Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most important pieces of your church’s Local SEO. In a study done by Moz in 2018, it found that GMB Signals (meaning, what your GMB property is telling Google) was the most important contributing factor toward local search rankings. GMB Signals accounted for an estimated 25.12% of what Google used to determine local search rankings, with Link Signals at 16.53% and Review Signals at 15.44% as the next two most significant factors. This guide will take you through the steps of how churches should post on Google My Business.
Many people are quick to claim their church listing, add information and photos, and assume that’s all they need to do. While this will increase your likelihood of being found, the truth is sthat a GMB profile should be managed much like any other social media site. You should be continuously engaged with your GMB profile in order to show Google and its users that you are an active and relevant organization that is worthy of attention.
Google My Business posts are simple and extremely effective. Because most churches and other businesses are rarely using them, they’ll make your profile stand out even more. GMB posts are 100-300-characters of textual content with a picture and Call to Action (CTA) button at the bottom.
Here is what a Google My Business post looks like:
There are a variety of post types that you can create on GMB. These include:
One of the biggest benefits of creating posts on GMB is that each post gives you the option to include a Call to Action (CTA) button. When a user clicks your CTA button, they’re taken to a page (on your church website or otherwise) of your choosing.
CTA buttons include:
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Call Now
- Order Online
- Get Offer
By using specific keywords in your GMB posts, you’ll in turn help your Local SEO visibility for users searching those keywords. Posts should never be overloaded with keywords in an unnatural way, as Google will detect this and penalize you instead. These posts should be as natural and engaging as your social media posts on Facebook would be.
When posting on GMB, it’s important to keep in mind some key features. Posts are only kept live on GMB for 7 days unless they’re an “event” type post. Events are kept live until the conclusion of the event in question. This means that frequently posting on GMB is important because most posts have a relatively short time window of relevancy. However, a user is able to view your posts historically under the “Posts” tab on mobile.
As a church, there are many different ways to leverage GMB posts to your advantage.
Some ideas include:
- Post about your latest message/sermon series and have the CTA button link to the sermon video.
- Create GMB posts for any upcoming events at your church.
- Create a post for upcoming Holiday special services. Make sure to enter these service times within the “Special Hours” of operation section of Google My Business as well!
- Post general biblical questions with links to answers on your church website.
Not only will searchers see that you’re geographically close to them, but they’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about your church and about the reasons they should pay you a visit without ever having to leave Google.
The ideas are limitless, especially if you’re already creating your own social media posts. Google My Business is the most important signal for your local search ranking in Google and should be treated as its own social platform. GMB should be something that you check frequently, post on often, and engage users on. Don’t make the mistake of claiming your listing, adding information and then letting it sit indefinitely.
Here at Missional Marketing, we understand how difficult it can be for a non-SEO expert to improve your church’s Local SEO. If you’re looking to be a part of the Local Pack for Google searches such as “church near me” in your area, check out what we can do for you and your local search rankings.