EASTPOINTE, MI – I met Mike going door to door after he visited our church. It just happened that he did online marketing for many companies. As we were visiting, he asked me if our church showed up on google searches. I proclaimed, “Of course we do.” Mike decided to test my assertion by googling our church. To my surprise, our church did not show up on a google search. Needless to say, as the pastor I felt quite embarrassed and frustrated by the lack of results. Thankfully, Mike was kind enough to provide advice on how to be found on Google.
As soon as I left his house that day, I made a commitment to make our church in the top three on a google search in our area. Today, I am happy to report that generally our church shows up in the top three on a Google search for our area. Here are steps that will increase your traction on a google search:
Do a general search of churches in your area. You will notice that three churches will be displayed in your area. The goal is to get your church listed in the top three. If your church is already there, don’t do anything. If you do not see your church, click on the words “More places” and see where your church comes up.
When you see your church, click on the church’s name. Under the church’s address and other information look for the word: “Own this business?” It will appear if you have not claimed your business. Click on this and claim your business by providing the different information google requests. You will receive a confirmation code from Google that will allow you to finish claiming the business. This will give you the ability to edit the business account and add details to the search information. WARNING: If you have not claimed your business anyone can!
After you are able to claim the business, you are able to edit to the account. First, make sure all of the information is accurate. For example, when I checked our account, we had our old address. Having accurate information is absolutely critical. Make sure that your church is listed as a church. Mike also informed me that people google what kind of church it is so list the church’s type (Baptist, non-denominational etc.)
Every church should have a basic website!!!! It is the number one area checked before a church is visited. Be sure and budget for a basic website. If your budget does not allow for one, then use a free one or a Facebook group. The bottom line is a church must have an online presence.
Google obtains information about the business by what is in the text on the website. Start with the homepage and write the details about your church. Also, save the pictures that are used on the webpage by name and not a .jpg number. Google will also use that in your search data. For example, save them as names like “children ministry” or “Bible preaching”. Make sure that there is no outdated information.
If someone says they like the church, email them a link to the church’s google reviews. Soon after I went through the process of getting our church coming up on Google, a woman named Brook called me. She came to our church on Friday, trusted Jesus Christ, and was baptized soon after that. She found us through Google. Souls are worth learning how to do social media! Our website is eastsidecommunitychurch.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Mathew Vroman is the Pastor of Eastside Community Church. He is married to Diane and they are the proud parents of Mattie (19), Betty (17), Arzu (13), and Marie (9). Additionally he serves in inter-faith dialogue and racial-reconciliation. He is presently pursuing a Doctor of Religious Studies in Bible and Theology (finished in 2020).