Do you need to be concerned with church SEO (search engine optimization?) Do churches need to get their site ranked? Only if you want to be found by those searching online for churches:-) In other words, yes! Read on…
What is Church SEO?
SEO is the process of getting your website ranked in the search engines. When you do an online search, you get a lot of results. But which ones do you look at? If you are like most people, you look at the ones on the first page of Google or other search engine, and primarily, the ones that are in the first few positions on the first page.
So, it follows that church SEO is getting your church website ranked high in the search engines. This is important if you want your church to be found by those in your community who are looking for a service to attend on Sunday mornings. Ideally, your website should show up on the first page when they do a search. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about large church sites or small church websites, they all need to be found to be effective. That’s easier said than done, however, there are some things you can do to give your church website a better chance of making it to the top of the rankings.
Optimize Your Site
Make sure your web designer knows about SEO and what they have to do on their end. We do “onsite optimization” (filling in keywords in the right places on the site) with the websites that we design. There are specific places on your website that need to be filled out with “keywords.” Keywords are the search terms someone will enter to find the information they are looking for. For example, “evangelical church.”
As a church, you can help the SEO process by thinking through what keywords you want your church to show up for when someone does an online search. Here are a few ideas.
- Baptist, Catholic, or another denomination
Your web designer should have a conversation with you about the keywords you want to use, and then they will put them into the appropriate places on the site. Do an honest analysis of your church and come up with keywords that accurately represent it and then use them!
The End Goal
What’s the end goal of getting your website ranked in Google? It’s not to just see your church website in the #1 position when someone does a search. It’s to share your message and invite people to come to your church. So, when choosing your keywords, choose ones that accurately represent your church. You wouldn’t want to rank for “charismatic church” is that does not really describe it. Choose keywords that will bring in those who are looking for what your church has to offer. Then, everyone’s happy in the end.