Verifying your GMB may seem simple. You get to follow the clear instructions from Google. However, when you start the process, you’ll see that there’s much more to it. A lot of people don’t get to verify their listing. Things happen after such as the GMB verification postcard gets lost or it just didn’t arrive. This happens more often than you can imagine.
This article on GMB Verification, we will discuss every possible way of verifying your Google My Business listing. I’ll also show you all the hidden pitfalls you may face during the process as well as the best ways to convert your GMB listing into a lead generation tool for your business.
Watch the video version of this article below:
Why GMB verification is so important
GMB signals such as location, proximity, categories, keywords, etc. make up 28% of all ranking factors in the Local Pack or Maps listing.
This means a well-optimized Google My Business listing has a higher chance of appearing more in the top search results in the local pack.
Unverified GMB listing cannot be managed by the business owner.
Unverified GMB accounts are restricted to any changes in the information. The business owner cannot edit or optimize the information in search, maps, and other Google properties unless the owner claims and verified the account.
Google has to confirm the physical location of your business and check whether you’re authorized to own a listing. Once you verified, you can start making changes to your business info across Google, View Insights, and upload new photos, publish posts, respond to customer reviews, and so on.
You can generate leads through your GMB listing.
The most important reason why you need to verify your GMB listing is to gain lead generation. Having a verified and well-optimized GMB can get you the best and biggest source of leads through Google Ads. While SEO is good, it can be limited compared to running Google Ads.
7 ways to do your GMB verification
After registering or claiming your Google My Business, you’ll be offered to choose a GMB verification method as shown below:
Although you can only see 3 verification options, there are more options available to you after you have created your listing. These are:
This is the most common way to do GMB verification. It lets Google know exactly where the business is located. After filling in your name and business address, you will see a pop-up saying that your postcard is on its way.
You’ll have a GMB verification postcard sent to you within 5 business days. You need to provide your business address not a PO box address as Google will not send verification letters to PO boxes.
Once you have the postcard with the 5-digit verification code, log in to Google My Business, select the business you want to verify and click “Verify now”. Enter the code you got from Google into the appropriate field.
Sometimes the postcard doesn’t arrive, or the code will fail. It happens. If you have one of these issues, you can request a new code by signing into your Google My Business account, go to the verification code page and click the blue “Mail again” link.
Some businesses may want to verify their GMB listing by phone. However, this option isn’t available to everyone. If Google can find enough indexed information about you, they may give you this option to verify your business over the phone.
Once you get this option, you’ll have two choices: you can opt for call verification or text verification. The system will send a 5-digit code that you’ll have to enter online.
On the side note, please be wary that the GMB community forum has a lot of stories about scammers pretending they work at Google. Please be guided by these suspicious activities here.
Take note that Google will never:
- ask you for any passwords, personal information nor your verification code
- charge you for any GMB listing services, they are free
- offer to optimize or improve your GMB listing
Just like the phone verification option, this is an option that may or may not offer to you by Google.
It is easy to verify your GMB listing via email. But before clicking the “Verify now”, make sure that the email displayed on the verification screen is correct and that you can log in to that email.
After that, check your inbox for an email from Google My Business. It will have a verification code and a link to the GMB page where you can activate it.
4. Instant verification
Instant verification is a great option, but a lot of business owners fail to take advantage of it.
If your site is already verified in the Google Search Console, then you might be eligible for instant verification.
To use instant verification, make sure you sign in to GMB with the same account you use for Google Search Console.
5. Bulk verification
This option is available for multi-location businesses that need to verify 10 or more locations.
After signing in to Google My Business, click “Get verified” next to one of your locations. And then choose “Chain”. Fill in all the required information and submit the verification form.
It does take time; however, it can take up to a week for Google to review and check your form.
6. Video chat
If your business qualifies for video verification, you can use it without a problem.
The verification is done on a Google Meet video call with a Google representative. You can use the Google meet link on your computer or on your phone by downloading the Google Hangouts app for iOS or Android.
If you have a brick and mortar business, the Google representative may want to see your workplace, your logo, inventory, signage, and maybe even meet a couple of your employees.
If you own a service area business, you may need to show your work vehicle with your brand, your license plate, and some tools of the trade.
7. My Business Providers
The My Business Provider program allows companies and organizations who manage large amounts of business data to verify other businesses they are partnered up with.
The Business Providers will be able to generate verification codes and distribute them among their supported businesses for further verification.
This program is available only to local businesses with a physical storefront that has already signed up for Google My Business.
So, what’s next after your GMB verification is complete? Think about marketing. Optimize your listing for search and use Google Ads to jump right to the top. It’s a newer program. In the past, there was no way to get ads in the maps listing. But by verifying your GMB listing, you can get seen by more people quickly.