Church Marketing RedefinedLast Updated: October 6th, 2020

Church Marketing Redefined is Church Marketing for a new age. The people of today are spending more and more time on their computers or smartphones, and consequently when they are searching to meet their felt needs, most of the time they search for the answers using these devices. This has required a shift in the way that churches try to reach these people, and as a result Church Marketing has needed to be redefined.

Church Marketing Redefined is effective when it positions the church as an answer to the needs, concerns, and struggles that people feel. We call this ‘Felt Needs Marketing‘. These felt needs can be crisis support, prayer support, marriage support, parenting support, community outreach, serving, youth activities, grief care, addiction recovery, Bible study, nearby churches, life groups, personal finance, and also a variety of other services provided by churches. Your neighbors search for felt needs by the thousands every month, and you want your church to be there to provide the answers.

At Missional Marketing we help churches meet the needs of these people, by devising a Church Marketing Strategy.

Church Marketing Redefined is at it’s best when people who are hurting find answers and comfort.

Church marketing is effective when it positions the church as an answer to the needs, concerns, and struggles that people feel. We call this ‘Felt Needs Marketing’.

Your neighbors search for felt needs by the thousands every month!

Your church has built ministries on helping people with felt needs.

Doesn’t it make sense to get church web traffic flowing toward ‘felt needs’ you’ve already built ministries for?

Let them know they matter to you by offering them:
  • People who care
  • A God who loves them
  • And most of all, hope

When they get hope and answers, church engagement goes up.

Churches build ministries and host events that are aimed at meeting people’s needs. They key is to make the church visible online as an answer to those needs.

Google is the most popular way people find answers to problems, challenges, and needs that people face.

For example, when people are searching for Crisis Support, Marriage Support, Parenting Support, Divorce Support, Personal Finance Support, or Singles Support, your church should be in the search results offering help that clicks through to a relevant Landing Page.

And the Landing Pages would look like this:

Church Ministries Meet Felt Needs

People have needs that church ministries exist for. Churches invest heavily in these ministries. Let’s take a Care Ministry as an example. Care ministry commonly offers the following:

Divorce CareCancer CarePrison CareNursing Home VisitationCounseling
Forgiveness CareBreast Cancer CareSpecial Needs CareIn Home VisitationDementia Care
Funeral Care
Chronic Illness CareHospice VisitationVeterans CareDisabilities Care
Grief Care
Alzheimer's CareHospital VisitationPost Abortion CareAbuse Care

People are searching Google for answers, solutions, remedies, and hope for these cares. When a church redefines it’s marketing plan, it is intentionally placing it’s ministries into the view of those who are seeking help.

Other examples of Felt Needs that people are searching Google for include:

Parenting SupportKids, Youth, and Adult SportsArt OpportunitiesLocal Volunteer OpportunitiesActivities for Youth
Marriage SupportPrayer SupportLife GroupsGlobal Volunteer OpportunitiesActivities for Students
Personal Finance CounselingBible Study and Bible ClassesCoffee ShopsLocal ChurchesActivities for College
Singles SupportMental Health SupportBookstoresLocal Church DenominationsActivities for Men
Crisis SupportMusic OpportunitiesCafesActivities for KidsActivities for Women

Church Marketing Redefined by Google Search Network

Church Marketing is heavily impacted by the Google Search Network for Churches, so it is vital to ensure that you implement a church marketing strategy to ensure your advertisement performs to its potential. The Google Search Network allows you to pay for ads, so that when people search for certain keywords, your church appears at the top of the search results. The first result on Google receives the majority of the search traffic, so it is vital for your ad to appear high on the list.

A key practice to make your ad rank highly on Google is to attain a high Google Quality Score. One of the key factors it considers is how relevant your ad is to the search a person conducts, so it is important that your ad sends the user to a relevant landing page.

This is achieved by first making a list of all the ministries of your church, and then assigning a group of keywords to each ministry. This is called a Church Google Ad Group. Here are some examples:

DivorceGlobal MissionsAlcohol Recovery
DenominationsFinancialLocal MissionsAddiction
Christian SinglesWorkplace/CareersCounselingBookstore
DaycareFoster CareDepressionCoffee Shop
Summer ActivitiesParentingAnxietyPurpose
PreschoolFootballPost-Traumatic Stress DisorderJesus Christ
ElementaryBasketballAttention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderHoly Spirit
SoccerBipolar DisorderBible Study
Young AdultsVolunteer OppurtunitiesObsessive Compulsive DisorderFaith
DatingFood PantryAutism Spectrum DisorderWomen's Activities
Premarital/EngagedThrift StoreGriefMen's Activities
MarriageCommunity ServicesCancerPrayer

Once you have your Church Google Ad Groups in place, you then have to create a landing page for each group. This allows you to optimize each page for the keywords in the Ad Group so that you achieve a higher Google Quality score. Find out what keywords your church website is currently optimized for with our Keyword Analyzer tool.

The Google Search Network is a also a valuable tool for promoting church events. For example, a Sermon Series that speaks to people’s felt needs can be effectively positioned in a Search Campaign.

You can read more about the Google Search Network here.


Our Google Certified team can create a custom Google Search Network Campaign for your church’s events and ministries. This can include anywhere from 1 to 20 ad groups each with 10 to 20 carefully researched keywords.

church marketing redefined

Church Marketing Redefined by Google Display Network

The Google Display Network for churches is a powerful tool for Felt Needs Church Marketing, and it goes hand in hand with the Google Search Network. While the Google Search Network ensures that people find your website when they are searching in Google, the Google Display Network ensures that they find your site across the rest of the internet. This works by showing your ads to your target audience in the form of display ads on other websites and apps such as YouTube. This is a very effective way to target your audience so that no matter what site they are visiting, they will see your ad.

Setting up a Google Display Network campaign is similar to setting up a Google Search Network campaign. First you identify the ministries that you want to advertise, and then create a landing page for each of them. Google Display Network ads are also subject to a Google Quality Score, so it is important that your ads are optimized for this. Having the relevant landing pages will help with this greatly, because Google just loves relevant content!

The Google Display Network is a powerful way to get the word out about seasonal events including Easter, Vacation Bible School, Summer Celebrations, Fall Festivals, and Christmas. It is also very effective for marriage conferences, campus launches, guest musical artists, guest speakers, guest comedians, etc.

church marketing redefined   d300x250-easter2016-ccv-bannerad

d300x250-marriagefonf-ccvaz-bannerads   d300x250-carshow-ccv-bannerad

You can read more about the Google Display Network here.

Church Google Quality Score

Felt Needs Church Marketing Campaigns must be built so that they maximize your Church Google Quality Score. We have mentioned the Google Quality Score above, but what exactly is it?

The Google Quality Score is a measure that Google uses to determine the quality of your keywords, landing pages and ads. The higher score you achieve, the better your ad will perform.

Your Quality Score is reported by Google on a scale of 1-10 and is based on:

  1. Your expected clickthrough rate
  2. Ad relevance
  3. Landing Page experience.

Google uses this system so they can determine if your ad is eligible to be shown in the sponsored section of the search results. It also determines how your ad will rank compared to others who are bidding on the same keyword, so a higher Quality Score means you will outrank people who are paying the same amount for an ad.

Check out our recent post that explains all the details of the Church Google Quality Score.


Google Church Search Campaign Landing Pages

Church Marketing Redefined by Facebook

Church Marketing has also been redefined by Facebook. According to PEW Research Center, 8 in 10 online Americans use Facebook daily. That means that 68% of all U.S. adults are Facebook users.

When people are using Facebook they reveal their Felt Needs through posts, likes, shares, comments, and profiles. This opens the door to targeting their Felt Needs with Church Facebook Advertisements.

The chart below, which is published by, shows number of Facebook users by age.

church marketing redefined

How can this help your church grow? Let’s say your church has a Care Ministry and provides counseling to hurting people. Let’s also say there are people within your local area who struggling with death, disease, divorce, disability, etc.

A Facebook ad can target them because of the content in their Facebook Profile and because of their behaviors when they are using Facebook. The result is they become aware of your ministry while they are in Facebook. When they click on the ad they go to a Landing Page that gives them more information.

Facebook is also an effective way to promote events that are occurring at your church. Much like the Google Display Network, Facebook is an excellent way to get the word out about seasonal events including Easter, Vacation Bible School, Summer Celebrations, Fall Festivals, and Christmas. It is also very effective for marriage conferences, campus launches, guest musical artists, guest speakers, guest comedians, etc.

easter facebook

easter facebook

Church Landing Pages

Optimized Felt Needs Landing Pages with strong images and effective calls-to-action are a big contributor to Church Marketing campaigns. As we have already mentioned above, having landing pages that are optimized for the keywords in your Church Marketing campaign greatly increases your Google Quality Score, so therefore increases your overall ad performance.

However, there are some added bonuses of having high-quality landing pages. Having landing pages that are rich in images and unique content also increase the performance of your pages in Google’s Organic Search. This means that your pages will appear higher up in the Google rankings even when they are not sponsored. Another great reason to improve you landing pages is that people love to share top quality content, so having really engaging landing pages increases the chances that people will share it on social media, thus increasing your reach even further.

How to Improve Your Church Landing Pages

Here is a checklist of the important attributes of a Google Church Search Campaign Landing Page. Doing the things in this list will result in a Landing Page with a high Google Quality Score.

  1. Write a title that matches the Focus Keyword in the Google Search Campaign
  2. Give your Landing Page a Meta Description that is relevant to the Keyword and Ad in the Google Search Campaign.
  3. Write your Focus Keyword into a Meta Description that is no more than 156 total characters
  4. Write the Focus Keyword into the first paragraph of the page
  5. Tag the Landing Page with keywords that match the keywords in the Google Search Campaign
  6. Tag images that appear on the Landing Page with alternative text that matches the focus Keyword in the Google Search Campaign
  7. Include the Focus Keyword in the page’s URL
  8. Compose your Landing Page with a minimum of 300 words
  9. Position your Landing Page as a transition point between the Google Search Campaign and additional relevant content on the church’s website
  10. Insert your Focus Keyword into your Landing Page at least once for every 100 words.

If you would like to learn more, check out our article on Google Church Search Campaign Landing Pages.

Church Landing Page

Church Website SEO

Over time, churches should optimize their entire website to Felt Needs ministries, ad groups, and keywords. Optimizing your site will boost your site’s performance in Googles Organic Search, and as a result, your website will appear higher up in the rankings even when you are not running a paid campaign. You can follow these steps to optimize your entire site:

  1. Page Titles: Your page titles are one of the most important church SEO factors on your site, so write a title that matches the Focus Keyword for the page.
  2. Meta Descriptions: Give your page a Meta Description that is relevant to the Keyword you are optimizing for, and also make sure the description contains your focus keyword.
  3. Keyword Placement: Write the Focus Keyword into the first paragraph of the page.
  4. Meta Tags: Tag the pages with keywords so that they match the keywords in the Felt Needs Ad Groups.
  5. Image Tags: Tag images that appear on the page with alternative text so they match the focus Keyword.
  6. URL Structure: Include the Focus Keyword in the page’s URL.
  7. Word-count: Ensure your page has at least 300 words, because Google loves pages with lots of content.
  8. Body Tags: Use headers that contain your focus keyword (H1, H2, etc.).
  9. Keyword Density: Insert your Focus Keyword into your webpage at least once for every 100 words.
  10. Internal Linking: Link to other pages within your site using keywords as anchor text.

Following this checklist will ensure that when Google crawls your page, it will understand exactly what your page is about, and as a result will rank it higher in the search results.

Try our new Free Church Website SEO Audit tool to analyse your website, and also to get improvement suggestions.

You can read some more on this topic in our Felt Needs Church Website SEO article.

Traditional Media in Felt Needs Marketing

The chart below shows a cost comparison of various advertising channels expressed in terms of cost per thousand. These costs can vary widely depending on your market, and art production costs.

church marketing redefined

The costs represented in the chart include additional costs associated with each media that are associated with ad production. Direct mail has print and mailing costs that must be factored in. With TV and radio, there is an increase in prices during peak advertising times such as rush hour or during highly rated popular shows. Billboard prices vary based on traffic and location of the placement.

At first glance the Cost Per Thousand for billboard advertising appears low, however with billboards it is impossible to track and measure effectiveness. It is also impossible to measure the number of motorists that pass and read billboard advertisements with any level of confidence.

Therefore online advertising has a clear cost advantage and a clear advantage for track-ability. In addition, the ability to track the results of online advertising coupled with the ability to precisely target your audience are also clear advantages over traditional media.

For example you have no way of limiting a Billboard, Newspaper, Radio, or TV to only people who are wrestling with a crisis. However those audiences can be targeted with Google and Facebook. In other words there are “wasted impressions” in traditional media.

To Get Started

Missional Marketing is a dedicated Christian communications firm working with Christian Churches and Organizations across the country, and we are also a Top 5% Certified Google Partner. So get in touch today, and we can get started on your Church Marketing Campaign.

Contact Jason Hamrock or Kevin Peck, or use the Contact Us button.

Jason Hamrock – Phone: 480-773-9115 | Email:

Kevin Peck – Phone: 602-481-2991 | Email:

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