Google Maps is a great way for you to increase your nonprofit’s general visibility on the internet, especially when you want to improve your nonprofit's presence on search engines. but it is also the first step to quickly gain local visibility in case anyone is interested in supporting and joining your organization.
Today, many businesses and companies are using this tool. However, nonprofits have not yet begun to tap into this resource.
Discover with us how to create a listing on Google Maps for your nonprofit, to maximize your organization's online visibility:
Google Maps Basics
Google Maps was created in 2004 to help anyone locate and navigate to any address, using the internet and GPS capabilities on cell phones and other devices.
Over the years, its functions have evolved to include:
- Get directions by car, public transit, bike, on foot, and even on an electric scooter to your organization’s office!
- In some cities, Google Maps offers wheelchair-accessible routes
- See any traffic delays that you may encounter on your route
- Visualize the street of your office with the "Google Street View" feature
- Find out business hours and the telephone number of an organization
But it doesn’t just help you get to your destination. It can also help your nonprofit reach new audiences for free. Read on for more information about how!
Google Maps for Nonprofits
Did you know that you can use Google Maps to increase your organization’s assistance to local communities?
This is a valuable resource for nonprofits working in health and family services. For example, if someone searches for “mental health resources” in Google Maps, organizations that are nearby should appear on the list of search results. It would be a pity if your organization was invisible to your target community!
On Google Earth and Maps, nonprofits can also “track and share their impact with compelling data visualizations.” This digital tool could be useful for nonprofits wanting to show donors what impact the donations have on local communities.
Create a “Google My Business” Account
To use any of the Google Maps resources, you need a Google account. Register or sign into your organization’s Google account at Google My Business. Go through the registration steps to set up your nonprofit’s Business page.
If your nonprofit doesn’t have a physical office, that’s fine! The form accounts for this common situation for businesses, and offers an alternative to enter the city that your business serves.
Once you have completed the registration process, you’ll be able to manage your business information such as:
- Name of your organization
- Type of organization
- Physical address
- Business hours
- Phone number
- Photos (your logo, office, or team)
If your organization has local branches or offices in addition to its headquarters, you should add them so that Google Maps has accurate information.
Click on “Add a Location” in the right-hand bar, and fill in the same information about your branch office. You can specify the local branch, so that Google Map users can distinguish it from the others, such as "[Organization name] - Brooklyn" or "[Organization name] - Upper West Side.”
Once all the information is updated, you can rest assured that if anyone searches for your organization on Google Maps, they’ll be able to find you!
Ryan knows his organization can be easily found on Google Maps, after setting up the right information!
Best Practices on Google Maps for Nonprofits
Google Maps has become the alternative to the Yellow Pages. (Remember those heavy telephone directory books?)
Your organization should be visible on Google Maps especially if your organization has a local audience, and/or local branches or offices.
For example, Paul is an avid tennis player who recently moved to a new city. He wants to join a local tennis club to meet other tennis players.
To find a new club, all he has to do is open Google Maps, and type in “tennis club” to see local tennis clubs near him. That is, if those tennis clubs are registered on Google Maps!
Using Google Maps is free, so if you want to boost your organization’s presence on Google search results, having a business page on Google Maps will help.
Get Reviews on Google Maps
Your organization’s presence on Google My Business will allow your audiences to leave reviews.
You can ask a few people in your community to leave positive reviews for your organization. (But don’t fall into the temptation to create fake reviews! They’re not worth it.)
Put yourself in Paul’s shoes. If Paul sees two similar tennis clubs, he’d likely choose the one with more positive reviews!
We hope it’s clearer why Google Maps is a useful tool that can surprisingly boost your nonprofit’s digital visibility.
Besides being able to easily locate your physical office(s), your community and target online audience will be able to access all the essential information about your nonprofit.
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