once you have the code, follow these steps:
- Log in to GMB and choose the specific location you want to verify.
- Click “Verify Location” or “Verify Now” and enter the five-digit code on the postcard.
- Click “Submit.”
On the GMB app, tap the business you want to verify and select the “Enter code” button and follow the same process.
Option 2: Verify My Business By Email
After choosing a specific business and clicking on the “Verify now” button, you can choose the email option as a verification method (if it’s available). You should then see a message in your inbox that contains a code. Enter that code in the GMB dashboard, or you can click the “Verify” button in the email message. The same process also works on the GMB app.
Option 3: Verify My Business By Phone
If you have the option available after hitting the “Verify now” button, you can get your code via your business’s phone number. A call will come through your phone and you will need to listen for the automated voice system, which will provide a code. Enter that on the verification section of GMB. On the app, all you have to do is tap the “Call me now” option and enter the code from the automated voice system.
Option 4: Verify My Business Instantly
Those already using Google Search Console for a business may qualify for instant verification. Just make sure that the email used for the GMB account is the same as the one used to verify the listing on Search Console. However, note that all businesses on Search Console might not be eligible for instant verification.
Option 5: Verify My Business via An Agency
If you have an agency managing your locations for you, it can verify up to nine locations through an Organization account, which allows for managing multiple aspects of your company’s profile.
However, please note bulk verification isn’t allowed for agencies. Only the actual owner of the GMB account can go through the verification process before agencies can request shared access to the business’ location group page, which shows the locations that were bulk verified. Speaking of which…
How Do I Use Google to Verify My Business Locations In Bulk?
Some businesses feature multiple locations and it’s possible to have them all verified at once, but you need to have 10 or more establishments to begin the process. It should be noted that bulk verification is not available for those with less than 10 locations and service-area establishments (businesses that don’t serve customers at the listed address).
Specifically, Google classifies two types of accounts for bulk verification.
- An individual user account, which will verify all eligible locations in that account not claimed by another user.
- Location group, a.k.a. “business accounts,” which verifies all locations in the group when the account’s primary owner is verified.
You also need to have a spreadsheet containing the 10 or more locations from the same business as well as the locations you manage. Finally, make sure you meet the following criteria:
- Your business is eligible for verification.
- It isn’t a service-area business.
- A verified account doesn’t currently exist for your business.
- Your account doesn’t have errors.
If you meet all these requirements then follow the steps below to bulk verify your locations.
- In your GMB account choose the “Get verified” option next to one of the locations and then click on “Chain.”
- You will then need to complete a form with the following information as accurately as possible.
- Business Name (include the name of the parent company, if applicable)
- Business Countries/Regions (only list the businesses managed by the GMB account holder)
- Contact Name (provide the names of those who will be managing the GMB account)
- Contact Phone (Google will call this number to clarify any issues with verification)
- Business Manager Email (this should be the address of someone who can verify other account users as authorized representatives)
- Google Account Manager Email
Google says that it will take about a week to process the request, during which time it verifies the GMB account holder’s authority and checks that the account itself meets specific quality guidelines.
How do I Verify My Business if There’s A New Owner?
When a change in leadership occurs, you’ll need to send a request to the previous business owner asking them to hand over the listing ownership to new management. Doing so means that you can control the data provided in the listing, which can help establish further trust and credibility towards your customers. The general process for obtaining ownership of the listing is as follows:
- Visit business.google.com/add and enter the name and address of the business, and choose it from the available results. You can also use Search or Maps to find the location and click “Claim this business” within the Business Profile.
- Click “Continue” on the following page where you’ll get a message confirming that another person verified the profile. If you can manage the profile, you can get ownership from the current owner.
- If so, click the “Request access” button, fill out the form, and hit the “Submit” button. The current owner will have 3-7 days to respond to your request.
If the owner approves your request you will receive an email notification, and you can manage the newly-owned listing on your GMB page. If a request is denied, you’ll still receive an email and notification when you sign in to GMB. You can still suggest edits to the listing to help the business or appeal the request to Google.
If you don’t hear from the owner at the end of the seven-day period, you might be able to claim the listing anyway by going to GMB and clicking on the “Verify” or “Claim” button on the dashboard page. However, you might sometimes not get an option to claim the listing. Google says that this is because the listing is not “eligible to be transferred.”
Please note that there are exceptions to this rule. Some storefronts, service-area businesses, and brand with bulk verification need to have a different method for obtaining ownership from the previous owner. Fortunately, Google has steps for each scenario on its support page.
Verification Brings Exposure
With a verified business, you can begin to attract more customers. Having a presence on Google is a vital step to increasing your exposure via local SEO. It’s also a massive lever to pull when it comes to customer reviews because Google alone holds 57.5% of all customer feedback. That’s plenty of social proof that every brand needs to attract more customers, retain loyal fans, and continue to gain revenue in the long run.