How To Claim Your Business on Google (And Why It Matters)

Christy Walters


July 20, 2021 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

hand holding black cell phone with Google map onscreen, business listing for Morley Butchers at bottom of screen.

Quick Navigation

While Google My Business profiles may be simple to use once established, the creation and claiming process has many paths you can take to achieve the same result. Understanding the different methods for creating, claiming, and verifying your business can ensure that you use this tool to your advantage. Following the correct steps can help make this transition easier for you and unlock a variety of additional benefits and possibilities for your online reach.

What Is Google My Business?

Screenshot of Google My Business introduction screen with text on left, business profile example on right and a blue button at the bottom.

Google My Business is a web tool that allows you to create and manage a free business profile that appears when users search for your company by name or when they’re searching for local goods and services in your market. Having a business profile through Google allows for many channels of interaction with current and potential customers. Some features include:

  • Displaying products you have in store or services you offer
  • Providing online ordering and delivery options
  • Responding to customer reviews
  • Setting standard and alternate hours

You can manage these elements and other parts of your profile through the Google My Business app, directly from Google Search and Maps, or through the Google My Business Website. 

How Does Google Source My Business Information?

Before you create or claim your business, Google may already display your company information that they sourced from other places on the internet. Some methods that Google uses to gather data about companies include:

  • Information from Google’s interactions with a local business
  • Licensed data from third parties
  • Publicly available information crawled from web content on other sites
  • User-submitted content from business owners who claim their local listings through Google My Business
  • User-submitted factual information, such as photos and reviews

Some of the information Google receives about your company from across the internet may be outdated or false, so claiming your business can help ensure your customers receive the most accurate information to increase their satisfaction with your company.

Why Create a Google My Business Account?

Creating a Google My Business account allows you to “claim” ownership of your business information on Google and then to customize and control the way your business information appears on Google search and maps. Studies have found that advertising and promoting your company through search results beats social media by over 300% as a traffic source. Adding a business profile can act as a complement to your website and help you get more visibility across Google platforms. It’s also estimated that business listings with a website get up to 35% more clicks, meaning that using the two together could significantly increase your visibility and traffic. 

Why Should I Claim and Verify My Business on Google?

Claiming and verifying your business profile on Google helps ensure that your information isn’t just available on Google, but that it’s updated consistently to be most valuable to your customers. Verifying your business allows Google to confirm that you’re the actual owner or operator and that you have the authority to spread information or make changes regarding your business. This focus on security and accuracy may make your company seem more legitimate online and help you establish or maintain a reputation in your industry and community.

Claiming your business can also increase your SEO rankings. According to another study, 92% of searchers often pick which businesses to visit or interact with based on the first page of local search results. By using Google My Business to post updates, list products, and accept online orders, you can increase the chances of your content appearing on that first page of results. Using content syndication services like those that CopyPress provides can also work with your business profile to increase ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

What Do I Need To Claim and Verify My Business on Google?

To claim your business on Google, you’ll need a few free and easily accessible tools and pieces of information:

  • A free Google account
  • An internet connection
  • Information about your business, such as the name, category, and address
  • A phone number that can receive calls or texts, a business email address, or a business mailing address

It’s important to note that you can also claim a business without a specific storefront as long as your company has in-person contact with its customers, provides deliveries, or runs a local service-based business that visits customer homes as long as you can provide the required information.

How Do I Claim My Business on Google?

There are multiple ways you can claim your business on Google using their provided tools and services. Consider signing into your Google account before following the steps below. Logging in at the beginning can make claiming and verifying your business easier. Choose one of the following options to claim your business:

Find Your Business Through Google My Business

One way to claim your business is through the Google My Business webpage and app. Use these steps to claim your listing through Google My Business online:

  1. Visit the Google My Business website.
  2. Type your business name into the search bar.
  3. If there is already a created listing for your business, it should appear in the drop-down menu. Click on the listing to advance to the next screen.
  4. Follow the prompts to answer any additional questions about your business.
  5. Click the “Manage Now” button to proceed to verification.

Google find your business screenshot with white cell phone and google listing on left and search bar on right

Find Your Business Through Google Search

If you conduct a Google search for your business, you can claim it right from the search results. Use these steps to claim your listing through Google search:

  1. Visit Google.
  2. Type your business name into the search bar.
  3. Your Google-created business listing should appear in a box to the right of the screen on a laptop or desktop computer, or near the top of the page on a mobile device. The listing may include basic information gathered from across the internet, such as your location, a map, and your hours.
  4. Click the link that says “Own this business? Claim it now.”
  5. A pop-up window, lightbox, or new screen should appear. Click the “Get verified” button to proceed to verification.

Screenshot of Google image search result for "What Lifts You? Pittsburgh Wings" with image and map at top and contact information below.

Find Your Business Through Google Maps

Locating your business on Google Maps is another way you can claim the listing and start posting your content. Use these steps to claim your business on Google Maps:

  1. Visit Google Maps.
  2. Type your business name in the Google Maps search bar.
  3. Click the correct listing from the drop-down menu.
  4. On a laptop or desktop computer, the listing should appear on the left side of the screen along with your basic information. On a mobile device, this bar may appear at the bottom of your screen, and you can slide it up to reveal the information.
  5. Choose the “Claim this business” link from the menu or bar.
  6. Click the “Get verified” button to proceed to verification.

Screenshot of Google My Business search with map on right and business listing on left.

Add Your Business To Google

If you currently don’t have a business listing on Google My Business, you can create one, claim it, and verify it all within the same process. Use these steps to create your listing on Google:

  1. Visit Google My Business.
  2. Click the “Add your business to Google” link.
  3. Type your business name and category into the appropriate boxes.
  4. Choose if you would like to add location services so that your business appears in Google Maps.
  5. Add your business’s street address, city, state, and ZIP code.
  6. Choose your service location from the available options.
  7. Add your contact information such as your full name, the business phone number, and company web address.
  8. Click “Next” to proceed to verification.

You can also add your business to Google through Google Maps. Simply visit Maps on your computer, click the three horizontal lines to the left of the search bar, and choose “Add your business” from the menu. Then, you can complete steps 3 through 8 as you would through Google My Business.

Screenshot of Google Business Profile Creation Screen. Cartoon phone on left and business creation fields on right.

What Happens When I Claim My Business on Google?

After creating a new business profile, Google may add your listing within 24 hours. You’ll likely receive an email confirming that your listing is active with a link to view it online. For listings that are already created, the next step is verification. While you’re not required to verify your business immediately after claiming it, doing so may help you start posting to Google and interacting with customers as soon as possible.

How Do I Verify When Claiming My Business?

To verify your business with Google, you’ll receive a PIN that you have to enter on Google My Business to prove your legitimacy. Google can send this code to you in a variety of ways, depending on the type of information you’ve provided in your business profile. These options include:

Verify by Email

Verifying your business by email may be one of the quickest ways to receive confirmation and start updating your data. Follow these steps to verify your listing by email:

  1. From the verification page through any Google Channel, select “Verify by email” and enter a business email address linked to your company’s web domain.
  2. Click the “Email” button.
  3. The site should automatically redirect you to a new screen, and you can expect to receive an email within a few minutes.
  4. Enter the PIN from the email into the correct box and hit enter.

Verify by Phone

Verifying your listing by phone gives you two options for communication with Google: call or text. Use these steps to verify your listing by phone:

  1. From the verification page through any Google Channel, select “Verify by phone” to use the provided business phone number to receive your code.
  2. Choose whether you’d like to receive a call or text message to get your PIN. Please note, receiving a text message is only possible with a mobile device that can receive messages. Some standard rates may apply.
  3. The site should automatically redirect you to a new screen, and your call or text message should arrive within a few minutes.
  4. Enter the PIN into the correct box and hit enter.

Verify by Postcard

For businesses without available email addresses or phone numbers, Google can send a postcard to your business address to provide the PIN and instructions for further verification. Use these steps to verify your listing by postcard:

  1. From the verification page through any Google channel, select “Verify by postcard” to use the provided business address to receive your PIN.
  2. Provide additional information, such as your contact name, if prompted.
  3. Wait for your postcard to arrive. It may take up to five days.
  4. Visit Google My Business.
  5. From the menu, choose the business you want to verify.
  6. Click “Verify location” or “Verify now.”
  7. Enter the PIN into the correct box and hit enter.

Use Instant Verification

If you’ve already validated your business through Google Search Console, you may qualify for instant verification. Google Search Console can help you understand how your web content filters through the search engine’s algorithms. It can also help you track reach and other analytic data.

Use Bulk Verification

If you manage 10 or more locations for the same business, you may be eligible for bulk verification. This tool may be helpful for claiming multiple listings through one process rather than claiming and verifying each one individually. You can visit Google Support for more information about bulk verification.

What Happens After I Verify My Business on Google?

After a successful verification, Google may ask you to review the provided information about your business and make any final changes before they approve your content. It could take a few weeks for the verified information to appear across Google and give you full access to all the perks associated with a business profile. Once your information is live, you can start using the tools to interact with customers.

What If Someone Already Claimed My GMB Listing?

Sometimes, when you go to claim and verify your business profile, you may find that another account has already claimed it. This may have been by accident or because of a change in ownership or management. If you need to request ownership of your business profile from someone else, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Google My Business.
  2. Type your business name in the search bar and click the correct listing from the drop-down menu.
  3. Google should automatically redirect you to a page that says someone else has claimed the business profile.
  4. Click the “Request access” link.
  5. Fill out the form with the requested details to contact the current profile owner.
  6. Click “Submit.”

Screenshot of a Google My Business listing that's already claimed. Cartoon phone on the left and explanatory text on right.

Completing this form sends your information and the listing to the current owner and allows them to contact you and transfer access. This person has seven days to respond to your claim, and you can check the status through Google My Business or by clicking the link in your confirmation email. 

If they approve your request, Google notifies you and gives you immediate ownership of the listing. If they deny your request, you have the option to appeal the request or suggest edits to the listing. If you don’t receive a response, try claiming the listing again through your Google My Business account.

How Do I Contact Google Support To Help Me Claim My Business?

Google Support has a Help Center with frequently asked questions and step-by-step instructions for how to create, claim, and verify your business. They also have an “Ask the Community” discussion board to get help from other users. For additional needs or more personalized support, you can contact Google through their business help form.

Taking the time to complete the Google Business claim and verify process can help increase your online traffic. Coupling this tool with services like good content creation and syndication, or local SEO options like the Yoast plugin for WordPress, can help you grow your audience and, therefore, your business.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

More from the author:

Read More About Marketing Channels