Church Web Traffic Precedes Church Growth

If you want a reliable way to predict church growth, plot the curve on their church web traffic. Usually, if the church web traffic is trending upward, then the church likely growing. If the church web traffic is trending downward, then the church is likely shrinking. In fact, web traffic is as important to measure as church attendance.

The internet has profoundly impacted church growth strategy, much like other technologies did earlier in church history.

So what can a church do to build their web traffic? This article answers this question.

Boosting Church Web Traffic with Google

Google has been the internet’s ‘go to’ search engine for over a decade. It has become so popular it has even become a part of the English language. What do you do if you are looking for information online? You Google it! While Google has become the worlds most useful search engine, it has also become the internet’s most powerful marketing tool. If you are looking to boost your church web traffic, then implementing a Google campaign is a must.

When it comes to running a church marketing campaign on Google, they offer two products that go hand in hand: the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network.

Google Search Network for Church Growth

The only results that matter in Google are the first few results near the top of the first page. These are the websites that people click on. If you are appearing even below the fifth spot in the search rankings you might be getting 5-10% of the total search traffic. If you are on page two: forget about it! The Google Search Network allows you to sponsor your content so that it appears in the first couple of results. Google then charges on a ‘cost-per-click’ basis for the traffic.

Putting together an effective Google Search Network campaign can be complicated, but our expert team are here to help you every step of the way.

First, you will create a list of keywords that you want your ad to rank in Google for. These keywords should be related to each other, and then bundled together in what are called Ad Groups. To give a better idea of what your keywords and Ad Groups might look like, here are some examples:

Ad GroupKeyword 1Keyword 2
Churchchurches near mechristian churches
Prayerprayer requestprayer chain
Bible Studybible studybible study guide
Marriagemarriage counselingmarriage classes
Parentingparenting classesparenting advice
Preschoolpreschoolpreschool near me
Elementaryelementaryelementary schools near me
Studentsmiddle school activitieshigh school activities
Young Adultsyoung adult activitiesevents for young adults
Men's Activitiesmen's activitiesevents for men
Women's Activitieswomen's activitiesevents for women
Financialbudgetingdebt counseling
Volunteer Oppurtunitiesvolunteer oppurtunitiesvolunteer opportunities near me
Local Missionsserve locallyvolunteer locally
Global Missionsserve overseasvolunteer overseas
Counselingfamily counselingchristian counseling
Griefgrief counselinggrief support
Denominationscatholic churchbaptist church

Quality Score and Landing Pages

Once you have created your various ad groups and keywords, you must then create landing pages for each Ad Group.

A landing page is a page that a visitor gets delivered to when they click on your ad. Also, landing pages are vital to a successful Search Network campaign. This is because Google grades every ad on a scale of 1-10 using its Quality Score. The higher score your ad receives, the higher it will rank on Google. You attain a high quality score by ensuring that your landing page has high quality, relevant content. The key word here is ‘Relevant’. Google loves relevant content, so the more relevant your landing page is to your ad the better. This means using keywords throughout the landing page that relate to the keywords in your ad group.

The result of an effective Search Network campaign will look like the image below. If someone visits Google and searches for ‘Parenting Support’, they will be directed to your ad and your church.

church web traffic church growth

Google Display Network for Church Growth

The Google Search Network ensures that people find your church when they are searching Google. The Google Display Network ensures that they find you anywhere else across the internet! Google has a huge network of partner sites that participate in its advertising program. If you have ever seen a banner ad of some type on a website or on YouTube, chances are it is being shown to you as a part of the Google Display Network.

To implement a campaign, first, you create a display ad. This should be an engaging image that gets your message across. You then link it to a relevant landing page, just like you do with a Search Network campaign. The ad is then shown to users across the web who might be interested in your church’s offering. Here are some examples of display ads you might create.

church web traffic church growthchurch web traffic church growth

Boosting Church Web Traffic with Search Engine Optimization

Using the Search Network and Display Network are both ‘paid’ campaigns. You pay Google to get instant results in the search rankings. However, it is also possible to appear high up in the search results organically by using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This takes a lot longer, so is not particularly suited to seasonal event promotion. It should definitely be a part of any long term digital strategy aimed at church growth.

You can improve your sites SEO by optimizing all the pages on the site so that it is easily read by Googles crawlers. Google wants to find out what your site is all about, so if you make this process really easy, Google will reward you with a good ranking. This website optimization is what we call On Page SEO.

On Page SEO Checklist

Follow this On Page SEO checklist to ensure your site performs to its full potential in Google’s organic rankings.

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

Boosting Church Web Traffic with Facebook

Facebook is an amazing tool for getting the word out about your church and boosting your church web traffic and church growth.  It has grown into the worlds largest social network, with over one billion active users. Building up a solid audience to begin with is great, but did you know that only 10% of your Facebook followers ever see your posts? Unless you are creating content that is going viral regularly, it is vital that you engage in a paid Facebook marketing campaign.

Facebook allows you to boost your posts for a fee so that it gets seen by your entire audience. You can also target friends of your current audience, which is really useful as chances are they share similar interests and location.

Facebook is also probably the most effective tool for targeting new followers. You can really narrow down specific demographics as Facebook has so much data on its users. You should create an engaging image for your ad, that also links to a relevant landing page when the user clicks your call to action.

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 Web Traffic Campaign.

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

Jason Hamrock – Phone: 480-773-9115 | Email: jhamrock@missionalmarketing.com

Kevin Peck – Phone: 602-481-2991 | Email: kpeck@missionalmarketing.com

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