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SEO Basics: Verifying Your Google Listing

Lake Worth Search Engine Optimization, South Florida SEO Experts

Hanna Reder

Brand Manager

SEO Basics: Verifying Your Google Listing

Lake Worth Search Engine Optimization, South Florida SEO Experts

It’s no secret that having a claimed and verified Google My Business (GMB) listing should be a fundamental piece of any business owner’s digital marketing strategy. A business’ Google listing is one of the core components of our Lotus Program, but before any optimization of a GMB listing begins it has to be verified. But what does verification mean and why is it necessary?

This is a question we at BroadLeaf Marketing & SEO hear quite often. In this article, we will detail what it means to verify a Google listing, why it’s necessary to do so, and go over the many verification options available today.

Why Google My Business Listings Require Verification

Lake Worth Search Engine Optimization, South Florida SEO ExpertsMost businesses are not brand new, often having many years or decades of operation under their belts. However, despite you, your clients, and your community knowing that your business exists, if you haven’t claimed and verified your Google listing until now this means Google has never confirmed the validity of your business’ existence.

By verifying your listing, you are confirming not only the existence of your business but that you are authorized to represent your business online. Google has strict quality guidelines, and they want to protect both consumers and business owners. By requiring a verification process, Google ensures that the person verifying a listing is affiliated with the business (which reduces fraudulent or “hijacked” listings), and is able to show consumers that a business’ existence is confirmed.

What Verification Options Are Available?

There are 4 ways to verify your Google My Business listing: verification code by mail (postcard), phone/text verification, email verification, and manual verification. Keep in mind, not every option is available to everyone and the eligibility for certain methods is determined by a multitude of factors which are not publicly disclosed by Google.

1. Postcard Verification

Lake Worth Search Engine Optimization, South Florida SEO ExpertsVerifying a listing via a verification code sent to a physical address is the most common method and is available to every business. Before requesting a postcard it’s important to make sure all of your business information – specifically business name, address, and category – is correct and complies with Google’s address entry guidelines. Unfortunately, Google does not allow business listings to be set up at P.O. Boxes (includes UPS stores and other mailbox services), but this is no cause for concern. There are still 3 more verification methods to explore!

How to Verify a Business Listing by Postcard:

1. Sign in to Google My Business.

2. Choose the business you’d like to verify, then click “Verify now”.

3. On the postcard request screen, make sure that your address is displayed accurately. If it isn’t, edit the address before you request your postcard. You can also add an optional contact name to help your postcard reach you.

4. Click “Send postcard”.

5. Check the mail for your postcard. Most postcards arrive within 5 days. Don’t edit your business name, address, or category, or request a new code while you’re waiting—this may delay the verification process.

Note: If you are an existing BroadLeaf client and we have sent a verification postcard on your behalf, disregard the following steps and contact your Lotus Account Manager and provide your 5-digit verification code. It will be entered into our system and synced with your Lotus Program account.

How to Enter the Verification Code:

1. Once you receive your postcard, sign in to Google My Business.

2. If you manage more than one location, click “Manage location” on the location you want to verify.

3. Click the “Enter code” button in the blue banner at the top of the page.

4. Enter the 5-digit verification code from your postcard in the “Code” field.

5. Click “Submit”.

2. Phone or Text Verification:

Lake Worth Search Engine Optimization, South Florida SEO ExpertsThe ability to receive a 6-digit verification code via an automated voice call or a text message is available for select businesses. This method is considerably faster than a code by mail, in fact, it is completed instantly!

How to Verify a Business Listing by Automated Phone Call:

1. Sign in to Google My Business.

2. Choose the business you’d like to verify, then click “Verify now”.

3. Make sure that you can directly answer your business phone number to receive your verification code.

4. A phone number (often your business line) will be offered. Click the “Call” button to have the code sent to your phone via an automated message.

5. Enter the code from the message.

How to Verify a Business Listing by Text Message:

1. Sign in to Google My Business.

2. Choose the business you’d like to verify, then click “Verify now”.

3. A phone number (often your business line) will be offered. If the number offered is a mobile phone click the “Text” button to have the code sent to your phone via text message.

4. Enter the 6-digit code from the text message.

3. Email Verification:

Lake Worth Search Engine Optimization, South Florida SEO ExpertsThe ability to receive a 6-digit verification code via email is available for select businesses. Like phone and text verification, this method verifies your Google listing instantly! It’s important to make sure you have access to the email address shown on the verification screen before attempting an email verification. It is not uncommon for GMB to generate non-existent email addresses based on your business’ website domain and in certain cases the option to change the first half (example: name@yourwebsite.com) of the provided email is available.

How to Verify a Business Listing by Email: 

1. Sign in to Google My Business.

2. Choose the business you’d like to verify, then click “Verify now”.

3. An email address will be provided. It is common to be unable to edit the provided email address, but in certain cases, you may be offered the opportunity to enter an accurate email address.

4. Click the “Email” button.

5. Check your email.

6. From here you can either click the “Verify” button within the verification email from Google or enter the code from the email into your Google My Business Dashboard.

4. Manual Verification:

Lake Worth Search Engine Optimization, South Florida SEO ExpertsIn the event that postcard verification is the only option offered to your business and you are unable to receive mail at your physical address, you will need to manually verify the listing. The process of manual verification can be overwhelming, in fact, Google makes it pretty difficult to even begin the process. For cases like these, you might want to consider having a professional step in to assist you with the manual verification process. BroadLeaf Marketing & SEO is staffed by the industry’s leading experts when it comes to this lengthy, complicated process, and we are always available to facilitate a manual verification for you!

Manual verification can be done either offline or via a live video call with a member from Google My Business’ specialist team. For offline verification, you will need photographic or video evidence of your business that needs to meet very strict and specific requirements. If Google decides that the offline methods are not sufficient, you will have to schedule a live video call (think of it like face-timing with Google – how fun!) at your business location.

Because this process is much more in-depth than the other 3 verification methods, we’ve decided to dedicate an entire article to successfully verifying a Google My Business listing manually. Stay tuned for our next SEO Basics article to learn all about manual verification!

If you’ve been struggling to verify a Google listing for your business, give BroadLeaf Marketing & SEO a call and we’ll get your listing published in no time!

August 28, 2018