Building a great website is only one part of the digital evangelism and outreach puzzle, getting people to find your website is another.
You've spent hundreds of hours creating content and making sure that the website looks and feels great.
But when you finally launch the site, no one but your own members shows up.
They said build it and people will come, right?
Well, without proper SEO, your church website will only be visible to those that know about it.
What is Church SEO?
At the most fundamental level, SEO stands for search engine optimization, a process of optimizing your website to get organic, or un-paid, traffic from the search engine results page.
SEO is essential for any organization that wants to attract traffic to its website.
Search Engine Optimization is especially important for church organizations because they cannot spend a lot of money on paid advertising and traditional marketing.
Church SEO is a simple and effective way to get website traffic without spending a large amount of paid marketing.
SEO takes a lot of time and effort but it is much cheaper than other forms of marketing.
By ranking your website high in the search results, you can make it easier for potential members, donors, and volunteers to find you online.
Let's take a look at some of the most effective SEO technologies for digital evangelism.
Table of Contents
- Write relevant and useful quality content
- Optimize your title and meta description
- Focus on local SEO
- Get quality backlinks
- Harnessing the power of social media
1. Write relevant and useful content
The best SEO technique is to write content that resonates with your intended audience.
The main priority of search engines is to show their users relevant search results, and quality content.
SEO for churches are no exception.
Here are some tips for writing relevant and high-quality content, especially for online evangelism And outreach.
Tell your story.
Give people reasons to connect with your organization, tell them your story, mission, and vision, and what you represent.
Telling people these things will help them connect better with your organization and attract more website visits.
Use relevant keywords in your content
While it's essential to connect with your audience and write content that resonates with them, it is also important to use the right keywords.
You can use keyword search tools like Google Trends to identify the most sought after keywords your target audience is consuming.
The example below shows the trend of people searches for the keyword “church online service” during the coronavirus lockdown.
Knowing what keywords are trending will help you create content that people are looking for.
As you can see, there’s a spike on the number of people looking for church online during the coronavirus lockdown period.
You can take advantage of this information by first, creating a solution to this problem and then creating a page or blog on your website that provides the solution.
If you need more information about how to do this exercise correctly please check out the DelMethod here.
2. Optimize your title and meta description
When it comes to the internet, the church is not so different from a business. Therefore, you must follow everything that businesses do to get traffic to their websites.
For example, SEO techniques on a page, such as a title, metadata, and title tags, are important if you are to be visible online.
Be sure to use your primary keywords in metadata, page titles, and subtitles.
Using the correct keywords in these header tags will ensure that your website is properly indexed and displayed to the relevant audience.
Therefore, consider the type of search query you want to rank for and select your keywords accordingly.
3. Focus on local SEO
Local SEO is essential for churches who wish to reach and connect with their community.
Suppose a young mother has just moved into the neighborhood and is looking for a good church for her teenage son.
She wants a church that offers a great youth and mentorship program. She goes online and searches "youth church near me."
Would your church website or listing popup?
When Google is displaying the search results, it doesn’t just guess or dream up some results, it uses the information you feed it.
So it is important that you give google the information or keywords you want to rank for.
Here is what you can do to put this into practice.
- Create a page titled “ Youth Church”
- Within the page create content and use the keywords in the image above as subheadings.
- Make sure you list everything your church does for the youth
- Include pictures of events, trips, and youth interactions at church.
Here are more tips for your church local SEO you can use:
Create a Google My Business listing
If you want to rank well in the organic search results of local searches, it's crucial to create a Google listing.
If you type into Google search the term “ church near me,” here is what comes up.
The image above shows the results Google pulls from your google my business listing.
You see that google also displays your ratings therefore, it is safe to say that people are more likely to click on a listing with ratings than one without.
Google my business listing is also great for churches who don’t have websites.
You should, therefore, make sure to display as much information and possible in case people don’t click to go to your website.
Other things to include in your listing are:
- Plenty of images ( Interior, exterior and people)
- Your services
- About your community
- What sets your church apart
- Your beliefs
- Hours of operation
- Contact information
Here is a great guide to creating a google my business listing.
Enter your central location in Google Maps
Registering your business on Google Maps and adding related contact details will make it easier for users to find your physical and online church.
List your church in the local directory
Whenever a user searches for something in a particular location, many of the results that appear are local directories and business lists.
Listing your organization in these directories is an effective way to ensure that people can find you.
About 90% of SEO experts believe that accurate references and listings in the local directories contribute significantly to improving local search rankings.
Encourage people to leave reviews
I know a lot of churches may have some issues with people leaving reviews but trust me on this one, people read reviews and want to know how others feel about your church.
4. Get quality backlinks
Getting quality backlinks isn't as easy as it sounds, however, there are still many ways for churches to get quality backlinks.
An excellent way to get high-quality backlinks is to ask local news sites to link to your site whenever you get featured in a story. As a church organization, you can get features about your social initiatives in local news reports.
The best and most effective way to get backlinks to your website is to create content that people want to share.
When your content is valuable and helpful to your audience, they will share it on social media, on their websites, and create backlinks for you.
Last but not the least, you should, by all means, get involved in your local community activities. You must remember that your local community experiences your church in a way that your online community doesn’t.
That means that you can only have a successful online outreach if you have a great local outreach and community.
Your local community members are your ambassadors, and they are the ones who will leave great reviews and tell others about your church online.
5. Harnessing the power of social media
The SEO strategy of any church organization is incomplete without social networks as a critical element.
Recent polls show that over 3.8 Billion people use social media.
If you’re looking for people to bring into the church, social media is where you need to be looking.
There are several ways to use social media platforms to direct traffic to your website.
Here are some great examples of churches utilizing social media to the fullest.
No matter what kind of content you post, be sure to add links to your site where you drive traffic and get a donation or voluntary registration.
Social media will significantly help your church SEO and is a great place to spread knowledge about your service and the impact your church organization is making.
Building Church SEO takes time and effort, but without it, your website will not be visible to the people that need it the most.
If your goal is to reach and connect with people within and outside the four walls of your sanctuary, then you need visibility online.
It’s the only way people will find you and most of all, the most effective way for you to reach out to people looking for information only you can provide them.
In conclusion here are some questions for you
- Which of these tips are you already using?
- Did you find any of these tips helpful?
- Which of these are you going to try
Send us an email or simply contact us through the contact widget below and let us know how we can help.
Thanks for reading