In the past we have talked about church website SEO and how to optimize your website’s visibility on Google. In this post, we will be specifically examining one practical way that churches can improve their SEO. You will learn how to setup a Google My Business listing for churches.
What is GMB?
Google My Business is a free tool from Google that helps businesses (and organizations) promote themselves online through business listings with maps, contact information, and reviews. If you have ever searched for ‘restaurants near me’, for example, you’ve probably come across some GMB listings.
How do I setup my church’s GMB listing?
Setting up a Google My Business listing for churches is fairly simple. The first step is to check if your church already has a listing that you can claim. Once you have checked for this, you can set up a new listing or claim an existing one. You’ll need a Google account, so either sign in or create a new account.
Next, click on the “Start Now” button on the Google My Business homepage. You will be prompted to enter your organization’s information, including organization name, address, location, category, website, and contact information.
Here’s a eight-and-a-half minute video that explains this process step-by-step.
Once this is finished, you’ll be required to verify that you ‘own’ or manage the organization.
Google will want to verify that you actually have the authority to manage your church’s listing. There is a simple verification process that all businesses and organizations go through when claiming their GMB listing.
The most common method of verification is through the mail. Google will send a postcard to your church’s address. The postcard will contain a special verification code that you can then submit through your GMB page online.
For some organizations there are also email and phone verification methods. However, these are not available for every organization.
After the Setup
Once you’ve successfully setup and verified your church’s GMB listing, you can optimize it for best results! This involves adding your office hours (if you have specified church office hours), special contact information, and reviews. Though it may seem strange at first to seek reviews for your church, it’s an important way to improve your SEO rankings. Asking your congregation to write a review for your church, even just to say what they appreciate about it, will help your church get more visibility online.
Reach your local community!
Establishing a Google My Business listing for your church can help you reach your local community. Google My Business is a great tool for getting more online visibility (better SEO) and it’s not complicated to set up and manage.