Do I need to include my business to Google's listing?

Google My Business – or GMB – is one of Google’s services available to businesses who want to take their brand online. With a verified business listing, you can edit your business information that appears when someone looks up for your brand on standard search or Google Maps. You will be part of the local service providers that Google will show on its search engine results, which is called the Local Search Pack, an effective driver of local SEO.

A verified business makes customers feel more secure, and it is more convenient for them to find you. Also, Google protects your ownership over your business online against individuals who try to take over listings even if they do not own the company.

How do I verify my Google My Business listing?

There are several ways to verify your GMB listing, with some only available to selected businesses. We list them out below:

#1. Standard mail verification

Business owners often choose this method as it is always available. With the standard mail verification, Google sends a postcard to you within two weeks. It is a way for them to verify and confirm the accuracy of your business location. Inform your employees in advance so they will not neglect the postcard when it arrives.
The essential part of the postcard is the verification code. Follow this procedure once you receive it.

1. Log into your Google My Business account
2. Select the business listing you want to verify
3. Enter the 5-digit code
4. Click ‘Verify’

Your first attempt in entering the verification code may fail. Some have testified that they needed to re-enter the code twice or thrice. If it does not work after multiple tries, contact Google about your problem.

#2. Phone verification

A more convenient method of verifying your business is through an automated phone call or text message. This method may not be available to everyone. Should you get the opportunity, take it as it is a faster process than mail. Phone verification follows the same procedure when you confirm a Gmail account. A 5-digit code will be provided, similar way to how you would receive a one-time pin (OTP) when making online bank transactions.

However, please be mindful of spam calls and texts. Remember that when you choose an automated request, all you will hear is a Google representative dictating your verification code. Google will not ask any personal information, request for charges or provide product offerings during the process.

#3. E-mail verification

Consider yourself lucky if you see a ‘Verify by E-mail’ button on your screen for this is also not available to all. Your verification code will be sent to your e-mail, so double check that you have entered the correct e-mail address. Google will immediately send the verification code once you click the button.

There could be instances when the verification code is sent to your Spam folder. This situation may happen rarely but check the e-mail thoroughly first before clicking any links or codes because it might have dangerous contents should this be an impersonating email.

#4. Instant verification

It is an advantage if you have a Google Search Console (GSC) account and you are using the same e-mail address in your GMB. When Google recognises both accounts, there is a higher chance that you can instantly verify your business. That said, there is no 100% guarantee that the instant verification option will be available as it depends on the credibility of your GSC and your online presence. A new business with very little web presence may not qualify for instant verification. Also, some business categories may not have the option to instantly verify their GMB even if they have a GSC account.

#5. Video chat verification

This method was an update from Google in 2018. If you qualify for video chat verification, make sure that you have Google Meet downloaded and stable access to stable internet connection before proceeding. You will conduct a live video chat with a Google specialist to complete the verification process. There are several things you need to prepare.
If you have a storefront business, the representative may ask you to show your workplace, brand logo, and the vicinity you operate in. He may also request to talk to one or two of your employees or clients. If you have a service area business, you may be required to show your branded service vehicle, license plate, and equipment you use to provide the service.

img_video_chat_verification

#6. My Business Providers (Formerly Trusted Verifiers)

Google uses the Trusted Verifiers mobile app in this process, which is now known as ‘My Business Providers’. Google allows big and trusted companies to authenticate their business partners like yourself by giving them verification codes.

This system is an invitation-only verification process, and is not available to everyone.

#7. Product experts verification

Dedicated webmasters can now verify businesses with Google’s Product Experts Program launched in 2019. As Trusted Verifiers because of their expertise in the business field, they can bypass typical verification methods when they add a business to Google. Getting a Product Expert to verify your business online, be they your web developer or digital marketing agency, can speed up the verification process.

Product Experts start as Gold-level specialists. The more companies they approve, the higher chances they will reach the Platinum and Alumni level.

#8. Bulk verification

Businesses with 10 or more locations are eligible for the bulk verification method. You can use this approach by clicking the ‘Get verified’ button next to a location and choosing the ‘Chain’ option. Then fill in all required information and submit the form. This feature saves your time in verifying each business location, but it may take about a week for it to process.

How do I know if my listing is verified?

Once you complete the verification process, Google will send a notification that you have successfully verified your business. You can open your GMB account to check your business status, or you can check it manually on search. Click the Knowledge Graph when you search your business online. If it does not have an ‘Own this business?’ button beside it, it means your business is verified.

Bottom line

Having a verified business under Google My Business listing is essential nowadays. Customers are becoming more meticulous in choosing the companies they want to connect with, and they usually gather information via Google. A verified business by Google would send a message to customers that you are a legitimate entity.
Once you have verified your GMB listing, bulk up the content of your profile with images and even a 3D virtual tour of your business!

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