Google Places is a free tool for businesses (and churches) to use to help people in their community find them and their location.
So how does it work? When someone searches for your church or school in Google, you’ll now have the ability to customize the listing on Google Maps that often pops up as the top result. You’ll be able to feature your website, social media accounts, photos, contact info, and videos. And not only will people be able to rate and review your parish, but you’ll be able to respond to those reviews.
4 Easy Steps
- You’ll need a Google (or Gmail) account. If you don’t already have one setup for your parish/school, do that first (don’t use your personal account). Just head to Google Places and click the orange “Sign Up” button.
- Once you’re logged in, click the “List your Business.” button. Enter the parish/school’s phone number to see if it is already listed in Google Places. If so, you’ll be able to personalize the listing with your details. If not, you’ll be able to create a new listing.
- Add/edit the parish’s information: street address, description, email, website, and categories (it’s important for search engine rank that you choose accurate categories–make sure one of your choices is Google’s default suggestion). When writing your description, it’s important to: a) include top keywords – church, Catholic, parish, school, etc; b) make sure your description is welcoming and inviting to potential parishioners/visitors.
- Google has a verification process to ensure that you are the legitimate representative of the place you’re registering. It’s easy, just make sure the phone number or address you submit is the same the contact information on your map listing. When you receive your PIN (by phone or mail), just enter it into your Google Places.
Improve Your Search Engine Rank
Once your verification is complete (your page is showing up on Google Map and listed as “owner verified”), it’s time to use your Places page to improve your search engine rank.
How do I do that? It’s simple: add content to your Places page. Pictures, videos, and details are key. And when it comes to photos, make sure you use images that are clear and relevant because they may appear in the Google search results next to your listing.
How are you using your Google Places page?