Setting Up Your Church Google Maps Location

One of the simplest things you can do for your church’s online presence is to setup your Google Maps location. Getting it setup initially is actually quite simple and only takes a few minutes.

Step 1. Go to Google My Business

Step 2. Click Add Location Button
On the next page you’ll have an input field to add your Ministry’s Name
Select the Business Category for your ministry. It’s as easy as typing in “Church”

Step 3. Choose yes for the option to add a location for customers to visit.
The next page will have a form to add your church address.
-Note: Google will check to see if they already have a listing for that location.

You will also be asked if you serve customers outside the location. Best selection here is No.

Step 4. Add you Contact Details, Phone number and Website Address

Step 5. You are now setup and complete to manage your Google Location Listing!

What’s Next?

Some additional things you can now do with your location listing is to add more details and information about your church.

You can add photos and other items that will personalize your listing when people are searching for you online. This will make easier for potential new guests to get a feel for your church BEFORE they step foot in your door.

Best of all, your Google Maps listing is free, and will show up more prominently in search results when people are looking for churches in your local area.

Remember, even though it may be tough love, if you don’t exist online, your church doesn’t exist to reach new people. Your visitors are searching for churches online so you need to show up in those results.

Church Websites Featured

5 Keys To a Successful Church Website

A great looking website is crucial to your ministry.

If we can’t agree there, don’t worry about reading the remainder of this article.

Your church website is the first impression most visitors will have of your church. The perception they receive from visiting your site will be the impression they have of your site and probably will play a big part in their decision of whether or not to visit your church.

With that in mind, how do we build a website that successfully turns web visitors into weekend attenders of our church?

Key 1 – Have Your Information Simple and Easy to Find

I can’t tell you how many church websites I visit where I have to scroll down the page, click through the navigation and search just to find where their located and what time they have service.

That information should be prominent and above the fold (that first part of your website before the user scrolls down)

Key 2 – Remember To Include Your Address Including State

I’ve seen too many churches get themselves pigeon-holed into thinking locally, and that the only visitors they will have is from local people. Remember, it’s the World Wide Web.

There is more than one town named Springfield. There’s probably more than one Cornerstone Church Springfield. You may have already realized that when you went to purchase your church domain name.

Make sure that you make it very clear where your church is located so that your web visitors know they’re looking at the correct church. There’s nothing worse for your potential visitors than looking at a church’s site, only to find out that the church you thought you were visiting is in another state and your church is completely different.

Key 3 – Make It Simple to Contact Your Pastor and Key Staff

One general contact form on your church website is not sufficient. Most visitors want to know how to get a hold of an individual and not get dumped into a general contact form where who knows when it will get a response.

If you’re the pastor, get your contact details prominent on the site. People want to see you, and have some idea of what to expect. Put your email address on the site as a simple way to get a hold of you.

Note: If you’re concerned about spam to your church email address, don’t put the email as a hyperlink. Instead, put it in text like this: yourname[a]

That way, most users will be smart enough that the [a] needs to be replaced with the email symbol and will know how to email you. This will avoid the spam bots that are searching the web for email addresses and reduce the amount of spam email you receive.

Key 4 – Make it Clear What To Expect and What You Believe

This is big and will take some effort but really be concisely, detailed with information about what a new visitor can expect when they visit your church. Think about what it will be like to be a new person and write it for them. If you aren’t sure, check out our Church Web Design packages and we can help.

Secondly, it’s simple to put a link to the Baptist Faith and Message on your site and leave it at that. The problem is that many people aren’t going to take the time to read. Have you considered taking the key elements and re-phrasing them into language that even a non-believer can relate to? It will go a long way into turning your web visitors into weekend attenders.

Key 5 – Keep The Site Updated

Churches are notorious for having out of date websites. Do you still have information about registering for VBS on the site even though it ended 2 months ago? Your visitors will see that and that lack of attention to detail will reflect that your church doesn’t care enough about visitors to update the site with recent information.

This key is really all or nothing. One way to avoid an outdated site is to not put date relevant information on your site. Just keep it vague and general with basic information that won’t change. Unfortunately, if you’re wanting to use the site for current news and information, then you have to keep it updated.

Consider our Website Concierge packages. Our team will work with you to help keep your site up to date and current through our pro-active communication to stay in the loop of what’s going on with your church.

Wordpress For Church

8 Reasons to Use WordPress For Your Church

Eight reasons to use WordPress for your Church Website

1. It’s Free

WordPress is free.

As an open sourced software system, WordPress is available for anyone to download and create a website. If you want a basic illustration of how WordPress works, check out this link here.

Basically, you can have a website up and running for under $100/year depending on where you purchase your church’s domain name and hosting.

With that, you can have a fully functioning website for your church that can be completely customized to match your church’s branding, look and feel.

Can’t get more simple than that.

2. Even a Novice Can Create a Great Looking Website

WordPress has become very easy to use in many settings and proven itself great for churches. If you’re using WordPress for Church, you have a so many great options of themes to use.

A church WordPress theme is basically a website overall style that was created by a developer. There are many of those themes available for free that a church can take advantage of. The theme gives you a basic design framework to use (colors, fonts, backgrounds, layouts, etc.) and then you can update your content which then gets displayed as a website.

For most people, a short tutorial on WordPress for Church can have them building a website in just a few minutes.

3. Easy to Use

As mentioned above, WordPress is very easy to use for a church.

The system has been developed over several years and is a very mature software platform. That sounds real techy but the basics of that mean that it’s very safe and stable to use for your church.

Many hosting platforms, including church website hosting from Simplify Church Websites, can offer a Managed Church WordPress hosting solution that automatically installs WordPress for you leaving just adding content left to get a great website up and going for your church.

4. Native User Roles and Options for Multiple People to Contribute

Without getting too far into the history of WordPress, we should at least mention that its original design was to be a blogging platform. What that means is that it was designed for people wanting to maintain a weblog (blog) and many of the first applications were in a multi-user publishing environment.

Since then, WordPress has evolved to become the largest system and actually powers a majority of the websites on the web.

Because it was designed for publishing, there are native user roles that you can take advantage of for your church. Basically, you could have people that can only create and add content, that then needs to be approved before it goes live. (Looking to keep that youth pastor from posting crazy cat videos? Here’s your chance.)

It’s easy to have multiple people able to work on your website and as long as they have internet connection and a browser, your site can stay up to date.

5. Search Engines Love WordPress

Because it powers most websites on the web, the developer community has really worked to make sure that the way your web content is displayed is search engine friendly. What this means for you is that you really don’t have to do anything special to help your search engine rankings.

Now, there are always best practices when you write your content and plugins that can help, but I’ve seen sites increase in search engine results just by switching their site to a WordPress platform over other systems.

6. You Own Your Site

Are you tired of emailing your site developer and waiting days or weeks for a response? I’ll admit as a web developer I have been guilty of slow response. It’s no fun.

With a WordPress site, you own it.

Using systems like Wix, SquareSpace or Clover that provide you a template site seems easy and cost effective, but those usually end up costing more in the long run. They provide inexpensive ways to get started and then get more money out of you when you need more traffic bandwidth, better search engine visibility, etc. Also, if you decide you want to update your site to a new look, chances are you’ll have to pay again for a new template. Not the case with WordPress.

You own and have complete control of your site. You are in charge and don’t have to depend on anyone or another company to manage your site.

7. You Have Complete Control Over Your Site

As we mentioned before, with owning your site, you also have complete control of your site. With WordPress for churches out of the box, you can have a complete website designed, developed and live with no need for any additional development.

At times, you may get an idea or find something you want to do to make your site more robust. The good news is that with the flexibility of WordPress for Church, you can easily adapt things for your specific needs.

There is a huge library of plugins available which can help to update things and provide functionality that you may want to add. If you don’t see what you want, there are also plenty of people that can help and because WordPress is such a widely used system, the cost is very inexpensive to get development help.

8. WordPress MakesContinual Improvements That Benefit Your Church Website

As we’ve mentioned, WordPress is an open sourced software. What that really means is that there is a community of developers that all work together to continually improve the software.

As such, there are continual improvements to the system to keep it updated and current. This also addresses many security issues that may arise. As you know with any technology, it is vulnerable to bad players out there. The good news about WordPress is that they are continually making improvements to keep it robust and safe.

The top 8 reasons to use WordPress for Church

We’ve gone over many points here to show by WordPress is the best option for your church’s website. Anyone that will tell you anything different is just using marketing hype to try to sell you their system and rope you into spending more money.

Check out our Managed Church WordPress hosting and see just how simple and easy it can be to get your website up and running.