Get a Custom Profile URL for Your Nonprofit Google Plus Page

Google is improving its social network by allowing custom URLs for personal profiles and business pages. This is a much welcomed addition to the network, and in this article we’re going to show you exactly how you can grab a custom url for your nonprofit organization. You can skip straight to the video tutorial, or continue on to be dazzled by the technical wordsmithy. I just made that word up.

What is a Custom URL?

The term “URL” stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and it’s really just a fancy name for your web address – it the thing you type in your browser to find your site. In our case, our url is orgspring.com. Every page and post on the web has its own url. The shorter the URL the easier it is to remember and to find on the web.

Until recently your Google Plus network url looked something like this: https://plus.google.com/101430370890512489775. That is actually the id for OrgSpring’s Google Plus page.

That’s a ridiculously long ID number, and something NO ONE is going to remember. That’s one of the reasons Google’s social network took so long to catch on.

But now, Google has made custom URLs available, you don’t have to remember or type in https://plus.google.com/101430370890512489775 to find OrgSpring on Google plus. Now, you just type google.com/+orgspring. As you can see, it is a branded url, alot easier to remember and alot shorter to type into a browser.

Google Custom URL Requirements

There are several requirements to get a custom URL for your profile or nonprofit page:

  • You must have at least 10 followers.
  • Your profile must be at least 30 days old
  • You must have a profile photo set

These are actually great requirements, for several reasons. First and foremost, it keeps bots and other scrapers from grabbing premium usernames and urls when they don’t really control the site or don’t need the name. By putting these controls in place, Google can make sure that anyone taking a custom url plans to use the system (30 day rule) and is making an effort to engage on it (10 + followers rule).

The rule requiring a profile photo be set is, in my opinion, a bit gratuitous, but this is another attempt at uniformity across the network. Research shows that social network posts with images garner more engagement than posts without images (Hubspot 2012), the same is true for blog posts. Additionally, it makes your profile page more fun to look at, and, in my opinion, I trust a site more if they’ve taken the time to make their profile picture look neat and professional.

Show Me How to Set the Google Custom URL Already!

Okay, okay, no more fluff. If you view the OrgSpring YouTube video tutorial for adding a custom Google Plus URL, you’ll get a visual step by step lesson on how to activate a new custom url and how to change an existing custom url on your Google Plus profile or Google Plus nonprofit page.

Remember, that video was shot in 1080p HD, so make sure to expand it on one screen while you work on another.


Here’s a text version of that video:

Step 1 – Login into Google + Account

Navigate to your Google Plus profile or page. You can do that by navigating to plus.google.com and logging into your Google Account, or by clicking on the +Craig link in the top left of your screen if you’re already working on Gmail or one of the other Google apps. Of course, swap out the name Craig for your own name!

Step 2 – Set Custom URL

If your profile meets the 3 requirements listed above, you’ll get a black bar across the top of your screen that looks like this:

Approved Pages will have "Get URL" button on page - Click image to enlarge

Approved Pages will have “Get URL” button on page – Click image to enlarge

Click the “GET URL” button and it will pop a custom url page where you can choose one of the suggestions Google sets for you. Don’t worry if it’s not exactly what you want, you can change it in the next step.

Step 3 – Verify Mobile Phone Number

The next screen will ask you to input your mobile phone number so Google can send you a text message to verify your account.

Once you get the text message you can enter the code into the next form box and upon confirmation it will return you back to your Google + profile page with your newly set custom URL.

Step 4 – Celebrate – You’re Done!

That’s it, your new custom URL is set and you can begin using it. OrgSpring’s custom URL link is google.com/+orgspring so please circle us on your account – we’d love to connect.

Changing Your Google + Custom URL

If you don’t like the custom URL or you just want to change it, there is a simple process for doing that too.

Once again, log into your profile or page. At the top of the screen you’ll see the standard network tabs that looks something like this:

View page as "Yourself" and select About Tab to Edit your custom URL. Click image to enlarge

View page as “Yourself” and select About Tab to Edit your custom URL. Click image to enlarge

It’s worth noting that I’m viewing the profile as YOURSELF. This is important because it gives me the ability to edit my page and profile. If you’re viewing it as the public, you’ll need to hit that drop down and change to “Yourself” before editing.

Click on the ABOUT page, and find the section titled LINKS. Toward the bottom of that section you’ll see a pencil icon. Click that to edit the links section.

Click the pencil on the Links section to edit. Click Image to Enlarge

Click the pencil on the Links section to edit. Click Image to Enlarge

That will open your overall Links section where your profile information is saved. At the very top you have the opportunity to change your custom url. It is kept in a neat graphic that looks like a chrome browser window address bar. Again the google.com/+ portion of the custom URL will be grayed out because you can not alter that portion of the address. Everything after that is fair game.

Editing your custom Google Plus URL - Click image to enlarge

Editing your custom Google Plus URL – Click image to enlarge

Simply click in the url window and edit as needed. Some guidelines for what can be added there are displayed in help text below the url box.

Remember to click SAVE when you’re done making changes.

You’ll be brought back to your profile page and your new url should take effect immediately.

The cool thing about making a change is that there doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of times you can change your url. Of course, every time you change it you’ll need to make sure that any links you’ve created on blogs, websites, or in other areas get updated to your new custom url. But it’s nice to have the option to change if you need it.

Wrapping up the Custom URL for Google +

If you’ve enjoyed this article and tutorial please consider sharing it on your social networks.

If you have any questions about the process or need help setting up your custom url for your nonprofits, please leave a comment here, on our YouTube page, or drop us a note via our contact page at OrgSpring.com.

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Craig Grella

Founder and Executive Director at OrgSpring
Craig is the founder and executive director or OrgSpring, a nonprofit dedicated to helping other nonprofits achieve their missions online. Through tips and tutorials, Craig's goal is show nonprofits how to use technology to become more efficient, grow their list of supporters, and increase online donations.