July 20, 2021 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
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.
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:
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.
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:
Some of the information Google receives about your company from across the internet may be outdated or false, so claiming your business can help ensure your customers receive the most accurate information to increase their satisfaction with your company.
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.
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).
To claim your business on Google, you’ll need a few free and easily accessible tools and pieces of information:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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