When it comes to growing your church congregation, one of the most powerful tools is the internet. After all, there are currently 3.5 billion online users worldwide, which means that it’s an excellent place to reach unchurched people. If you want to harness the power of the web to bring in new congregants, it’s important to focus on your Church Website SEO (search engine optimization). SEO can help ensure that people who are looking for a church find yours, and that you are discoverable by people in your area.
How to Use the Power of SEO for Church Outreach
Studies show that there are about 1.2 trillion Google searches done yearly, and each day people use the search engine for things that churches can help with — like marriage counseling, parenting support, mental health counseling, weddings, funerals, bible studies, prayer requests and more. Your church can be the site that comes up organically as a top result in these search queries. However, in order for that to happen you must optimize the site using the keywords that people are searching for. This is an important process, as the first few results on Google receive the vast amount of the traffic. Here’s how you can do that effectively for church outreach.
Think about the keywords that are associated with your church’s ministries. Are you focused on helping parents raise their children, or do you provide divorce support groups? Determine what the church is focused on, then select keywords related to those ministries. Also, consider including local keywords for your area so that people looking for a congregation in your area can find you. These can include, the City, Parish, County, State etc. SEO is not only important for web-based businesses, it also matters for local organizations: studies show that 60% of American adults actually use their smartphones to regularly search for information about local products and services.
The Keyword Analyzer tool helps evaluate the content and SEO optimization of your church website. It crawls your website to detect the presence of commonly searched ministry related keywords in the H1/H2 Headings, Meta Descriptions, URLs, and text. It then gives a score from 0% to 100% for each selected keyword group. This information can help you identify opportunities to have your church's ministries found more often in Google searches.
Using those keywords, optimize the content on your site. This means you should incorporate the keywords naturally throughout, and you should also add them to page headers and sub-headers. You should also put them into page meta-tags and image alt-tags. One of the keys to SEO today is using keywords in grammatically-correct, well-structured and valuable content. This means that starting a church blog and using SEO keywords throughout its content could also help you boost your SEO score. Keywords should be popular terms that people are searching for. These are ‘high value’ keywords, and rank well in Google.
Set Up an Effective Website Structure
Google’s crawling bot that scans existing websites — which is dubbed a spider — is the thing that makes it possible for the popular search engine to decide what pages will rank high in search results. Google’s spider crawls billions of websites each day, and thus your website must be crawlable in order for your website to be evaluated and ranked. If your website isn’t crawlable, it won’t be ranked — and it won’t come up in search results, even when people search for relevant keywords.
This tool scans your church homepage and reports on general SEO best practices in addition to how well your church homepage is optimized for a single keyword. Using this report can help you easily identify some of the most major SEO deficiencies that may be impacting your church homepage and the associated opportunities for improvement.
Church Website SEO Support
If you want guidance or support creating a website that works for church outreach, we can help. We can guide you through the process of ensuring that your content has the right keywords in it. We can also let you know where and how you should incorporate those keywords. Also, we can help you determine if your site is built correctly for Google’s spider, then guide you through the process of revamping it if it’s not.