How to verify my business on Google – The complete Google My Business Verification Guide [2021]

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Professor M

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In this easy to follow complete guide, I will show how to verify your Google My Business listing and resolve verification issues.

Note: If you are looking to create your business profile, check my Guide first or to claim a verified profile by someone else, check this guide.

Remember, before your listing goes live (if it is a new listing) and you are able to manage your profile, respond to reviews, create posts, etc you need to verify your listing.

I will go through the whole verification process, issues and how to solve these issues.

Choose where you want to start:

Starting the Verification Process

Topics:

What are Google My Business Profile verifications options?

These are all verification methods available:

Postcard verification

This is the main verification option and in most cases, the only option.  If you choose to receive a postcard with a verification pin code in the post, you may need to wait between 5–20 days to arrive depending on your location.

When you have the postcard in your hand and are ready to verify, check here the instructions how to.

Check this section for important information about the postcard.

Phone Call verification

If the phone call is one of the options and you choose it, you will receive an automatic voice call with the verification pin code.

Ensure that you can answer the phone number in your profile. n pin code through your phone.  Press “Call” or “Call me now” (app) > answer the call > write down the number >  input verification code instructions.

SMS verification

As the name indicates with this option you will receive a text message with code. Once you receive it, follow the verification instructions.

Email verification

Some businesses are given the choice to verify by email. With this option, Google will send you an email containing the verification pin code which you then enter by clicking on the “Verify” button in the email or follow these instructions.

Instant verification

If you use the same email address for Google Search Console and Google My Business and your website is on the profile, you may be offered this option.  If you have this option, your will automatically be verified for your listing! Check here about the Instant verification process.

Video Chat verification

With this verification option, the verification will be completed via a video call with Google My Business support. It will involve showing the Google agent your premises in and out or your vehicle and answer to some questions that will demonstrate you own or run the business. Check here for more on Video Chat verification.

Examples

1. A listing with many verification methods: Phone, SMS, Email, Postcard

2. A listing with 2 verification methods: Postcard and Video Chat

Why don’t you have all the verification options available to you?

The verification options are not available by choice, it will depend on trust factors. What are those trust factors? Only Google knows, but the age of the business and trustworthy information about the business around the web are very important.

That’s why the postcard is the main and most of the time only option available to you, especially if you created a brand new listing. Google thinks if you receive the postcard that must mean you have access to that address.

Therefore only some older listings have phone or/and other verification methods available, as Google trusts and has verified your listing contact information.

Google does this to make things difficult for spammers, to make sure your business really exists. Even though many spammers find a way to circumvent it…

Even though the verification process is not as seamless as we wanted,   we can appreciate that making life difficult to spammers is best for local businesses.

Is there any way you can get the verification code through email or phone, if not available to me?

Nope, you can only use the method(s)  available to your listing. If the only verification option is through the postcard, you should choose it and check this section of this guide for information on Postcard Verification process.

How do I verify my business on Google without a postcard?

You can only use the method(s)  available to your listing, if you already request a postcard you can see what happens next or if you requested more than one postcardfollow this procedure to get your listing verified.

How can I verify my Google My Business instantly?

Google needs to trust your Google account to allow instant verification and Google is not allowing many spammy business categories to do it. How does it work:

  1. Verify your business’ website with Google Search Console.
  2. Sign in to Google My Business with the same email account you used to verify your site with Search Console
  3. Start claiming your business profile

On the last step of your new Google My Business profile setup, you may have Instant verification as an option.

How long does it take to get verified on Google?

Phone Call, SMS, Email and Instant verification only take less than 5 minutes to get verified.

For video verification, you will need to book a time with the Google employee, so it will take at least 48 hours. 

Postcards will take between 5-14 working days if everything goes according to plan.

How do I verify my business on Google without an address?

If you work from home and serve your clients at their location, you are considered a service area business (SAB). SABs must hide their address but you will need to use your address to receive the postcard. But don’t worry as the address will be used for verification purposes only.

My business is not open yet. When should I request the postcard?

Up to 1 year before the open date. When you create your business listing, be sure to choose the “Verify later” option when you are prompted to verify.

Then, go to the “Info” section of your Google My Business Account.

screenshot of Google My Business Info Button on the Main Menu

and set your future opening date before you verify your business.

At last, you can press “Verify” on the dashboard.

Once you have verified your business, your listing will show up on Google 90 days prior to the opening date.

Are Google’s verification postcards free?

Yes, they are free and you can request as many as you want. However, after the second card, you should use this process to verify your listing

You requested a postcard, what will happen next

Topics:

How long does a Google My Business Postcard with the verification code take?

Normally Google advises 5-14 working days, but it can take up to 20 working days. After 14 days, you can request another postcard and it’s free or you can follow this procedure to verify manually your listing.

Google My Business Verification Code Postcard Important notes:

  • verification codes expire after 30 days 
  • code gets invalid if there is a change in the name/ category/ address after requesting the verification code
  • If you have requested multiple verification codes, use the code from your most recent request; the codes from your older requests won’t work.
  • ​Do not enter an incorrect code more than 5 times. If you do, you’ll receive a message indicating that your verification failed, and you will no longer be able to verify the business.

Can you track Google My Business Verification Postcard?

No, you cannot. It’s a normal postcard (similar to a bank pin code postcard) sent by normal post, hence the time to arrive.

Where do you enter the verification pin code

Step by step process to enter your Google My Business Verification Code

  1. You received the verification by post, email, SMS or phone call
  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business
Google My Business Sign in Screen
Google My Business Sign in Screen
  1. On the Home Dashboard you will have “Pending verification” notice box and/or banner at the top, press “Enter verification code”
  1. In the next screen, you will find a field with “Enter code” in grey text, enter your verification code here.
  1. Last step, press on the “Verify” button.

Yes! You verified your listing and now you can manage your profile in full, respond to reviews and Q&A, create posts, add attributes, add hours, etc. And your listing is showing in Google Search and Google Maps.

Google My Business Profile Verification Issues

Can’t verify my business on Google, help? No worries,  I will help you.

What is your issue:

How to verify your business on Google – If you are having issues in getting your Google My Business verification code

You didn’t receive the postcard with the verification code yet and perhaps you already requested more than one card or there are issues with the email/phone details to receive the code. Is there any other method to verify your Google My Business listing?

Yes, there is!

If your verification method is a postcard, only after 14 days of your last postcard request you can use the method below. If you try before the 14 days, Google support will ask you to wait.

How to manually verify your Google My Business profile:

  1. Go to the Contact Us Form

Follow this link: https://support.google.com/business/gethelp 

  1. Step 1 of the form – “Let’s get started”

Mention the issue as “verification” and press next step

  1. Step 2 of the form – “Confirm the issue”

Press on the option “postcard didn’t arrive” or similar

  1. Then bypass the “Recommended” section and click on “Next step” 
  1.  Step 3 of the form – Contact options

Press on “Email”

  1.   Fill the form, you will need to supply all the info requested.

Pro Tips: 

– Attach photos of your shop/office, inside and out. If you’re a service area business you can attach Van/car photos with your business branding. 

– You should also attach proof that your business exists: bills, business license/registration, lease, etc

You didn’t receive the postcard with the verification code

The postcard may take up to 20 days and after 30 days the code is invalidated. If you are waiting for more than 14 working days you can ask another card or you can manually verify your listing.

The verification address is wrong, how do you get a verification code postcard?

When you are going through the Google My Business setup and you get to the verification screen, you should choose to verify later by pressing “More options” » “Verify Later” » Click on the button “Later”

Then, you change your address by going to Info (Main Menu) » Edit Address Field.

Next step, wait 48 hours and request another postcard.

If the address for the verification does not change, you will have to follow the steps here to verify your business on Google.

The phone or/and email address for verification is wrong?

You are trying to get your business location verified but the only option is by phone or/and email, and that information is incorrect. Now what? Under the verification option(s) you need to press “Unable to verify?” and follow the steps.

Why is the verification code invalid/wrong? 

You tried to input the verification code you received but an error message appears: “Invalid Code” or “Wrong Code”.

Why does this happen?  These are the main reasons

  • Verification codes expire after 30 days, if you requested the code more than 30 days ago.
  • Verification code gets invalid if you made changes in the business name or category or address after requesting the verification code.
  • You have requested more than one verification code but the codes from your older requests will not work. You need to use the code from your most recent request.

What can you do?

 You can ask for another verification code or use the manual verification form.

Important: Do not enter an incorrect code more than 5 times. If you do, you will receive a message indicating that your verification failed, check the next question what this means.

Received a message indicating that your verification failed?

 You received a message indicating that your verification failed. This means you will no longer be able to verify the business.

You will then need to delete the page from your Google My Business account and start the process again by creating and verifying a new page for your business.

How can you request another GMB verification code postcard?

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business
Google My Business Sign in Screen
Google My Business Sign in Screen
  1. Click on “Verify location” on the menu on the left
  1. Click on “Post again”/”Mail again”

Other Google My Business Verification Topics

Video Chat Verification Process

After you booked an appointment with Google My Business Support for Video Chat Verification, you should install the Google Hangouts/Meet app for iOS or Android.

At the date and time of your meeting, you will connect with a Google specialist via video call to verify your listing.

For storefront businesses, Google will want to see your workplace, business logo, equipment, public space, and possibly meet a couple of customers.

For service area businesses, Google will want to see your work vehicle, license plate, business logo on the vehicle, and tools of your trade in the vehicle.

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