Article by Adam Johannes
Earlier today we had a church contact us about moving to ChurchInsight for their website. When looking into where the church was based, I googled them. They did not have a website but they did have a Google profile, populated by Google... Other than the address there was no information.
I suddenly thought about other churches, like yours! How many had this setup? I first googled a very large church who uses ChurchInsight and they had a better entry, but still not their own. Google had rather unhelpfully put in the description of the church from a Wikipedia entry, and I'm sure it was not what the church would have written if they were in control of the listing. There were also unanswered questions from the public there for all to see.
Whilst SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is not at the top of the list for church growth strategy (obviously), it is still important to do what you can to create a positive impression of your church where people may be looking for you. Google has an 82% share of UK searches so the chances are that if people are searching online for your church they will see your Google Business profile to the right of the search results.
Secure your Google My Business entry
Claiming your profile is easy, just google your church, and if you get a profile on the right-hand side, click on 'Own this business?' You will need to sign in with a Google account, and then you will be taken through the wizard to get your details up to date.
If you do not see a profile, just go to the Google My Business page and log in with a Google account to fill in the details of your church.
Make sure you put as much information in as possible to help those who are looking for a church in your area.
You may also want to claim your listing on the Microsoft Bing search engine here.