You may not be familiar with Google My Business, but you have certainly seen the results. Ever wondered why some synagogues appear at the top of search results directly under a map? It’s not a great secret. By registering your organization with Google My Business, formerly known as Google Places, you are signing up for a powerful and easy (and free!) way to help your community gain visibility in your area.
Here’s why this is so important. Imagine a family has just moved to your neighborhood. They are interested being becoming involved in local Jewish life. They pull out their phone or sit down at their computer and Google ‘synagogues in Westchester County, NY.' Before Google’s search algorithm generates a listing of all websites meeting this criteria, it first displays a map featuring pin points marking the locations of local synagogues and displayed beneath the map are the names of all synagogues who have registered their organization with Google My Business. Click on any of the names and a window appears showing the synagogue’s hours of operation, address, images and reviews. Links to the organization’s website and directions through Google Maps also appear. In today’s world, being registered through Google My Business is what twenty years ago it meant to be included in the Yellow Pages - simply put, it’s a must.
Already registered on Google My Business? Check out your profile to see how you can enhance your listing. Consider adding photographs or encouraging congregants to share their experience as members by writing reviews. You can even create a 360-degree virtual tour of your building. Taking the time to build out a more comprehensive profile helps you to improve your local ranking on Google, which can be incredibly valuable if your community is in an urban area filled with lots of shuls.
Remember, signing up for Google My Business is not a substitute for having a website, but rather it serves as a compliment to your existing online presence. By registering your organization’s contact information with Google, you are making it easy for prospects to find you and reach you. Who knows? Your next member could be a simple search away.