How to Get Reviews For Your Church

Churches will more likely than not be able to observe an uptick in visitors if all they do is keep a steady stream of reviews coming in for the church on Google Maps. That sounds like a simple task for a second, until you think about the task of requesting the reviews. It’s awkward. When else do you request of people that they say nice things about the church in a public manner? Most would say that this is very out of the box for them.

I could write a whole post explaining why reviews are important. In a sentence, it helps you become more visible in search results when people are looking for a church. But even if it doesn’t produce that fruit, I explain in last week’s post why there are other reasons to make regular reviews a priority.

Let me speak then to those who see the value in this outreach pursuit, but are intimidated by the task and need help breaking it down into actionable steps. I’ll get right to it.

  1. Do your homework. Know why reviews are important. If people need to be won over on that, you need to be knowledgeable. If you lose your audience on this foundational step, you’re not going to get anywhere.
  2. Find a platform with which to communicate with everyone. Does your church have member meetings, dessert nights, or opportunities for special topics to be brought up to the congregation? I don’t recommend using the Sunday service to make an announcement like this.
  3. Inspire a culture shift to avoid chasing people or having to convince each person individually that this is a worthy pursuit. Inform everyone of your planned workflow to keep the reviews flowing.

Let’s focus the rest of our discussion on this last step.

After you’ve taken the stage and given the congregation a really inspiring justification for this outreach effort, help them to understand what the task is like on the end of the one organizing it. In other words, find a tactful way to explain that requests for reviews should be addressed within the week and no later. That doesn’t obligate everyone to participate. If they are unwilling, they can simply decline, but they ought to do so promptly so you can move on to the next family. Is the family reviewing? No, this is the beauty of dealing with the fact that you want to keep reviews coming but you only have so many folks in the directory. When you rotate thought the whole directory, only ask one person from each family to give their review. Once you’ve gone through the whole directory, start over, and ask each family with more than one person to have the next family member write a review. Keep track of who has and hasn’t reviewed so they don’t have to remember, and don’t call families who have all written a review.

The point is, they need to know from your presentation that a review request ought to be treated like a jury summons, only way more fun for everyone involved. They get to share a testimony of what the church has meant for them, members who read it will be encouraged, and visitors will be inspired to visit. But out of consideration to the person making the requests, the congregation ought to know that sending second and third reminders is either doubling or tripling the weekly work, or slowing the flow of reviews to half or a third of what it could be. One review a week is what I would call the sweet spot. One every other week is okay. Three a week is too much.

It should also be noted that you can focus first on people you know to be somewhat tech savvy and happy with the church, however as you keep going you’re going to have to branch out, and it may even happen eventually that someone may leave a bad review. You may not be able to turn them around to change the review, and that will effect your overall score. You should still see the situation as a positive. This member or regular attendee may have not been able to find any other means to speak up, and now you have an opportunity to minister to them and help them in whatever way the Lord would enable you. This can be pretty intense work, because the reasons for the bad review could be anything from a difference in musical preference to something needing serious disciplinary action.

If you try all this and you find that you still can’t get enough people on board, do please comment below and describe your trouble. I’d love to help as best as I can.

photo credit http://willirish.com/

Written by

Andrew Gruswitz

7 Posts

Hello, I'm Andrew Gruswitz. My passion is to see my dear brothers and sisters of NAPARC churches to grow in their online outreach efforts. Check back at this website for updates in the world of church website design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for church visibility in web search results, and another passion of mine - web safety for families and online accountability and integrity for young adults and adults. Shoot me an email if you have any questions or concerns about any of the above.
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