10 Google Services You Didn’t Know Existed and How They Help Church Leaders
Google’s mission is to organize all of information in the world. They are known for being a search engine and increasingly for their incredible email service (Gmail) but they have a whole collection of other services that church leaders should be aware of. There are hundreds of online services that Google has launched since it started but this is just a list of a few that I think you probably haven’t heard and might be helpful for you!
- Get Your Business Online // This is a fantastic set of tools and information to help businesses take initial steps into the online world. Did you know that nearly 40% of all churches still don’t have a website? [ref] This is a helpful place for them to start to not only get online … but to get a website built and start with a bit of advertising.
- Webmaster Tools // This site has a series of helpful tools for whoever is going to be managing your site. It includes insights into how Google “sees” and “ranks” your church’s website. You can use this information to drive more traffic to your site … more traffic is more people for your church to reach!
- Trends // This tool shows how often search-terms are entered in comparison to every thing else being search on the web. It also gives you the ability to quickly compare various search terms to see their relative importance. Wondering what “song of the summer” to play at your service? [See if Miley Cryus, Robin Thicke or Imagine Dragons are trending in the last 30 days (in New Jersey).] Thinking about doing a relationship series? [Check out if people are asking more for marriage counselors or divorce lawyers.]
- Think Insights // Google is a massive marketing organization. The core of their business is helping companies advertise to their potential clients. Think Insights is a treasure trove of resources with incredibly insightful help in marketing. Church leaders need to understand how communications is shifting in the world around us … this is a great place to start.
- Keep // This service is similar to Evernote … a quick place to store notes, checklists, photos, and audio to reference in the future. Great place to store sermon ideas as they come to you. All your information syncs across multiple platforms for simple future reference.
- Moderator // A quick and simple tool for gathering feedback from an online audience. Make up a question and pass it along to people in your church to answer. Great for “thumbs up or thumbs down” sort of decisions. A quick way to poll people and get their opinions.
- Schemer // Think of it as a “social bucket list”. Schemer is a place to store, find and share big goals for your life. This tool provides some interesting insights into what people want to “do” with their lives. Maybe something you could incorporate into an upcoming series at your church?
- URL Shortener // Have a link to a website that’s way to long to share on twitter or facebook? Use this service to make it into a tiny one to post online. Also super helpful to provide short URLs when sharing web addresses in printed documents … no one is going to type in your 52 character website address off the church bulletin!
- Alerts // Google is constantly crawling the web looking for new content … now put that to work for you! Set up things that you want Google to be “looking for” and they will send you an email about it. Putting in your church’s name is a starting point … anytime anyone online mentions your church you’ll get an email about it.
- Search Help // Google is an internet search company after all! This site gives you detailed help with getting the most out of the search engine. Lots of help on how to use various functions within that one box that seems to be able to answer every question imaginable! This site is worth the read to get see how you can use Google Search to narrow down on exactly what you are looking for.