search marketing

It’s My Birthday! My Gift to You and a Gift Idea!

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

Hey OurChurch.Com users and Christian Web Trends readers!

Today is my birthday.  Woohoo!

What do people do on birthdays?  They exchange gifts with friends and family, right?

Today I want to do something a little different… I want to give you a gift.  And if you want to give me a little something for my birthday, I’ve got a gift idea for you at the end of the post.

We’ve been talking a lot about your church’s Google My Business (GMB) listing lately.  That’s the listing that shows up in the results when you search Google Maps and in the “local 3 pack” when you search Google.

Your church’s Google My Business listing is EXTREMELY important. 

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, in Is Google My Business the new church homepage? many people will see your GMB listing and decide whether or not to visit your church based on what they see there. Some may never get to your website if they don’t like what’s in your GMB listing or your GMB listing doesn’t have a link to your website.

Google Reviews Are Huge!

One of the things on your church’s Google My Business listing are reviews posted by other Google users. In the Google Maps results and the local 3 pack of the Google search results, Google shows the number of reviews your church has received and the average number of stars of those reviews.

If your church has 0 reviews or even just 1 or 2 reviews, people are going to wonder why nobody cares about your church.  If your church has an average rating below 4 stars, people are going to wonder what’s wrong with your church.

Additionally, Google uses the number of reviews and average rate in its search algorithm, so the more reviews your church has and the better the rankings, the higher your church will be in the search results.

Therefore, it’s good to get as many legitimate 5 star ratings as possible.

How to Get More 5 Star Google Reviews for Your Church

Here are a 5 was we know work:

1) Email your congregation.  Share the information I wrote above so they understand by posting a review, they are helping your church improve its search rankings which will help you reach more people in your community.

2) Ask for reviews in a service.  Every church does announcements during the Sunday service. Take 3 minutes during a Sunday service to explain how Google reviews will help your congregation to reach the people in your community. Then ask them to take out their phones right there in the service and post a review.

3) Ask for reviews in social media.  If your congregation uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any social media platform.  Ask your people… “Do you love [your church]?  Post a review on Google and tell others has God has used [your church] to impact your life.” Then include a link to your GMB listing.

4) Be generous with your own reviews.  You have people in your congregation and community who lead businesses and nonprofits.  Post reviews for them. Many people will see a new review for their organization and return the favor. But don’t think of it as a quid pro quo. Just do it with a generous heart without expectations and see what happens.

5) Ask for Google reviews for your birthday or church anniversary.  Everyone likes to celebrate birthday with friends and family, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to get someone, especially if you don’t see each other in person regularly.  So, why not send out an email and let people know for your birthday, you’d love to get a Google review from them.  Props to Brady Shearer of Pro Church Tools for this idea.

My Birthday Gift Idea

If you have gotten some insight from our blog posts here on Christian Web Trends or you have been blessed through OurChurch.Com’s church web designchurch web hosting or church SEO services, and you would like to help me celebrate my birthday…

Post a review on the OurChurch.Com Google My Business!

Thanks! And borrow this idea for on your next birthday or church anniversary.

Social media is at its core, a gift economy. – Ray Rahmati

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Post a comment

  • What do you think about the importance of Google reviews?
  • Do you have any other good ways for churches to get more 5 star Google reviews?

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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