Claiming Your Google Listing

One of the biggest digital marketing faux pas you can make is not owning your company’s Google listing. Without ownership you can’t update company information like address, hours, or photos, nor can you respond to reviews (positive or negative). In short, you are powerless to control how you appear on the Google. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to claim your listing.

The first step is to Google your business. If a knowledge graph appears on the right side of the SERP, follow plan A. If no knowledge graph appears, follow plan B.

Plan A

  • Make sure you’re signed into the Gmail account you want to own the listing. It’s very important that the password to this email account will never be lost or forgotten. More on why later.
  • About halfway down the knowledge graph you should see “Suggest Edit – Own this Business?”. Click “Own this Business”.
  • Google will then have you verify the information on the listing. Make any corrections as needed.
  • Next you’ll have to verify that you should get ownership of the listing. This is done one of two ways – postcard or phone. While Google doesn’t always give you the option to use phone verification, it’s way easier and faster than a postcard.
    • Phone- Google will place an automated call to the number on the account. When you answer the robot caller will give you a 5 digit pin number. Type this code in the verification box and presto! You’re now the proud owner of a Google listing.
    • Postcard- This option is just like the phone, but through the mail. Google will send you a postcard with a 5 digit pin number to the address on the listing. It normally takes 3-5 days to get there. Once you have it, log into the same Gmail account you started with, go to google.com/business, find the pending listing, and use the code to claim it.

In short, you are powerless

Plan B

  • Make sure you’re signed into the Gmail account you want to own the listing.
  • Go to google.com/business and click “Start now” in the top right corner.
  • Fill out the forms with your company’s info.
  • Follow the verification steps above.

What if It’s Already Claimed by Someone Else?

If there’s not an “Own This Business?” option in your knowledge graph it means someone else already claimed your listing. This is where things get complicated. First, ask around and see if anyone in the company knows who claimed it. If that works just transfer ownership to a centralized account. If not you’ll have to do some work.

  • Go to google.com/business
  • Click “Add Location”
  • Search for your business
  • Request Access
    • This will send the owner an email asking for access. If they don’t respond with a few weeks, ownership will be transferred. You may have to request access a few times before it takes.
  • Once you have access you can verify the account with the steps above. 
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