Ever since the demise of Google+, there has been a disconnect for churches and businesses across the Google suite of products. While many churches manage their Google My Business profiles well, there has been no way to keep visitors to your listing engaged. Well, this is all about to change with the addition of a Follow Button to Google Maps and Google My Business, as Google recently announced on their blog.
What is the Google Maps Follow Button
Google Maps is a key feature within Google My Business. It connects people who search for your location to your Google My Business profile, where they can find additional information on your church. Google has now added a Follow Button to Google Maps, which allows people who visit your church to follow your page, and get updates on your church when they are posted. Updates will appear in the ‘For You’ tab of the Google Maps mobile app.
This is a game-changing feature. Until now, if someone visited your church on Google Maps or your Google My Business profile, once they left the page there was no way to re-engage them. This follow button allows people to follow your church, and stay up to date with updates or events.
This feature has just begun to be rolled out, so it is not available in all locations yet, but will become available everywhere in the coming weeks. The Follow Button launched in October on Google Maps for Android devices, however, Google did not mention future plans to release these features on iOS devices. However, it is likely that the feature will transition to Apple devices in the coming months.
This release also shows the importance Google is placing on its Google My Business product. We can expect to see additional features be rolled out in the coming months, and it is vital that churches start to take control of the presence in Google right away. With the increasing investment Google is putting into the platform, it is likely that it will become an increasingly important ranking factor in future algorithm updates.
New churches that want to list their business profiles in Google Maps prior to an open date can do so via Google My Business.
Have Your Church’s Google My Business Found By More Unchurched In Your Area
There are two equally important channels to make sure your church’s Google My Business, and by extension, church website are found by people searching Google for a church in your area:
- Have a well managed Local SEO presence. You can find out more about Local SEO and what it entails here.
- Use the Google Ad Grant to run sponsored paid advertising campaigns within Google to have your church prioritized for searches in your area.
If you’re interested in running Google Ad Grant funded campaigns targeting those searching for Jesus but don’t know if your church is eligible for a grant, our Google Grant Eligibility Checker can help. We also have developed a Google Grant Impact Estimator to give you an idea what kind of impact a Google Grant could have on your church’s online outreach. Simply answer a few simple questions about your church, and we’ll provide an instant estimate.
If your church already has a grant, or you’d simply like to speak with us for more information about reaching out to those in your community searching Google for Jesus, please click the “Schedule an Appointment” button below. We look forward to talking with you soon!