Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is vital if you’d like your business to be visible in local search results. It also provides your customers with the ability to make public enquiries or comments, giving you the opportunity to display your connection to customers. If you have a GMB listing, your business also appears on Google Maps which is extremely important if you want to attract foot-traffic since about half of all searches are done using mobile devices and include local intent in their query.
Without a doubt, your Google My Business account is one of the most important tools you have for managing your online presence. It’s true that one of the factors determining whether businesses appear on local search results is proximity. However, having an unverified business listing is one of the main reasons why businesses do not appear on search results or on Google Maps.
Consequently, all business listings on GMB need to be verified. If you enter your business name and city or ZIP/Postal Code in Google’s search engine and you see your business listing but you also get the message “Own This Business?” then you need to claim and verify your business so you can manage and customize the listing. What’s more, keep in mind that unless you verify your business, you won’t be able to edit the business information that appears on Google.
According to Google, verified businesses are twice as likely to be considered reputable by users. By verifying, you can also be protected from anyone who might otherwise pose as a representative of your business.
The majority of local businesses usually verify their listing by requesting a postcard via snail mail. However, some businesses have other verification options, like verification using their email, phone, or Search Console.
To get started with the verification process, you need to sign in at google.com/business where your GMB dashboard will appear. To the right of the red banner at the top of the page, there is a Verify now button which you need to click.
Once you click on Verify now, at the top left corner of the page, you’ll see the Mail button over the map where your business is pinned. You should confirm that your business information is correct and only then click Mail. Don’t click on the Verify later button below. Finally, click on Send postcard.
The postcard you receive will have a five-digit verification code. You will have to enter the code after logging in to your GMB account and clicking on the location you want to verify. Then you click on the Verify location button in the menu or Verify now. Finally, you’ll be asked to enter the code and click on Submit to complete the verification.
If your business is eligible for email verification, you will see this option listed when you click on the Verify now button. Once you click on it, you will receive an email with a Verify link which you need to click on or enter the code on the email message in your Google My Business dashboard.
If your business is eligible to receive the verification code by phone, you will see this option available after clicking on the Verify now button. If you choose this option you will get an automated phone message which you have to listen to for the verification code. Once you have your code, you can enter it in the code field.
If you’ve already had your business website verified with Google Search Console, you may be able to verify your GMB account instantly. If you sign in GMB with the same email you used to verify the listing on Search Console, then you will have instant verification. However, Google warns that some business categories are not eligible for this option even if they have Search Console verification.