Have you set up your Google My Business listing so that you show up in Google Maps? Great! Did you verify your listing with Google? Say what? Verifying your Google My Business listing gives you more control over your map listing and lets you access valuable information. As a local business owner, your Google My Business listing can be one of your biggest traffic drivers, and because of that, you want to verify and optimize it both. Sometimes your Google Maps listing will show up before your website does in searches, and that's OK; people can still click through and visit your website. So let's answer the question did Google.com verify my business once and for all by verifying your listing today.
Many scammers are going after small business owners, telling them their Google Maps listings aren't verified and they need to pay hundreds of dollars to do it right now. These quotes range from $249-$499, in my experience. My listing has been verified for six years, and I still get multiple calls every week. They have no idea if your listing is verified, and honestly, they won't be able to do it because of how the process works. They're just out to make easy money, and it ticks me off because they're trying to take advantage of you, the small business owner.
Let me save you the $$ you don't need to pay anyone to do this. I'll show you how to know you can hang up on them the next time they call you because you know your listing is verified.
In this post, I will walk you through the verification process. Once you've verified your listing, read this post, where I walk you through the optimization process so you can get as much traffic as possible from Google Maps. It's an easy process that will only take a few minutes for you to complete. You can complete the verification process in 10 minutes or less, which will help your marketing efforts.
You'll need to create an account if you don't already have a Google My Business listing for your local business. Start by visiting the Google Business Center at https://business.google.com/.
Enter Your Business name. If your business is already on Google Maps, it will pull up in their search. Google will ask you to verify the information in their records to confirm it's your business. Google will ask for your address and contact information if it's not in the system.
You'll see an account dashboard page if your business is already listed. You will need to request access or ownership, depending on the situation.
If your listing is already verified, Google will tell you who verified the listing. They'll provide a truncated email address that should indicate who to contact. If you didn't do this yourself, you will have to reach the person who previously verified the listing and have them add your Gmail address as an owner so that you can optimize your listing. This situation is common if you worked with an SEO person or had someone build your website.
If your listing has been verified, but you don't know who did it or that person is no longer with you, you can request ownership through Google. It will take about a week, but they'll grant your request so that you can complete the process. Having someone add you to an account is easier than changing ownership. If you can find the person who owns the account, start there.
Google will give you two ways to verify your listing. You can either do it via a postcard mailed to your business address or by answering a phone call from Google. It's up to you as to which one you want to do. The postcard will take about five days to arrive, and because it's the plainest, most boring, simple white postcard with black text and no graphics you've ever seen, it often gets overlooked or misplaced. The second option is much faster, but you have to be available to answer a phone call immediately. You need to choose to mail a postcard or receive a phone call.
If you choose the phone call verification method, your listing will be verified almost immediately. If you opt for the postcard, it will take about a week before you receive the postcard, and you'll then need to enter the code on the postcard to complete the verification process.
That's all it takes to verify your Google My Business listing. You're ready to optimize it and drive more traffic, and you saved yourself hundreds of dollars. Go through the process, verify your Google My Business listing, and then you can hang up the next time the scammers call you.
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