How to claim your business’s Google My Business profile

We speak to lots of businesses who are having problems with their Google My Business listing – that’s what controls whether you appear on Google Maps, how Google shows your address, what pictures are associated with your listing – all those things that appear on the right hand side of a Google search when someone searches for your business directly by name.

In an ideal world the person who owns the business (or someone closely associated with the business) is also the person who set up the Google My Business profile. However, that’s not always the case. Anyone can set up a Google My Business profile on behalf of your business, whether they work for you or not. Consequently you may go to set up a profile and find that one already exists but you don’t have access to it.

What to do if a Google My Business profile exists for your business but you can’t access it

If you have access to the company’s account then you can change all the things you list within it. If you don’t have access (if, for example, someone else set it up who isn’t with the business any more or it relates to a previous iteration of the business or a profile has been set up but someone in the local community) then you can claim it as yours.

If you go to Google and search for your business by name then you’ll see the Google My Business listing on the right hand side of the page. If you scroll down to the bottom of that you’ll see a link “Own this business?” and if you click on that Google will take you through the process of ‘claiming’ the business yourselves.

If someone else owns the profile then Google will let you know and give you the option of requesting access.

Clicking ‘request access’ will trigger an email to whoever set up the profile alerting them to the fact that you want to claim the profile. At this point one of three things can happen.

  • That person approves your request – you will then receive a notification that you now have the ability to manage the profile yourself
  • That person denies your request – you will receive an email notification of this at which point you may be able to appeal the decision
  • That person does not respond – if the person does not respond within three days then Google may offer you the option of claiming the profile for yourself

As part of the process of claiming the profile yourself you’ll need to verify that you do indeed have the right to manage the profile yourself. This is a manual process – Google will send you a postcard to the physical address that it has for you and then you enter the code on that postcard to enable you to prove that you own the business. This will be sent to the address on your Google My Business listing.

Once you’ve received it you can use the code on the postcard to log into the Google Business Manager account at which point you can make whatever changes you want to your Google My Business listing. While you’re waiting for that to come through you can also use the ‘suggest an edit’ feature to try and correct some of the information that way – sometimes it’s worth getting two or three people to suggest the same edit. We have found that process to yield results as well.

It’s worth having a Google Analytics account set up for the website that’s listed on your Google My Business listing as that is another way that Google can verify that you own the business and that can sometimes be quicker than waiting for the postcard to arrive.

How we can help you

If you’re still having trouble with this or any other aspect of your Google My Business profile then let us know and we can help. We also have an on demand webinar that digs into the ins and outs of Google My Business in more depth – you can find out more about that here.

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