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Benefits Of Google Business Profile For Churches

Benefits Of Google Business Profile For Churches

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This is a guest post by Lenny Rowell. Read more about how you can guest post on Christian Web Trends here.

Millions of people use Google daily to search for a wide range of things, such as restaurants, clothes, news, and churches. Google offers several tools, such as Google Business Profile which can help your establishment become more visible to your potential audience. This in-depth review will explore the benefits of a Google Business Profile for churches and everything you need to know about this tool.

Our review will cover the following;

  1. An Overview of Google Business Profile for Churches (This section will define a Google Business Profile and the benefits a church can have from creating one. We will also explore the relationship between Google Business Profile and Google Maps. This section will also highlight local searches and local pack.)2. How to Manage Your Church’s Google Business Profile. (Here, you will learn how a church can manage its Google Business profile and the do’s and don’ts.)3. Solutions and Techniques We Have Learnt from Managing Lots of Google Business Profiles for Churches. (From our experience, we will offer professional insight on resolving challenges associated with running a Google Business Profile for churches.)

An Overview of Google Business Profile for Churches

The Definition of Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), is a free internet-based tool that allows organizations to promote their local business online. All establishments, churches included, can benefit significantly from claiming their GMB profile. When you verify your church’s Google Business profile, you can manage the information that appears on Google search engine result pages. Also, a well-managed profile makes it easier for people to discover your church from local searches.

Google Business Profile for churches

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The Relationship Between Google Business Profile and Google Maps

If you are interested in claiming the Google Business profile for your church, it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with the relationship between Google Business Profile and Google Maps.

Google algorithms are so advanced that they may have identified your church’s location and placed it on Google maps results. This mostly applies to churches that have been around for a while. As for new churches, it usually takes a while for your location to be pinned on Google maps, especially if you don’t claim your Google Business Profile.

Even before we go any further with our review, can you search for your church on Google maps?

If your church is listed on Google Maps, you will see the primary category, address, phone number, website, reviews, and opening/closing hours when you click on it. You can also access more information, such as events, photos, and social media profiles. In case your church is not listed on Google Maps, and it has been around for some time, you need to work on your Google Business Profile urgently.

From the above, it’s evident that a Google Maps search for your church can provide a user with a lot of information about your establishment. And all this information comes from two main sources – a Google Business Profile and third-party data. Therefore, even if your Church profile exists, you must claim and verify it.

Local Searches and the Local Pack

Let’s use this scenario. A certain resident within your area is looking for a new church. Therefore, they head over to Google and search for a local church. Immediately, Google will present the local pack. This entails three Google Maps results based on the searcher’s geographical location and relevance.

For your church to get in the Google Local Pack, you must have a properly managed Google Business Profile. That’s the only way Google can list your church in local searches.

What Role Does Google Business Profile Play in Local SEO for Churches?

Google Business Profile is one of the essential local ranking factors. Claiming and updating your church’s Google Business Profile can significantly impact your local SEO, thus increasing your ranks on search results.

As a search engine, Google takes pride in being a reputable and reliable source of information. It doesn’t want scenarios whereby it offers misleading information. For instance, if a user searched for a church near me and followed Google Maps directions only to find a bank or hospital, that would lower Google’s credibility.

Therefore, for Google to be confident that your church exists at a particular location and then rank it on local search results, you must claim, verify and frequently update your Google Business Profile for Churches.

How to Manage Your Church’s Google Business Profile?

Now that you know what Google Business Profile is and the benefits your church can get from claiming it. Here are some tips on managing your church’s Google Business Profile.

  • Claim and Verify Your Church Google Business Profile

The first and most important step is to create a Google Business Profile. If your church is new, you will need to create one. But if it’s been around for a while, it’s probably listed on Google Maps. However, you still need to claim it.

Please note that churches with a Google Business Profile shouldn’t create new accounts. They only need to claim the existing businesses. Claiming a new one confuses Google algorithms, which may affect your rankings.

  • Update Your Name, Address, and Phone (NAP)

The second step entails adding your NAP information. The addresses must be as accurate as possible. You can update NAP in the info section on your GMB profile.

When updating your NAP information, there is a section below that which is titled Service Areas. This area should only be filled by businesses that travel to offer products or services. A common mistake most people make is filling in the Service Areas, yet churches don’t operate that way. Doing so will affect your local SEO rankings.

  • Choose an Accurate Primary Category

The category section for your church’s Google Business Profile needs to be as accurate as possible. If you are a catholic church, don’t choose the ‘church’ category. Be as specific as possible. The good news is that Google allows you to choose from a huge list of denominations. You can also add a local phrase to your category if you want to boost your rankings.

  • Create a Short and Illustrative Description

Most internet users prefer to skim through content when searching for a local church. Write a short paragraph in the description about who you are and your mission/objectives. Even though descriptions are short, they must be illustrative.

  • Include Hours of Operation

This section must be filled in accurately to avoid misleading potential visitors. For churches, it’s best to use the Special Hours field. That allows you to customize the hours of operation. So, you can set different hours for weekdays and holidays.

  • Upload Quality Photos

Photos offer more insight about your church when your profile is displayed in Google maps or the local pack. You should upload quality photos of your church’s interior and exterior. The exterior photos come in handy in helping people locate your church.

You will also need to upload your church’s logo and cover photo. The cover photo should preferably be a wide shot of the church’s frontal exterior. If you share a building with other organizations, you can be creative and use a picture of the congregation, choir, or pastors.

  • Share Special Events

Google Business Profile for churches isn’t just a tool that makes your establishment easily discoverable. It can also be used to advertise special events. If you are planning a special occasion at your church, you can share this message on your Google Business Profile by using the Post and Events section.

  • Add a Virtual Tour

Another aspect of GMB that can boost rankings and make it easier for your potential audience to find you is adding a virtual tour. You can create a virtual tour using 360-degree cameras or street view apps. There are experts who can help you set up a virtual tour of your church.

  • Activate Real-Time Messaging

Some of your potential members may want to inquire more about your church. You can communicate with them easily by activating real-time messaging on the Google Business Profile App. Messaging can significantly boost engagement with your audience. However, Google requires that you adhere to a quick response time of less than a day.

  • Manage Your Google Reviews

Even though churches rarely get negative reviews, it’s a good idea to ensure you offer quality experiences that lead to positive reviews. You should also develop a habit of responding to reviews.

Solutions and Techniques We Have Learned from Managing Lots of Google Business Profiles

Thanks to our years of experience managing Google Business Profiles for churches, we have learned all the tricks needed to navigate this digital marketing tool. We can offer Google Business Profile solutions to special scenarios, such as churches that don’t have a dedicated location, churches with branches in different locations, or churches with duplicate results on Google Maps.

The Bottom Line

After reading the above review, you should be familiar with what Google Business Profile is, its relationship with Local SEO, Google Maps, and Local Pack, and how it can benefit your church. If you would like to have an expert manage your church’s Google Business profile, or answer a few more questions about this tool, feel free to reach out to Lenny at GMB Marketing Solutions.

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    About the author

    gmbmarketingsolutions

    GMB Marketing Solutions is a knowledgable and ethical digital marketing agency dedicated to helping business owners all over the world leverage Google Business Profile Optimization and digital marketing strategies to maximize their online presence.

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