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Acing the Google Business Profile Video Verification Process: A Guide For Small Business Owners


By WISE Digital Partners / Strategy

May 4, 2024

  • 6 min read

If it feels like a team of mustache-twisting villains at Google masterminded a scheme to deliberately keep you from verifying your Business profile, you’re not alone. The Google Help Desk and Reddit are flooded with rants, raves, and pleas from exasperated business owners stuck in verification purgatory—often because they cannot pass Google’s video verification step.

This is a common conundrum, and we’ve helped many clients get out of it.

If you’re feeling frustrated, keep reading. We’ll guide you through the video verification process and turn your Business profile journey into a painless walk in the park.

A Verified Google Business Profile Isn’t Important —It’s Essential

You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t think having a verified Google Business Profile mattered. What you may not know, however, is just how transformative this status can be for small businesses that have it—and how detrimental it can be for those that don’t.

Having a verified Google Business profile means your business will be:

Included in Google Maps

More than 30% of all mobile searches are related to location, and 42% of local searches involve clicks on the Google Map icon. If you want to gain access to a segment of those 1 billion active Google Maps users, you need to be on the platform—which means you need a verified Business profile.

But the power of Google Maps extends far beyond navigation. When users think about a destination, they also anticipate what they’ll find when they arrive. A verified Business profile:

  • Pins your name to the map
  • Gives customers a sneak peek at your business
  • Starts the conversation with messaging options
  • Drives traffic to your website
  • Builds your reputation (with reviews)

Included in Local Searches

Google delivers over 3 trillion searches every year, with 46% of those searches coming from users who want local information. Without a verified Business profile, you may miss out on a significant portion of this traffic.

When a user searches locally, say, for “the best plumber in San Diego,” Google prioritizes businesses with verified profiles located in that area. If you don’t have a verified Business profile, those leads go to competitors.

Included in the Google Knowledge Graph

The Google Knowledge Graph is a gigantic database of information that, in a single click, curates a comprehensive set of answers for users. Instead of providing links to other websites, the Knowledge Graph creates a zero-click browsing experience that tells users who you are, where you’re located, what your hours are, and how customers feel about their experience with your brand. The short version? You want to be included in the graph. And for this to happen, you must have a verified Google Business profile.

All right, you understand why having a Google Business profile matters. Now it’s time to eliminate what clients tell us is their biggest obstacle: passing the video verification test.

Why Does Google Prefer Video Verification Now?

Google’s verification process may seem unnecessarily cumbersome and stringent, especially now that the company often defaults to video verification. This requires business owners to provide a continuously recorded, one- to two-minute video proving the legitimacy of their business.

The truth is that before video verification, abuse was rampant. Not only were users creating multiple profiles for a single business to appear more prominently in search results, but they were also listing fake businesses to manipulate search rankings.

Hence, video verification, Google’s strategic response to level the playing field for business owners while also:

  • Preventing Fraud
  • Maintaining the integrity of Google Maps
  • Ensuring quality control
  • Giving consumers more predictability + accurate information

Video Verification Requirements

While Google still offers five standard verification methods(phone/text, email, video recording, live video call, and snail mail verification cards), they ultimately decide which one you must use and generally default to video verification — a good reason to prepare yourself for it.

If Google requires you to complete the video verification process, know that requirements vary depending on your business type. 

Since our client base centers around brick-and-mortar and service-based businesses (rather than e-commerce), we will tailor our explanations to these two demographics.

Regardless of the type of business you own, your video should:

  • Be under 2 minutes. Videos longer than 5 minutes will be rejected.
  • Begin outside your business. Capture your surroundings before moving inside.
  • Not feature sensitive documents.

For Physical Stores

If you operate a fixed brick-and-mortar business where customers visit to purchase products or services, Google may require you to provide a verification video that meets the following category requirements:

  • Proof of your physical address: If possible, start by filming a street sign near your store or a nearby business.
  • Proof that your business name and service category match your profile: To confirm, you may need to include footage of the inside of your shop, the equipment you use, or the products you sell.
  • Proof of authorization: Google wants to confirm the profile creator is either the business owner or an authorized business representative. To prove it, you must either film yourself unlocking your store or office, provide footage of tools you use for payment, or show documentation (a utility bill will work) confirming your address.

Keep in mind that you do not have to film every individual item listed in each category. For example, footage of a street sign, the inside of your store, and a utility bill with your name and address are sufficient for physical stores.

The requirements are a bit more stringent for service-based businesses without a brick-and-mortar location.

For Service-Based Businesses

Often, service-based business owners like plumbers, electricians, or roofers use their home address as a business address. The reason is obvious: they visit customers for service calls; customers don’t visit them.

Google verification requirements are slightly different if you operate a service-based business and do not have a fixed brick-and-mortar location.

Your video must:

  • Prove the location matches your Business profile service area: Begin by either filming a street sign, a nearby business, or the surrounding area where the business address is located.
  • Prove your business name and category match your Business profile: Demonstrating this is as simple as taking footage of either a business card, a branded company vehicle, or business equipment.
  • Prove you are a legal representative: Since you do not have a physical building to showcase, provide footage of you either unlocking a branded vehicle, using business software, or a document (like a utility bill) that proves your address.

While Google only requires that you capture one item from each of the three requirements, we recommend including more than one item from each category. Doing so may streamline the process and increase the approval odds.

Let Us Help You Avoid Common Google Business Profile Pitfalls

Is your Google Business profile stuck in limbo because of a verification issue or setup mistake? WISE Digital Partners is here to help. We'll ensure your profile is optimized to meet Google's guidelines and service area requirements—without raising any red flags. With our help, you will avoid frustrating delays and suspensions, streamlining the entire process, from creation to optimization. Don’t let video verification or simple profile blunders hinder your business growth. Contact us today!


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