search marketing

How to Create, Claim and Verify Your Google My Business Listing

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

Continuing this month’s theme on Google Tools to help you communicate, organize and grow your organization…

Google My Business is NOT just for businesses.

Google My Business is Google’s system for local search results and Google Maps search results for all local organizations – churches, schools, nonprofits and local businesses.

When someone posts an online review of a local organization to Google, they are posting it to that organization’s Google My Business listing.  Therefore…

  • If you want people to find your local organization in Google Maps, you need a Google My Business listing.
  • If you want people to post online reviews about your organization to Google, you need a Google My Business listing.
  • If you want to be able to control the information people see about your organization in Google Maps and Google’s local search results, you need access to your organization’s Google My Business listing.

In fact, some people are saying Google My Business is the new church homepage because it’s often the first thing someone sees when searching for your church.

Bottom line:

Local organizations need a Google My Business listing, and they need verified access to its content.

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How to Create, Claim, Verify Your Google My Business Listing

To get your church, school, local business or local nonprofit setup in Google My Business:

  • Go to https://www.google.com/business/
  • Login to your Google account or create one.
  • Click on the Start Now button (green)
  • Type in the name of your organization
  • If, while you’re typing the name of your organization into Google My Business, you see your organization listed as a suggestion below the box in which you’re typing, this means Google already has a listing containing information about your organization. Click it and the next screen will load.

If your organization’s listing has never been claimed or verified, you will see this message:

  • Click the “Manage Now” button.

Next you’ll be given the option to verify ownership by text or phone call:

  • Click the “Text” or “Call” button, whichever you prefer.
  • You should receive the verification code right away and be able to type it into the next screen.
  • This will complete the verification process and you will be able to update your organization’s information, add photos and much more.

When you’re on the first screen searching for your organization and when you select your organizaion, you are shown the message below, it means someone has already verified your church’s Google My Business listing.  This is where things can get complicated

  • If you have access to the email address used to verify the listing, simply login to that Google account to manage the listing.
  • If you don’t have access to the email address used to verify the listing but you recognize it, click the “Request Access” button.  This will send an email notification to the owner of the listing asking them to grant ownership to you.  You may need to call the person to let them know what you’re doing and ask them to respond to the ownership request.
  • If you don’t have access to the email address used to verify the listing and you either don’t know who it belongs to or the person has died or left the organization, you will need to contact Google My Business support.

Once you’ve created and verified your Google My Business, there are lots of things you can do with it.  We’ll get into those things another time. 🙂

Google also provides lots of great data about how many people see your GMB listing, how they found it, and what they do once they find it.  We include this information in the SEO reports we send our clients. This video gives you a look at the Google My Business SEO report.

Creating, claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing is just one component of our church SEO service and local business SEO service. If you’re super-busy and want someone who knows what they’re doing to take care of this for you, click and request a free phone consultation.

Comment and Discuss

  • Have you created, claimed and verified your organization’s Google My Business listing?  If yes, what was the process like for you?  If no, what’s preventing you from doing that?

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About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

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