Google My Business!
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool to help you create a company profile that shows up in search results. I want to emphasize that this tool is exclusive to Google and so it only works within the Google search engine, not Bing, Yahoo, etc. However, Google is the most used search engine, so please make it part of the marketing plan for your church.
Yes, GMB is used by many businesses, but your church can and should use it too! Let’s take a look at the reasons why.
1. Better online visibility
Having a GMB profile ensures your church name will be in the results when someone searches a related term. For example when someone searches “churches near me,” your church will appear in the results.
When you church name is clicked, your profile will pop up in its own box with photos and other details. This sets you apart from churches that don’t have a profile.
2. Improves local SEO
You’ve probably heard a lot about SEO or search engine optimization. If your church website is search engine optimized, it means that your website is friendly to search engines such as Google, Bing & Yahoo. This means that search engines can better match your company, or in this case, church, with the people who are searching for a church online.
A search engine’s ( like Google’s) job is to provide the best and most accurate results for what you, the consumer, are searching for. Having a profile makes this a little bit easier because it tells Google more about your church.
Local SEO is all about physical proximity, so when a potential visitor searches “churches near me,” Google will choose 3 churches with profiles to display at the very top of the page under the heading Places (see below).
The results are based on:
• How close the person is to the church
• How prominent the church is
• How closely the church matches the search terms
But if you don’t have a profile, you won’t have the chance to show up in these results.
Here’s an example of the top 3 results Google chose to display when I googled “churches in my town.” From here, a potential visitor chooses to get directions or go to the website.
If, instead, they choose to click on a listing, the church’s GMB profile appears along with a map showing the location. (see below)
3. Share important info quickly
Once you have registered your church, your profile will show a map of your location, hours of operation, photos and more. You can also link it directly to your church website.
Essentially, searchers are getting a “quick view” of your church even before visiting your website.
4. Connect with potential visitors
Your profile also increases opportunities for connection. Right below your profile name visitors have the opportunity, not only to get directions but also to call you.
Turning on the chat option allows people to connect through texting.
Searchers can also ask a question and read reviews from others.
Google My Business also allows you to add updates. Updates can be anything from upcoming events to encouraging messages. When you add an update, you have the option to include images and link to any webpage you want. Think of it as a social media feed.
I hope I’ve convinced you to include a Google My Business profile in the marketing plan for your church. 🙂 We have found it really helpful and I know your church will too!
If you are ready to sign up for a Google My Business Profile...Follow this link for full instructions.