The most common question I get when talking to pastors and church website staff is: “How can I get my church to show up on page one of Google?” This is a very reasonable question and there are a lot of tactics on how to get your website to show up on the first page of Google. I am not going to write an entire article on SEO strategies or anything complex. One thing that is often overlooked is that with very little effort or skill you can get your church website to show up in the Google Business listings area of a search result.
What is Google Business Listings? Google provides local businesses the ability to show their address, a map to your business, your URL, and phone number within the search results for local businesses. If you would like to see this in action, go to Google and type the phrase: “churches seattle wa”. You will notice the first results are all located on a map of the city of Seattle. This is where you too can get your church listed.
First step is to go to: http://www.Google.com/LocalBusinessCenter
The page will look like the one in the screen shot below. If you do not have a Google account yet, click Sign Up Now and register for your free account. If you already have an account, just login from this page.
The next step is to fill out the information for your business listing. The screen shot below shows an example of what information is needed.
After you fill out the required information, Google will show you an example of how your listing will show up in the search results and on Google Maps.
Often times, Google will locate your Church’s information and all you will have to do is to confirm which church is yours.
The last step is to choose how Google verifies your information. They can call you with a confirmation code or mail you your code to make sure your listing is valid. I recommend using the call feature, it is simple and easy. The mail option can take a week before you get your confirmation code.
This is one simple way to help get your church website to a larger audience. If you have any feedback on Google Business Listings please post in the comments below!