Google Business for Church

Free, Easy, and Powerful

Free tool to help people find your church online

Imagine people searching for a church nearby on Google Maps. With a free Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), your church can appear in those searches! This profile helps people discover your church online, whether they’re searching by name or looking for “churches near me.”

Increases visibility: Your church will appear higher in Google searches and Maps.
Connects with your community: People can easily find your service times and directions.
Provides valuable insights: See who’s searching for your church online, helping you understand your reach.
Showcases your church: Add photos and updates to give visitors a feel for your church.
It’s all free and easy to set up. Get started today and help people find your church!

Local SEO is “Nearest me…”, “best local …”, “Nearby…” Google Business Profile (Formerly Google My Business”) is the best place to start.

What is it?

Imagine you’re looking for a church nearby. Google Maps wants to connect you with the perfect place, so they use a clever tool called Google Business Profile (formerly My Business). Here’s how it works:

Finding Businesses: Google searches for churches, temples, stores, and more in your area.
Creating Profiles: They create profiles for these businesses, even if the business owner hasn’t done it themselves.
Using the Information: These profiles populate Google Maps and Search results.

Why are verified profiles important?

When searching “Nearby Churches,” Google prioritizes churches with verified Google Business Profiles. These profiles are like digital storefronts, allowing churches to:

  • Update Hours: Ensure people know when services are held.
  • Add Photos: Showcase the church’s atmosphere and welcoming space.
  • Share Announcements: Keep everyone informed about important events.

By claiming and verifying your Google Business Profile, your church can ensure it appears in relevant searches and attracts new visitors!

How it can help!

First, Google My Business is Free, Free, Free.  Once you have access, it can provide you:

  1. Free local advertising
  2. Free Insights into who is looking at you
  3. Easy ways to update people
  4. Give you credibility with Google search
  5. Help people find you
  6. Connect with your local community
  7. Connect with people
  8. Help you get Found
  9. Make you stand out in the digital community

Step 1: Own it

Take Ownership

Google automatically generates a Business Profile for your church based on available information. To manage and update this profile, you’ll need to claim ownership, a simple process outlined below:

  1. Start with a Google Email: You’ll need a Google Email account to initiate the process.
  2. Access via Google Maps: Search for your church’s name on Google Maps.
  3. Locate Your Church’s Profile: Once found, click on the church icon to open its profile.
  4. Claim Ownership: Look for the ‘Own this Business? ‘Claim it now’ option. Click on it, and ownership will be transferred to you within a few days.

The accompanying video offers alternative methods to claim ownership of this Business Profile.

BE CAREFUL: Use what Google has already made, but don’t create a new business profile that will create duplicates and undo much of what you need to accomplish.  If you need to create a new Google Business Profile, start here.

Google My Business for Church

Claim Your Business Listing

Step 2: Update Basic Information

Google My Business for Church

Get the Foundation Set

Once you are in your profile, on the left-hand menu, click on “Info.”

If you wish to update your business hours to reflect service times rather than general building hours.

Update the Address: Is your building difficult to locate or at the end of a long road? Does your mailbox not serve as the best point of arrival for visitors?

  • TIP: Your address does not have to be your mailing address! 

Here’s a helpful tip: The address you provide will be used by Google Maps and Waze. To effectively direct visitors, go to Google Maps, pinpoint the exact location you want them to reach, and use that address in your Google My Business profile.

How? Go to Google Maps, move the location icon to your desired point of arrival for visitors, and use that address.

(TIP: Your Google Business Profile Address doesn’t need to match your postal address; it’s solely for navigation purposes). 

What is the best Address for you?

Step 3: Update Photos

PHOTOS show how you are

“Photos play a vital role in giving visitors an immediate sense of your church’s atmosphere and whether they’ll feel welcome. It’s essential to update your photos regularly and focus on images that communicate openly with those outside your church community.

Highlighting an inviting and inclusive environment through photos can significantly impact visitors’ perceptions. Keep your visual content fresh and welcoming to create a compelling first impression.

Here is some good guidance on choosing photos 

Updating Photos

Step 4: Create Posts

POSTS keep posting to keep your profile in the lead

Posts are updates. Events, encouraging bible verses. Here are some tips.

Consistency is Key: Post regularly to keep your audience engaged and informed about events, promotions, or updates.
Varied Content: Share a mix of content types, such as announcements, offers, events, or behind-the-scenes glimpses to keep the feed dynamic.
Visual Appeal: Use high-quality images or videos to grab attention and make your posts visually appealing.
Clear Call-to-Action: Encourage action with clear and concise CTAs, guiding users to visit your website, make a reservation, or learn more.

Sample church Posts for Google Business Profile

Sample church Posts for Google Business Profile
Google Profile Business Post for a church

Posts and More Posts

Sample Post Google Business Profile for a church

Google Profile Business Post for a church

Step 5: Advanced Optimization

Advance Your Profile, Reach the lost

Evangelism 201: Keep Talking to Strangers.  You DO HAVE A PRODUCT, a message.  Don’t let the world use this tool; keep the church out.

Now that the Foundation is right and strong, it is time to reach out. In a surprisingly short amount of time, search engines will see that your profile is active and being updated. You will see more and more visits, get more calls, clicks, and interest, and in the end, visitors.

Help you grow

Step 6: Insights

About Insights

Google Business Profile Insights is invaluable for understanding your listing’s performance. It provides detailed information on the audience that interacts with your profile:

Audience Metrics: This shows who viewed your profile, including demographics like age, gender, and location. This data helps you tailor your content to better suit your audience.

Engagement Data: Shows how users interacted with your profile.

Search Performance: How Google displays your profile on Maps..

Timing and Trends: This section highlights when your profile receives the most views and interactions, aiding in scheduling posts or promotions for optimal engagement.

By leveraging these insights, you can refine your marketing strategy, better target your audience, and maximize the impact of your Google Business Profile. Understanding who, what, where, and when users interact with your profile empowers you to make data-driven decisions to enhance your online presence.

Why you can’t be found? Click Here many customers find businesses on Google Search and Maps; Insights focuses on how customers use Search and Maps to find your listing, and what they do once they find it. ” -Google.
More about the Church and Analytics.

Learn, Watch, Adapt and Grow

Improve your local ranking on Google

Step 7: Local SEO

Set your listing on a firm foundation 

There are no secrets; Google will tell you how you are doing.  

Google will post tips about how to improve your Google My Business profile now and then. It will show you what is working (posts, photos, events, etc.) and what got the most clicks. This will inform you what type of posts and photos you need to add. The ‘secret’ is to Have a Competitive Profile and update it often, and Google will tell you what works.
More about SEO and Search Engine Optimization Here.

Who is Searching for you

Step 8: Google 360 Street View

Add a professional 360 view to your listing.

When you look at the photos section of Google My Business, you will see a “360 View View” tab. This is for photos that you can navigate through. Getting them on your listing is easy, and here are a few steps.

Follow this video, make a few videos, and choose the one you want to use.  Google will know where the photo was taken, so matching it to your GMB listing is easy.   Once you have the 360 you want, click publish, look for your profile, and upload it.  Google will put it in the right place. 

  

A free, Simple, Powerful Website

Step 9: A Product and Events

Add products and events.

Even if you don’t sell anything, you can have products.   Products can be services you offer like grief counseling, a page that tells stories about yourself, or otherwise, a service you provide or even an e-book you have made.

Events are those that you want to invite people to.  A Wednesday night service, a webinar, picnic, etc.  Take a look at the advantages of both. Events can be Christmas Eve services; next Sunday, we will talk about…., We have a Guest Speaker….

  

A free, Simple, Powerful Website

FAQ

  1. How do I claim and verify my church's GBP listing?

    To claim and verify your church’s GBP listing, follow these steps:

    Sign in to your Google My Business account.
    Search for your church’s listing using the search bar.
    Click on the listing that matches your church.
    On the listing, click the Own this business? or Claim this business button.
    Provide the requested information to verify your affiliation with the church.
    Choose a verification option (such as postcard, phone call, or email).
    Follow the instructions for the chosen verification method.
    Once verified, you will have access to manage and update your church’s listing on GBP.

    Note: The exact steps and options may vary slightly depending on your location and specific circumstances.

  2. Can I verify my church if it shares a building with another organization?

    Yes, verifying your church’s Google Business Profile (GBP) can be slightly trickier if you share a building with another organization. Google’s verification process usually requires a unique physical location for each listing, but there are still ways to get your church’s profile up and running. Here are your options:

    1. Check for existing listings:
    Before claiming your own listing, search for your church and the other organization sharing the building on Google Search and Maps.
    If both organizations already have separate verified listings, you’re good to go! Simply claim and manage your church’s listing as usual.
    If only one organization has a verified listing, it’s best to reach out to them directly and discuss claiming and managing the joint listing together. This ensures accurate information and avoids confusion for potential visitors.

    2. Claim and verify jointly:
    If no listings exist yet, you can collaborate with the other organization to claim and verify a single listing for the shared building.
    Clearly indicate both organizations within the listing details, including separate names, contact information, and service times. You can mention the shared space in the description.
    Google allows adding multiple owners to a single listing, so both organizations can manage and update the information.

    3. Request separate verification:
    If having a joint listing isn’t ideal, you can request separate verification for your church.
    Contact Google My Business support and explain your situation. Be prepared to provide documentation proving your church’s distinct identity and presence within the shared building (e.g., lease agreements, utility bills, separate entrances).
    Google may request additional verification steps, like video calls or photos of your church’s specific space within the building.

    Here are some additional tips for verifying your church’s GBP when sharing a building:
    Communicate clearly with the other organization. Discuss your preferred approach to verification and ensure everyone is on the same page.
    Use descriptive titles and descriptions. Clearly differentiate your church from the other organization within the listing details.
    Add high-quality photos and videos. Showcase your church’s unique spaces and activities to attract visitors.
    Encourage positive reviews. Ask your congregation to leave reviews on your GBP listing to boost visibility and credibility.

    Remember, Google’s goal is to provide accurate and helpful information to users. By working collaboratively and providing clear details about your church’s presence, you can successfully verify your GBP listing even if you share a building.

  3. I'm having trouble receiving the verification code, what can I do?

    I understand it can be frustrating not receiving the verification code for your church’s Google Business Profile (GBP). Don’t worry, there are a few things you can try:
    Confirm the verification method:
    Double-check which method you chose (phone, postcard, email, video call).
    If it was phone, make sure you entered the correct phone number and that it’s able to receive calls or texts (check for voicemail or call blocking).
    If it was postcard, remember that it can take 5-7 business days to arrive. You can request another postcard if it hasn’t arrived within 2 weeks.

    Troubleshooting steps:
    Phone: Try requesting the code again. Wait 24 hours between requests to avoid being flagged.
    Postcard: Check your mailbox thoroughly, including spam folders. If you have a shared building, communicate with the other organization to ensure they didn’t receive it by mistake.
    Email: Check your spam folder and ensure you’re using the correct email address associated with your Google account.

    Contact Google My Business support:
    If you’ve tried all the above and still haven’t received the code, contact Google My Business support.
    Explain your situation and the verification method you chose.
    They may request additional information or suggest alternative verification methods.

  4. How can I improve my church's ranking in local search results?

    Hey there! Boosting your church’s search ranking can be a game-changer, so here’s the lowdown:
    Up your Google game:
    Claim and rock your Google My Business listing. Photos, videos, and quick responses to reviews are your friends.
    Sprinkle local keywords throughout your website like magic fairy dust. Think “church near me” and “community events.”
    Get your church listed in all the cool local directories. Consistency is key!

    Spread the word:
    Encourage your awesome congregation to leave positive reviews. Good vibes only!
    Join online communities and forums. Share your wisdom and connect with potential visitors.
    Run targeted ads to reach folks searching for churches. Like a virtual welcome mat!

    Tech time:
    Make sure your website is squeaky clean and super fast. Nobody likes a glitchy mess.
    Use fancy code called “structured data” to tell search engines all about your church. Think of it as a secret handshake.

    Remember:
    Be patient and consistent. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
    Keep learning and adapting. The search engine landscape is always changing.
    Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Local SEO experts can be your secret weapon.

  5. Can I use GBP to reach new people in my community?

    Attract new visitors:
    Post engaging content: Share news, events, sermons, and inspirational messages.
    Showcase your community: Use high-quality photos and videos of your church and activities.
    Respond promptly to reviews and messages: Show potential visitors how welcoming you are.
    Highlight accessibility features: Make it easy for everyone to find your church.

    Connect with potential members:
    Post service times and descriptions: Cater to different preferences (traditional, contemporary, etc.).
    Offer virtual tours and online services: Make church accessible even from afar.
    Host online events and discussions: Foster a sense of community beyond physical walls.
    Share volunteer opportunities: Attract those seeking to connect and contribute.

    Promote local involvement:
    List community events and partnerships: Show your church’s active role in the community.
    Support local businesses: Mention local vendors or restaurants in your posts.
    Run targeted ads to reach specific demographics: Tailor your message to resonate with newcomers.

    Remember:
    Use keywords relevant to your community’s interests. Think “family-friendly church” or “grief classes.”
    Be consistent with your posting schedule. Keep your audience engaged.
    Track your results and adjust your strategy. See what resonates most with your community.

    By using GBP strategically, you can open your church’s doors to a wider audience and build a thriving community both online and offline. Don’t hesitate to experiment and have fun with it!

  6. What happens if someone leaves a negative review?

    Negative reviews on your church’s Google Business Profile (GBP) can be tough, but don’t panic! Here’s how to handle them like a pro:
    Stay calm and professional: Don’t respond impulsively or defensively. Take a breath and remember, everyone deserves to be heard.
    Acknowledge the reviewer’s concerns: Show empathy and understanding, even if you disagree. Thank them for taking the time to share their feedback.
    Address the issue directly: Briefly clarify any factual errors and offer to resolve the situation privately if possible. Don’t engage in arguments or blame games.
    Respond publicly with grace: Show other potential visitors how you handle criticism constructively. Share any steps you’re taking to improve based on the feedback.
    Encourage positive reviews: Motivate your happy congregation to leave positive reviews to balance out the negative one.
    Report the review if it violates Google’s policies: Google won’t remove all negative reviews, but they will take action against ones containing hate speech, harassment, or misleading information.
    Remember: Negative reviews can be an opportunity for growth. Use them to identify areas for improvement and demonstrate your commitment to providing a positive experience for everyone.
    Here are some additional tips:
    Respond within a reasonable timeframe: Aim to respond within 24-48 hours.
    Use clear and concise language: Avoid jargon and technical terms.
    Keep your tone respectful and positive: Focus on solutions, not negativity.
    Learn from the experience: Analyze the feedback to understand what went wrong and how to prevent future issues.

    By handling negative reviews with maturity and professionalism, you can turn them into a positive opportunity to build trust and strengthen your church’s online reputation. Remember, I’m always here to help you navigate the world of GBP and connect with your community!