UU Leaders, recently I was working with Google Maps trying to make all of our congregations display at once. A search for Unitarian or Universalist produced this map.
Clicking around this map I noticed many of our congregations haven’t claimed and updated their listing on Google. Your Google listing is a valuable asset! You can not only customize the content, claiming your congregation as “your business” allows you to see who is searching for you and other data.
Here’s a video from Google on the power of taking charge of your listing:
Claiming your listing:
Go to http://maps.google.com/ and search for your congregation.
When the results come up, click on map pin (usually a red dot) to open the balloon with the location details. In the balloon containing the location information click >>more Info. This will take you to the full listing. The example below is for the Unitarian Universalist Association headquarters in Boston, MA.
If the listing has been claimed already it will say Owner Verified. If not, there will be a >> Business Owner? link. Click the >> Business Owner? link. This will give you the option to edit/claim the entry. Google will then send a card to the listed address with a pin number you may use to verify you are the owner.
There are many benefits of claiming your listing. You may see stats for searches resulting in your listing, you may enter videos/ photos, and other information about your congregation. Below is an example of what a claimed Owner Verified listing looks like. See live listing. Notice how it lists information about interfaith weddings?
Your Google Search listing is probably one of the most important “publications” your congregation has. Use it wisely.