Do you want to improve the online visibility of your local business?

If so, verifying your business with a listing on Google Business Profile (GBP) is an absolutely crucial first step.

97% of consumers take to search engines like Google to learn more about local businesses, and a GBP listing will help you appear in the local search results. 

If you’ve ever searched for a restaurant or business ‘near you’ or ‘in your area,’ you’re probably very familiar with seeing search result features like these:

This is Google’s ‘Local Pack,’ and it contains three local business listings relevant to the search query, and even features a handy map. 

Well, every business listed in this example has one thing in common – they all have Google Business Profile listings. 

If you want your local business to appear in dynamic search results like these that contain maps, reviews, and photos – creating a GBP listing is a necessity. 

With a Google Business Profile, you’ll have more control over how your company appears on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs for short), including your:

  • Business NAP (name, address, and phone number) 
  • Positive user reviews 
  • Photos of your business 

Also, by creating a GBP listing, Google will verify you as a legitimate and reliable business, enabling you to appear in all sorts of SERP features (like the ‘Google Local Pack’ listed above, but more on that later). 

In this article, we’ll teach you all five verification methods for setting up your Google Business Profile listing, so stay tuned.  

What is Google Business Profile, and Why Does it Matter for Local SEO?

Google Business Profile is Google’s own business listing service. It helps businesses manage their online presence across Google’s platform, especially for Search and Maps.

Whenever you search for a business on Google, its GBP appears as an information box that provides essential details like:

✅ Business name

✅ Address (or service area)

✅ Hours of operation

✅ Contact information

✅ Photos and videos

✅ Customer reviews

What is google my business



The good news is business owners can either A) claim an existing GBP listing (sometimes Google will auto-generate business information if there is none) or B) create a new listing from scratch. 

By doing so, you’ll have complete control over the information Google displays about your business, which is a serious advantage. 

GBP is particularly important for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations (restaurants, stores, etc.) or those serving specific cities and neighborhoods (electricians, mobile detailers, consultants, etc.). 

Once you verify your GBP listing, you’ll unlock additional features, including the ability to:

  • Respond to customer reviews and questions
  • Create original posts to share offers or updates about your business
  • Add service options like online delivery or booking

Besides Google Business Profile, other free tools offered by Google that help business owners with their digital marketing include:

  • Google Analytics. The more you know about your target audience, the easier it becomes to create content for them. Google Analytics is a free platform that provides all kinds of insights into your audience’s behavior, including their demographics, how they found you, and how they interact with your site. 
  • Google Search Console. If you want to find success with SEO (search engine optimization), you need a way to monitor your progress. Google Search Console provides crucial SEO metrics like position rankings, keywords, and indexing error reports. 
  • Google Ads. A quick way to skyrocket your brand to the top of the search results is to use paid ads through Google. A perk of going this route is how much control you have over your ads (i.e., demographics, control over when they display, etc.).    
Need to set up your Google Business Profile? Check out our comprehensive guide here.

Why Is It Important to Verify Your Business Listing on GBP?

Are you still not convinced that you need to verify your business with a GBP listing?

Well, these five key benefits should help change your mind:

The importance of getting Google My Business verification

Keep your business information up to date

With a verified GBP listing, it’s confirmed that you’re the rightful owner of your business. That will prevent others from claiming your listing or making unauthorized/inaccurate changes to it. 

As long as you have complete ownership of your listing, you can update your business hours, respond to reviews, add photos, and create posts. 

If you don’t verify or claim your GBP listing, you risk Google displaying outdated or inaccurate information about your business, which can have disastrous results. 

Since so many users search on Google for local businesses, a huge chunk of your prospects will fall by the wayside because they saw an incorrect address or business hours. That’s why it’s imperative to claim your listing and keep your business’s information up to date. 

Enhanced customer interactions

One of the biggest perks of GBP is that you can respond to customer reviews, which will improve your reputation management. 

You can reply to both positive and negative reviews, which will demonstrate both professionalism and a staunch commitment to a positive customer experience. 

Respond to Google reviews after GMB verification

(Image Source)

You’ll definitely need lots of user reviews if you want to drum up business from local patrons. 

Why is that?

It’s because of how crucial reviews are for businesses in today’s age. According to a 2020 survey, 94% of customers claimed positive online reviews made them more likely to choose a business, while 92% said negative reviews turned them away immediately. 

With GBP verification, you can interact and respond to reviews to save your reputation. 

For example, you can call out fake reviews whenever they pop up, and you can address a patron’s genuine concerns whenever you receive a negative review. 

While you may want to just ignore negative reviews, it’s imperative that you respond to them, as that’ll improve the public’s perception of your brand.

The proof?

Harvard Business Review conducted a study which found that businesses who responded to reviews – good or bad – saw an increase in their ratings as a result. 

This is why it’s so important to respond to every review that your business receives on Google. 

Besides responding to reviews, GBP also enables you to:

➡️ Answer questions: Customers can post questions directly on your profile. Once verified, you’ll have the ability to answer their questions, which will position your brand as an authority figure. 

➡️ Message customers: GBP allows customers to message you directly through your listing, which definitely comes in handy. Through the messaging feature, customers can reach out with pressing questions and concerns or just to sing their praises.

Crucial for local SEO

Local SEO is the name of the game for brick-and-mortar businesses eager to capitalize on relevant user searches on Google. 

We’ve already mentioned how the vast majority of customers use search engines to find information about businesses in their area. 

If you want to rank high for keywords related to your business (like ‘pizza near me’), you MUST have a Google Business Profile. 

Otherwise, Google won’t know if it should trust your business or not, so you’ll have limited visibility on the SERPs. Moreover, a GBP listing is necessary if you want to get your business listed in the aforementioned ‘Google Local Pack’ (where three local listings appear along with their locations on Google Maps). 

Appearing in the Local Pack is integral for the success of local SEO campaigns. 

Why is that?

Studies show that 93% of searches that have local intent on Google feature a Local Pack, and 50% of users will visit a nearby business within 24 hours as a direct result of their local search. Moreover, 78% of those users will make an offline purchase in the near future. 

Increased trust and credibility

Picture that you’re on the hunt for a reputable plumber in your area. 

Which service would you choose: one with glowing reviews, readily available contact information, and high-resolution photos – or one that has no pictures, reviews, or even an address listed?

The choice is clear. 

This hypothetical proves the importance of Google Business Profile verification for generating new customers. 

In other words, Google isn’t the only one interested in your business’s credibility; your prospects are, too. 

In fact, Google reports that users are twice as likely to consider a verified business trustworthy over a non-verified one. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of your business and brand reputation to get verified on Google Business Profile. 

Prevent misrepresentations

As stated before, Google auto-generates business information for companies that don’t have active GBP listings. 

That’s because Google wants to provide the best experience possible for users trying to find local businesses in their area. Not every business creates a GBP listing, so it’s up to Google to fill in the gaps. 

However, while your GBP listing remains unclaimed, anyone can claim they’re part of your business (or even the owner). From there, they can scam your customers, upload misinformation, and destroy your company’s credibility. 

GBP verification will ensure that you’re the only one who can publicly upload information about your business. 

That will prevent scammers from claiming that they own your business, and you’ll be able to keep all your information up-to-date (auto-generated GBP listings may have inaccurate or outdated information). 

Access to insights and analytics 

A verified GBP account grants you access to invaluable analytics for your local SEO campaign. 

In particular, you can view metrics like:

  • Search terms. You’ll have a list of all the unique search terms users typed into Google to find your business. 
  • Profile views. This is the total number of users that viewed your Google Business Profile. 
  • Direction requests. This represents the number of users that requested directions to your business. 
  • Food orders. For restaurants, you’ll be able to view the total number of food orders placed through your GBP. 
  • Calls. How many users called your business from your GBP listing? This metric lets you know. 

These are just a few of the data sets available to you with a verified GBP account. Also, you can view which actions users take once they visit your listing (like making calls or scheduling bookings). 

These insights are perfect for improving your listing, website, and marketing strategies.

How to Verify Your Listing On Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)

Now that you know why GBP verification is worth it, it’s time to learn how to make it happen. There are five unique ways you can verify your business on GBP, so let’s take a closer look at each one. 

Google my business verification processes

Before you start the verification process, you have to claim your business first. To do so, go to Google Search or Google Maps and type in your business name and address. 

If there’s an existing GBP, click on the ‘Own this business?’ button and select ‘Manage this business.’

Once this is done, you can move on to the verification process. 

Pro tip: If your Google Business Profile already exists, but you haven’t claimed it yet, go to and enter your company name.

Image courtesy of Birdeye

Google offers several ways to verify, and the available options might vary based on your business type.

#1. Postcard

In this method, Google will send you a postcard with a unique code to your address. Business owners need to enter an accurate address and request the postcard.

The postcard usually arrives within 5-14 business days. 

Once you have it, log in to your Google Business Profile. From the dashboard, navigate to your business and click “Verify now” or “Verify location.” Enter the 5-digit code listed on the postcard, and you’re all set. 

#2. Email

Some business profiles have the option to verify by email, but it’s not unanimous. If you see the “verify by email” option, click on it, double-check the email address, and select “Verify Now.”

After that, you’ll get an email from Google with a verification code and an activation link. Click on the link, enter the code on the following page, and tap “Verify.” 

Presto! You’re now verified in GBP. 

#3. Phone or text

From your GBP dashboard, select “Get Verified” and choose the “Phone or SMS” option. 

Ensure that the number you’ve provided is the right one and that you can immediately answer calls to it (a time-sensitive code is involved).

Google will then call you and give you a code. If you select SMS, they’ll send a text to that number with a code. Enter the code in your Google Business Profile page, and you’re good to go. 

⚠️This verification method is only available in a few countries, including the US and Canada.

Pro-tip: There are chances that scammers will call you and claim to work for Google. Use this guide to identify and report dubious calls. In general, an actual call from Google will never ask for any payments, passwords, codes, or personal information.

#4. Video recording

Another option is to send Google a video recording proving that your business actually exists in your area and that you own it. 

This method is a bit more complicated, so here’s a step-by-step breakdown. 

How the process works

1️⃣ Initiate verification

Log in to your GBP and click “Verify now.” If video recording is an option for you, it will appear on the list. 

2️⃣ Instructions and guidelines

Google will provide specific instructions on what to include in your video and guidelines to follow. Read over these carefully!

3️⃣ Record your video

Google requires a continuous, unedited video that proves you operate at the claimed location (edits could imply manipulation, which is why it needs to be one seamless take). 

Here’s what to include:

➡️ Location: Show the exterior of your business, including any visible street signs, nearby businesses, or the surrounding area. This will confirm your business’s connection to your Google Maps listing.

➡️ Operations: Showcase what you do. This could be inventory, branded equipment, marketing materials, or tools you use to serve customers.

➡️ Proof of management: Demonstrate your authority to represent the business. Ideas include showing an employee-only area, using keys to unlock the building, or briefly displaying non-sensitive business documents (or posing in front of your framed portrait).

Steps for Recording
  1. Use your mobile phone. If you started verification on a desktop, scan a QR code to continue on your phone.
  2. In your Business Profile, tap “Get Verified” > “Capture Video.”
  3. Tap “Start Recording” and follow the guidelines to create a single, continuous video.
  4. Tap “Stop Recording” > “Upload Video.”
4️⃣ Upload and submit

Follow the provided steps to upload the video for Google’s review.

5️⃣ Optional: Delete your video

Once verified, you can delete the video from Google’s servers. Go to your Google Business Profile > More > Advanced Settings > Video Uploads > Delete Videos.

Important notes:

Once you start uploading the video to Google, it becomes inaccessible. This means you cannot restart it if there are issues. Here are some additional considerations:

  • Follow guidelines closely: Pay attention to Google’s requirements to avoid rejection.
  • Availability is not guaranteed: Not all businesses will have this as a verification option.
  • Review time: The review of your video can take several days.
  • Lighting and clarity: Make sure your video is well-lit and clear.
  • Professionalism: Maintain a business-like demeanor in your video.
  • Privacy: Be mindful of any sensitive information that might be captured on camera.

#5. Live video call

Instead of filming a video, you can also take part in a live video chat with a Google representative to complete the verification process. 

First, you need to check when representatives are available for the call on this page.

To kick off the call, you’ll need to start a text chat with a support agent first. Go to your GBP dashboard, select “Get Verified,” and then choose “Video Call” from the list of available options. Select your language of choice, and then hit “Start Call.”



A support representative will help you join the call. 

During the call, you need to show all the same details you would in a video recording (i.e., business location, equipment, and proof of management).

#6 Bulk Google Business Profile verification

If you manage 10 or more locations of the same business, you may be eligible for bulk verification, which definitely comes in handy. 

Here’s how to get started.


  • No existing verified accounts: Ensure that no individually verified accounts exist for the locations you intend to manage in bulk.
  • Error-free account: Double-check that your existing Google Business Profile account is in good standing.
  • Ineligible businesses: Service-area businesses (those without physical locations) do not qualify for bulk verification.

Next, put together a spreadsheet containing information for all 10+ locations you manage. 

Include each business’s name, address, contact details, etc. 

Ensure that all locations are part of the same business entity.

Here are the steps to request verification:

  1. Sign in to Google Business Profile Manager on your computer.
  2. Click “Verifications” in the left-hand menu.
  3. Select the “Chain” option for bulk verification.
  4. Complete the form and provide the following information:
    • Business name
    • Countries/regions of operation
    • Contact names for all managers of the Business Profile account
    • Contact phone number
    • Business manager email
    • Google Account Manager email (if applicable)
    • Submit: Finalize and submit the form.

Google will then email you regarding the status of your bulk verification request.

#7 Instant verification 

If your website has already been verified with Google Search Console, your GBP may be eligible for instant verification. 

If you qualify, you don’t need to go through any of the verification methods listed above and can directly edit your company’s details.

This is by far the quickest and easiest way to verify your business on GBP, so it’s worth setting up Google Search Console if you haven’t already done so. 

How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing After It’s Verified

Now that you’ve verified your GBP listing, it’s time to optimize it so that your profile provides:

  • Useful information 
  • A way to connect with customers
  • A boost to your local SEO 

Here are five best practices for optimizing your Google Business Profile listing. 

Use professional images

Upload current photos of your establishment, but ensure that they’re A) high-resolution and B) remain consistent with your brand identity. 

If you have any videos of your business in action, feel free to add them as well. Visuals like photos and videos act as social proof for would-be customers browsing your products and services. 

The team at Google claims businesses with photos have a higher chance of generating clicks to their websites and requests for directions. 

This plumbing service is an excellent example of using high-quality photos in a GBP listing:

Add high-quality images to your business listing on Google

The highlighted photo beams with friendliness and professionalism, and the others are effective at showing off their plumbing work. 

In the same vein, restaurants can upload images of their signature dishes and decor – and furniture stores can highlight the craftsmanship of their products. 

Categorize your business correctly

Google Business Profile operates on categories, so you should add as many that directly relate to your business as possible. 

Why is that?

Because Google’s search algorithm uses these categories to decide when to include your business for local searches, it’s imperative that you include the full gambit of what you offer.

In other words, don’t just add one main category and call it a day. 

You’re allowed to add up to 10 relevant subcategories, and you can and should use them all. 

Google provides the example of a grocery store that offers both a pharmacy and a deli. In that scenario, their primary category would be ‘grocery store,’ but they should also include ‘pharmacy’ and ‘deli’ as subcategories. 

Enable special features

GBP provides special features for hotels, restaurants, pubs, and other types of businesses to better highlight their offerings. 

For example:

  • Hotels can display their class ratings, check-in and check-out times, and a list of amenities provided. 
  • Restaurants and bars can display menus and add URLs for online delivery/reservations.
  • Some businesses have the ability to list their products directly.
  • Healthcare providers can list their accepted insurance providers. 
  • Some businesses have the option to book appointments or request a quote.

Enable additional features after GMB verification


Depending on your business offerings, you should capitalize on these features since they make it easier for customers to spend money at your business. In the example provided, the electrician company enables prospects to request a quote straight from the Google results.  

Add any other helpful information, such as wheelchair accessibility, LGBTQ+ friendly, and free Wi-Fi availability.

Actively Manage Reviews

If you want your prospects to view your business as credible, you need user reviews. 

Google provides star ratings and detailed comments so that customers can accurately relay their experiences. 

We’ve already gone over how important it is to respond to both good and bad reviews, since professional responses will lead to higher ratings later on. 

Need more help with reviews? You can use our handy guide to drive more Google reviews and increase revenue.

Optimize the copy on your listing

Add a small overview of your business offerings at the top of your Google Business Profile listing. Here’s an example from a sushi restaurant:

Add a small overview for your Google Business listing

This one or two-line sentence is a deciding factor that can persuade customers to pick your business over the competition. If your company has a concise, enticing description while your competitors only have a few words (or no description at all), it becomes clear which business is more professional.  

Think of it as a call to action for your company. Keep it short and sweet, but highlight what you offer and how you stand out from the crowd.

Leverage Google Posts

Google Posts are mini-updates that appear directly on your Business Profile whenever your listing appears in Search and Maps.

It gives you a platform to highlight what’s happening in your business, which will keep your customers in the loop. 

Here’s how to use them effectively:


There are three different types of posts, including:

  • Offers: Promote sales, discounts, and limited-time deals. Visually showcase the offer and use time-sensitive language to create urgency.
  • Updates: Share general news about your business. This could be new products, awards, blog articles, or behind-the-scenes glimpses to build connections.
  • Events: Announce upcoming events, workshops, webinars, etc. Include dates, times, and how to register or attend.


Pro-tip: Use high-quality images and video to demand your audience’s attention. 

Use high-quality, relevant images in your posts. Short videos catch the eye even more, so include them wherever possible. Demonstrate a product in action, give a mini-tour, or offer a testimonial clip.

Also, don’t forget to include a CTA. Google lets you add eye-catching buttons that link directly to your booking section, website, or wherever else you want to drive the customer.

Boost Your Local SEO Presence with a Verified Google Business Profile

Setting up your Google Business Profile and getting verified is the foundation of a strong local online presence. 

It signals legitimacy to both your customers and Google – plus, it gives you the tools you need to stand out in local search results. 

Want to dominate your local market? 

Let’s make it happen!

Take the next step:

If optimizing your Google Business Profile and tackling local SEO seems overwhelming, don’t worry! 

The HOTH’s marketing and SEO experts are here to handle everything for you. Get in touch today and start attracting more local customers to your business without having to lift a finger.


What is a Google Business Profile?  

A Google Business Profile is a free listing that helps your business get discovered on Google Search and Maps. 

It lets you showcase essential business information like your address, hours of operation, photos, and enables customer reviews.

Why is Google Business Profile verification important? 

Verification adds a badge of legitimacy to your listing, boosting customer trust. 

It also helps improve your ranking in local searches and grants you full control over how people interact with your business online.

How long does the verification process take? 

The most common verification method is to receive a postcard containing verification codes, and it typically takes 5-14 days to arrive. 

Other methods like phone or email verification can sometimes be faster, but the overall timeline can depend on your specific business and location.

Can any type of business get verified? 

Most businesses that have a physical location or operate as service-area businesses (those that serve customers at the customer’s location) are eligible for verification. 

There are certain restrictions for strictly online businesses or specific sensitive business categories.

I’m not receiving my verification postcard. What should I do? 

First, double-check that the address in your Google Business Profile is completely accurate. 

From there, you can request that Google send you another postcard, or if your business is eligible, you can attempt a different verification method.

My verification was rejected. How can I fix this?

The most important step is to carefully review Google’s Business Profile guidelines

Common reasons for rejection include inaccurate information or not meeting Google’s eligibility standards.

Can I change my business information after verification? 

Yes, you can edit your basic business information after verification. However, be aware that significant changes to your name, address, or business category might trigger the need to re-verify your listing.