Can you verify a Google Business Profile without a postcard?By Solange Messier
Nearly 28 percent of Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) visits turn into sales (Search Engine Journal). However, your clients can’t reap all its benefits until they’ve verified the profile with Google. One method of verifying a Google Business Profile involves entering a verification code you receive from a postcard in the mail. One downside to this method is that it takes up to 14 days to receive one in the mail, leaving many to try to find out how to verify a Google Business Profile without a postcard.
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But is that even possible? In some cases, yes. This guide reviews the verification methods, both with and without a postcard. It also looks at the benefits of verifying a Google Business Profile for your clients, even if you do need to stick to the snail mail route.
Table of Contents
- Why businesses need a Google Business Profile
- Why you need to verify your Google Business Profile
- How to verify a Google Business Profile without a postcard
- How to verify a Google Business Profile with a postcard
- Other Google Business Profile verification methods
- How can you tell if your business profile is verified?
- Which businesses can verify Google Business without a postcard in 2023?
- Managing your Google Business Profile post-verification
- Frequently asked questions
Why businesses need a Google Business Profile
A business profile on Google has many tangible benefits in today’s world. Almost 50 percent of Google searches are local (Business2Community), meaning most users are looking for the best possible solution within their communities.
Increases in sales and revenue
Most businesses experience increases in store traffic and higher contact rates, as calls from Google Business Profiles rose more than 60 percent in 2020 (SmallBizTrends). Having a Google Business Profile can also help increase sales and revenue, especially with fully optimized and up-to-date ones resulting in a:
- 50 percent increase in the likelihood of purchase
- 70 percent increase in the likelihood of a visit to the business (Google)
Better performance in local SEO
Having and optimizing a Google Business Profile helps your clients get in front of their potential customers where they look for answers the most. Google’s local search algorithm accounts for how prominent a business is online via directory listings and citations, and it especially favors Google Business Profiles as its main source of business name, address, and phone number (NAP) information.
Better customer engagement
A Google Business Profile also allows customers to engage with a business by leaving reviews and questions, as well as photos and videos, giving you and your client a direct line of communication to deliver on their services.
Why you need to verify your Google Business Profile
You might think you can access all the benefits of a Google Business Profile without verifying the profile, but unlike Bing, Google publishes unverified profiles. What makes this notable is that if the profile isn’t verified, you won’t be able to edit or update it.
To avoid misinformation
This is a problem that could lead to misinformation surrounding your client’s business, which in turn, diminishes their visibility on Google. As things change and progress, you’ll also want to make changes to your client’s Google Business Profile so it reflects their most recent details and information.
Prevent possible duplication
If you or your client already created a Google Business Profile without checking for an existing unverified profile, you may also run the risk of creating a duplicate listing. This might lead to Google to stop displaying reviews and will leave your client’s customers confused on which listing is the correct one.
Verification allows you to edit and update profiles, both the ones you claim and the ones you create. Verifying your client’s Google Business Profile is also a crucial step in helping them optimize their business for local SEO. Additionally, verification is also important if your clients want to sell with their Google Business Profile as it gives them more credibility to do so.
How to verify a Google Business Profile without a postcard
Contrary to popular belief, verification by postcard has been the most common method, even though it’s the slowest.
Why would most business owners pick the slowest method for verifying their profiles? The answer is they don’t. Google sometimes doesn’t give you any other option, and you’re prompted with the verification method that best suites your business and area.
However, Google has also introduced some other, faster methods for verification. You can verify Google Business without a postcard via:
- Video call
- Video recording
The only way to find out which methods are available is to start the verification process. If you’re lucky enough to encounter a dropdown menu with more than one option, you can choose which verification method you or your client prefer the most. If postcard is the only option, though, then you’ll need to follow the steps.
How to verify a Google Business Profile with a postcard
Step 1: To verify the business, log in to the account and select “Verify.”
Before you go further, make sure the address details for the business are correct. If they’re not, then the postcard will end up somewhere else, and you’ll have to start over again.
Step 2: Once you’re sure the address is correct, select “postcard by mail” as your method. If there are no other options, you’ll need to verify the business this way. If the dropdown menu has other choices, then you can pick a different method for verification.
Step 3: Add a contact name, and then click “Request Postcard.”
Google advises that it can take up to five business days for the postcard to arrive. It can sometimes take longer than that, especially during the December holiday season.
Step 4: Once your client receives the card, they’ll need to log in and enter the verification code. They'll need to do this within 30 days, or the code expires.
Once the code has been entered, it can take Google up to a week to manually verify the business.
Can you handle postcard verification for your client?
You can handle it for them to a degree. If you’re nearby, you can go get the postcard from them. Another option is having them take a picture of the postcard and the code and send it to you via MMS or email. You could also have them send you a message with the code itself.
You can also enlist the help of a white-label listings management service to help you with Google Business Profile management and claiming for your clients.
Can you send the code to your agency’s address?
In a word, no. The purpose of sending the postcard is to confirm the business in the profile exists at that address.
Why your client might not verify their listing themselves
Your client is probably busy, or they might not be all that tech-savvy. In either case, that’s why they hired you—to take care of all this digital marketing stuff.
While logging in and entering a verification code is a simple task, your client may not have time to complete it. They might forget, or they might struggle with the interface.
Other Google Business Profile verification methods
Google offers a few other methods of doing Google Business Profile verification without a postcard, as we noted. The question is whether your client can use these options.
If they can, then you can follow these step-by-step instructions for how to verify a Google Business Profile without a postcard.
One of the fastest options for verification, if it’s available to you, is by phone call. If you see this option on the dropdown, you can opt to receive an automated call or text.
- To do this, log in to the account associated with the Google Business Profile.
- Select “Verify.” If the phone option is available, choose it from the dropdown menu.
- Double-check the phone number on the account is the right one.
Things to consider
- Tell the client to be ready to receive either a text message or a phone call with the code.
- Have Google send the verification code to your phone number. Again, the point of verification is to check that the business profile is accurate.
Email is sometimes the best method for an agency handling verification on behalf of a client. You may already have access to the email inbox where the message is headed. It’s also easy for the client to forward the information to you.
- To use email verification, log in to the Google Business Profile. Select “Verify,” then pick the email option from the dropdown menu. Make sure the email address associated with the Google Business Profile is correct.
- Next, head to the inbox and await Google’s email. When it arrives, log back in and enter the verification code.
Things to consider
If you select this method, be sure to let your client know when you request the email. The code expires, so you’ll need to make sure they check their email within that window.
You can preview which options are available for verification. If this is listed and it’s the one you want to use, you can then let your client know. From there, you and the client can make plans for how and when to complete the call.
- If you select this method, then you (or your client) must be at the business location.
- You’ll need to set up a date and time to complete the live video call with the Google support team. The good news is that you can log in to the client’s profile, then select “Verify.”
- When you’re ready, you or your client can log in, select “Verify,” and then select the video call option.
- Click “start call” when you’re ready. A new window will pop up and a support assistant will help you connect to the live call.
Things to consider
If you’re visiting the business or are in the area, then it might be easier to arrange a time to assist your client. If your client feels confident, then they can complete the call any time they’re at the business location, as this method shouldn’t be completed on behalf of a client.
Much like the video call and the phone call, you’ll need to arrange a time to do this with your client. To see if you have this option, login and select “Verify.” From there, you can choose video recording as the method.
However, it’s not as simple as walking up to a business, filming the exterior, and then uploading the video for verification. Here are some things you need to know and prepare for if you choose to verify via a video recording:
- Someone needs access to the business property and show that you have ownership of the business.
- You or your client will need to be able to access the business location.
- Google’s team wants to see certain things in the video recording. This might include street signs, the building with its street address, and signage.
- Google will also want to see evidence the business belongs to the person sending the video in.
- Footage of someone unlocking the doors with a key, as well as interior shots, are important.
How can you tell if your business profile is verified?
When you log in to the profile, you’ll see one of three things:
- If the business is verified, you’ll have full access to the dashboard and all features
- If the business is not verified, you’ll see the option to verify
- If someone else has verified the business, you’ll see a notification saying as much
If you’re still not sure, you can use Google’s “verification checker” tool. This will email the business email associated with the Google Business Profile.
In the rare case someone else has verified the business, you may need to report a problem to Google.
Which businesses can verify Google Business without a postcard in 2023?
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about verifying a Google Business Profile is that there isn't much rhyme or reason to when you can do Google Business Profile verification without a postcard.
For many businesses, Google will only give them the option to verify by postcard. In some cases, the answer to how to verify Google Business without a postcard in 2023 is simply “you can’t.”
How does Google pick which businesses can use which other methods? There doesn’t seem to be any reliable criteria that predicts the options available.
The only way to find out is to click “Verify” and see what Google is offering to your client.
That said, there are a few business types that Google usually offers more options to.
Verifying for a service-area businesses
If your client operates in a service area, then Google will likely offer several options. These usually include:
- Verification by phone
- Verification by email
- Verification using Search Console
You can typically complete verification on their behalf using email or Search Console.
Why do businesses with a service area get more options? The answer is that they may not have a set location they operate from. If your client is a mobile repair shop, for example, their business can be “anywhere.” Sending a postcard to a physical address isn't a good method for this type of business.
Verifying for multi-location businesses
Google also offers more options to multi-location businesses. If your client has two stores or two restaurants, then they might qualify for non-postcard verification.
Typically, Google offers multi-location businesses the option to “bulk verify.” You or the client will need to fill out a form that includes a manager email address and a telephone contact. Google will use this information to verify the business.
Why do multi-location businesses qualify for a different kind of verification? Sending out a postcard to each individual location would be a time-intensive process. Google makes verification easier—for your clients and their own staff—by doing it in bulk.
Managing your Google Business Profile post-verification
In 2023, there is no good reason not to verify your clients’ Google Business Profiles. While you might prefer a faster method, sometimes you’ll have no choice but to use the postcard method.
You can check out tools and services that can help you manage your clients’ listings with ease. A listing builder tool, for example, can help you maintain profiles across platforms.
Having the right information makes verification and maintaining the profile easier. A great listings management service can also help you with optimizing Google Business Profiles for local SEO.
Good listings management is key to reaping the benefits Google Business Profile and other directories offer.
Frequently asked questions
Are Google Business Profile postcards free?
Yes, Google Business Profile postcards are free, as Google pays for the postcard and the mailing of it. They do this to make it more attractive for businesses to verify their profiles.
Can I get instant verification for my Google Business Profile?
In some cases, yes, you can get (almost) instant verification for a Google Business Profile, by connecting a web domain to Search Console (Google). Email, SMS, and phone call verification methods are also faster to complete than mail.