Google My Business (GMB) is a tool that helps entrepreneurs establish an online presence for their businesses. It allows business owners to claim ownership of a Business Profile. Doing so gives them the ability to manage how the said business appears on Google’s search results and in Google Maps. It’s easy to use, but most of all, it’s free.
While it’s a godsend for businesses, it isn’t exclusively useful for them. Even non-profit organizations like public charities, churches, and public schools can use Google My Business to boost their online exposure.
Benefits of using Google My Business
The online visibility of a business or non-profit organization depends largely on its SEO ranking. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving the quality of a website so it will be favored by search engines when choosing what to include on the first page of search results. A higher SEO ranking means greater visibility, as your organization is highly likely to appear on the first page of search results.
Google My Business increases online exposure by boosting SEO ranking. But how exactly does the free tool do this?
- It makes your organization appear in Google Maps and Google Local Pack listings
- It gives significant visibility through Google Local Pack
- It allows visitors to leave a review of your establishment
- It gives valuable insights that can help you improve
- It’s free and easy to use
If you lead a non-profit organization and you seek to increase your reach through a more substantial online presence, you should learn how to use Google My Business. Just like how the tool can help businesses improve customer success management, GMB can help a non-profit improve the experience for people who seek to contribute to their cause. Thankfully, usage of Google’s free tool is fairly straightforward.
Step 1 – Create a Google account
Obviously, the first step in using Google My Business for a non-profit organization is the creation of a Google account. Visit Google’s sign-up page and provide the necessary information, such as your full name, username, and password. Read the terms and conditions (or not), agree to them, then you can start setting up your Business Profile.
Step 2 – Name, business type, and address
Once you’ve created your account and started working on your business profile, you must provide your non-profit’s name and address. You can go to this link and click on the “Manage Now” button located at the top right corner of the screen.
There, you can input your non-profit’s name. Provide as much information about the organization as you can, without making the name too long. If it already has a profile and has been claimed by someone else, choose “Request Access” to contact Google.
Afterward, you need to select whether your organization only exists online, has a physical location, or brings services to people. Once you have chosen, you will be asked to provide a “business category”. Choose “non-profit organization”. If your business has an existing establishment, you will need to provide its address.
Step 3 – Provide contact information
As a non-profit organization, most people will be searching for you to get your contact information. You must ensure you provide a working phone number or website address if you have one. By making your contact information easy to find, you are making it easier for people to contribute.
Step 4 – Verify your listing
You have provided all the necessary information, but you still do not own the profile you just created. To give you ownership, Google needs to verify your organization exists, is located at the address you provided, and is owned by you. There are multiple ways to have your listing verified, but most non-profit organizations are verified via postcard.
In postcard verification, Google will send a postcard to the location you provided in your organization’s profile. It will contain a verification code, which you will have to enter into your Google My Business account to gain ownership of your listing.
Tips for using Google My Business
Congratulations! You now have ownership of your non-profit organization’s business profile. To get the most out of GMB, you may want to follow the practices below.
- Manage reviews – addressing reviews in a prompt manner is a great way to boost your online presence, as it shows you care about feedback and are willing to improve.
- Use Insights – GMB gives you access to valuable information, such as how people found your listing, what keywords they used in their search query, and what they did after finding you.
- Write a detailed “From the Business” description – Google provides an automatically generated description of your business, but your profile can stand out better if you create a thorough description of your own.
- Publish new photos weekly – the more photos you have on your profile, the better.
At first glance, Google My Business seems like a tool made only for entrepreneurs. However, the tool is also perfect for helping non-profit organizations reach more people. The tool can be set up pretty quickly and won’t cost your organization a dime.
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