Google my Business is arguably one of the most under-utilized but relevant and effective digital touchpoints to elevate first impressions of your non-profit, improve your local search engine optimization (SEO), and gather trusted reviews. Other reasons you should use Google my Business for your non-profit:I
- It’s free
- Helps potential members or customers find you
- Improves search visibility
- Provides location services
- Provides a new channel to post relevant news and events
- Collects reviews
- Displays key contact information
- Provides another communication channel
- Provides search insights
- Tracks website traffic and audience
The following tips will help increase the search presence of your non-profit and can be an important component of your imarketing strategy.
1. Verify your Non-Profit’s Google my Business Listing
To start, you must verify your non-profit’s Google My Business listing as it contributes to the success of your online visibility and performance. Features such as insights and reviews will not be granted access until the account is verified. This verification process can last up to one week by Google sending a postcard to your non-profit’s address and contact that is provided. Once you have entered this verification code, only then will your non-profit’s information appear on Google Search, Maps and its other tools..
2. Fill in accurate information
Make sure that essential information about your non-profit is included such as office hours, contact details, category, description services and photos and video. It is important that this information is accurate and up to date as it could affect your non-profit’s Google search ranking.
This also provides the opportunity to include 1-2 high-value keywords that are relevant to your non-profit’s business description.
3. New and Event Posts
Google my Business is like another social media channel, but it’s almost better. An optimized Google my Business listing can draw lots of search traffic and those visitors will also see your non-profit’s news and events. While social media posts quickly disappear in a feed, Google posts are displayed for seven days after they are first published (in order to ensure that you display up-to-date content). The exception to this is upcoming events which are automatically removed after the event date. As the event type provides options for start date and end date, posting a conference or call for applications are perfect examples where Google posts can give more exposure to your event.
When creating a Google post, it is important to share content that speaks to your audience by using the correct language and engaging graphics. In addition, this feature allows for call-to-action buttons making it easier for users to access any information about your non-profit.
4. Manage Reviews
According to BrightLocal’s 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 – up from 81% in 2019. A non-profit’s online reputation is increasingly important. The quality and quantity of Google reviews can be one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO.
Responding to Google reviews in a timely manner is also an effective method promote your non-profit’s online presence . According to Google Support, “When you reply to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility.”
Your Google my Business listing also provides valuable insights that help you understand your listing is performing, how visitors found your listing and what actions they take when they viewed your listing.
How was your listing found?
Google my Business provides search insights during a given time period in four categories: total searches, direct (searched using your non-profit name or address), discovery (searched by a category, service or product) or branded (searched for a brand related to your non-profit). Monitoring these metrics will help you keep track of the way your non-profit’s listing is performing over time.
What words were used in search queries?
Google my Business displays a list of common terms that were used to find your non-profit’s listing. This is extremely useful and can provide new keyword ideas to include your Google posts or website content.
What actions were taken?
Insights also shows how people are interacting with your Google my Business listing. This includes how many people clicked on your website link, placed a phone call, asked for directions, looked at your photos or sent a direct message. For instance, you can see what day of the week you may be receiving a lot of phone calls. This information is valuable for your marketing strategy as you can create posts that drive more phone calls and use keywords based on search queries.
There are various ways online users can locate your non-profit’s profile and learn more about you. However, utilizing your Google my Business listing option with Google search is one of the major gateways to your non-profit’s website, allowing you to take online control of your non-profit’s information, as well as interact with existing and potential donors, members and customers.
Looking to increase your search engine presence for your non-profit? Please contact us and we’d be happy to help!