As a church leader, you probably know by now that more people attend Easter services than any other church service throughout the year. What a great opportunity to share the good news of Jesus’ victory over sin and death! So how can you get even more people to attend so they can hear the gospel? Use Google My Business for churches in order to grow Easter attendance.
Of course, you’ll want to get the word out. Take time before you start promoting Easter services to ensure that Google and other search engines have the right information about your church. Google My Business and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are big factors to consider as you look to increase church attendance on Easter.
What is Google My Business?
If your church isn’t using Google My Business, don’t worry, you’re not alone. You would be shocked how many churches aren’t even aware of this free service by Google. It allows you to list your church’s location, phone number, office hours, service times, website, photos, and more. You can even update your hours for special events, such as Easter.
Just like we’ve all opened Google or Google Maps and searched for a location, like gas stations or restaurants, churches can show up on local searches, too.
You should definitely take advantage of Google My Business for your church because it will help people find your ministry. It’s free—which is great because you don’t have to pay for extra ads or marketing for this service. It also boosts your ranking in search engines, like Google.
How Local Searches Can Help Your Church
A “local search” is when people are looking for a business or service in their area. Rather than typing “churches” into the search bar, they’re more likely to add a local modifier, like “churches in Dallas” or “churches near me.”
Only the churches that have optimized for local search—such as through Google My Business—are going to show up on the first page of search results. (Which is where you want to be). This allows more people to find your website and information, and in turn, provides more opportunity for those people to show up for your weekend service(s).
The search results also create a place for people to learn more about your church. You can include photos so they can see what it’s like. You can update it with upcoming events, which show others that you have great things going on that they can be a part of. It’s especially important to make sure your information is current because many people will be searching for an Easter church service to attend. Essentially, taking advantage of showing up in local searches creates more opportunities for people in your area to get connected.
Google My Business Best Practices
Within your profile, you are able to put your working hours, description of your church, and contact information. You’ll want to keep this information up to date so people are always in the know and can find the most current info. If your church shows up in search results for people looking for an Easter service, but you haven’t updated it since last year, it could turn people away.
Having a place where people can put reviews of their experience with you is important not only for the person reviewing but also for anyone wanting to read others’ reviews before they attend your church. Encourage your congregation to leave a review, because the more you have, the more credibility it will give you in the eyes of seekers. A good practice is to reply to reviews too. This shows interaction and gives people a feel for your church.
When people Google you, there is a section where they can ask questions. This is a great way to start a conversation with those showing interest in your church. Make sure you are consistently looking at the questions and readily responding in a timely manner.
If you have events or activities, upload these new and updated photos to your business profile. It will ensure your photos are current and applicable as well as provide more content for people to look through as they search for your information. For example, if you’re updating your profile with your Easter services, add in some photos of a previous Easter service, egg hunt, etc.
Google My Business allows you to look at the insights of your business profile. You’ll be able to see how many people searched for your church, clicked on your content, or went to your website. This is helpful because it allows you to know the interest people are taking in what you have to offer. If there has been little or no interest, perhaps take a step back and think about what you can tweak to make your church easier to find online.
Steps to Use Google My Business for Your Church
Click on the big, blue button that reads “Manage Now.”
If you already have a Google or Gmail account for your church, log in. If you do not have an account yet, you’ll need to create one. (Don’t worry, it’s free!)
Search for Your Church
After you have logged in, enter your church name or address in the search box.
Be sure to enter your city or zip code because there may be more churches with the same name.
Select Your Church
Suggested matches will come up. If your church is listed there, click on it. If not, click the option that says “add your business to Google.”
Enter Your Church’s Information
Include all the important details, like address, phone number, service times, etc.
Remember that consistency is important. Provide Google with specific and accurate information so that it will display correctly under search results for your church.
Make A G+ Account
You will need to confirm your address and create a Google+ account for your church.
Wait for Verification
Once you have submitted your church’s information, it will take some time before Google verifies your church and updates it in the online directory. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Congrats! Once verified, your church is now one step closer to local search optimization and increasing your influence in your local community.
Maximize Your Church Website for Local Searches
Once people find your church through a search engine, you’ll want to direct them to a beautiful, easy-to-navigate website where they can find everything they’re looking for. Check out 3 Features Every Engaging Church Website Has to learn what your website should have to attract visitors and help people take their next steps.