How The Journey Church Used Google Ad Grants to Grow Their CongregationLast Updated: June 21st, 2024

Like many churches today, The Journey Church in Avon, Indiana, wanted to expand their digital outreach to connect with more people in their community and beyond. However, they didn’t know how to reach people online and spread the word about their church services and resources effectively. That’s why they turned to the professional marketing team at Missional Marketing to help them optimize their Google Ad Grant. The results they achieved provide a powerful case study of how strategic Google Ads management can drive significant growth for churches.

What is the Google Ad Grant?

Google created its Google Ad Grants program to help 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations like churches receive up to $10,000 per month in free advertising credits to promote their initiatives on the Google platform. When people search on Google, the ads display at the top of the search results—placing churches in a prominent position to reach people who are actively looking online for a new spiritual community or answers to life’s biggest questions.

The Journey Church’s Partnership with Missional Marketing

While the Google Ad Grant offered an outstanding opportunity, The Journey Church realized they needed experienced professionals to properly set up, optimize, and manage their campaigns. They aimed to maximize the grant’s potential and drive sustained, high-quality traffic to their website. So they partnered with Missional Marketing, a Google-certified marketing agency specializing in Google Ads for churches and ministries.

Real-Life Landing Pages Fuel Google Ad Grant Success

One of the key strategies Missional Marketing utilizes is creating a series of “Real Life” landing pages designed to capture searches around life’s most commonly felt needs, such as questions about faith or the Bible and more. As our experts explain, “Every day, users within your community are searching on Google for answers and solutions to their felt needs, and we’ve produced relevant SEO content to address them.”

These landing pages allow churches to position themselves as a valuable resource for spiritual seekers. Rather than generic website pages, the Real-Life content connects directly with the user’s search intent.

church google ad grants

Optimizing with Real-Life Landing Pages

For The Journey Church, some of the top-performing Real-Life pages that drove traffic included “The Purity Test,” “Now What?” and “Why the Timeline in the Bible Makes No Sense.” By aligning the page content with common search queries around sensitive topics, it opened the door for potential new members to learn about The Journey Church’s ministries and services. Each Real Life landing page has downloadable resources that capture the visitor’s email and a highly converting “Plan a Visit” button, so the church can connect and follow up with each guest.

As Tim, a lead pastor at The Journey Church, said, “A guy came to us just a few weeks ago on Easter Sunday…and hadn’t been to church in over ten years. [When we asked how he found us he said] He literally just pulled out his phone and looked up ‘church,’ and our church popped up first thing. So he came, and he’s continued coming since and has really sensed God moving in his life.”

Results: Maximizing Ad Performance and Effectiveness

The numbers showcase the impressive impact of Missional Marketing’s Google Ads strategy. The Journey Church achieved a remarkable 12.54% click-through rate on their ads—nearly triple the industry average of 4.6% for Google search ads. This demonstrates that the right targeting, messaging, and landing page optimization can tremendously improve ad performance.

Additionally, The Journey Church is now utilizing the full $10,000 Google Ad Grant budget each month after previously using a much smaller portion, which is a testament to the high volume of ads being delivered to relevant audiences. As a result, more than 10% of the people exposed to the ads clicked through to the church’s website and Real-Life pages.

Overall Growth from the Google Ads Strategy

The cumulative effect of Missional Marketing’s Google Ads efforts for The Journey Church produced phenomenal growth results.

“We’re seeing more and more people show up who literally just came from a Google search,” pastor Tim reported.

“A year ago, we weren’t seeing that. People may have heard about us through a friend or something, but now, we’re finally seeing that it just took a Google search and they show up. So, that’s pretty awesome!”

Overall website traffic more than doubled after partnering with Missional Marketing. Most importantly, The Journey Church witnessed a consistent stream of new visitors coming through their doors each Sunday, who discovered them online.


The Power of Partnership in Church Marketing

The Journey Church’s experience exemplifies the potential of Google Ad Grants when properly harnessed by marketing professionals. What began as marketing obstacles in expanding their online presence transformed into surging website traffic, new visitors, and eventually engaged members settled into their new home church, all by connecting with people at the ideal moment when they were searching for spiritual answers and resources online.

While leveraging Google Ads may seem daunting for churches, this case study demonstrates the immense growth opportunities available by partnering with an agency like Missional Marketing that lives and breathes church marketing. As more people turn to online searches to find churches and information, having an optimized, strategic advertising presence allows ministries to reach the right people with their message.

Book a Call Today!

Is your church facing marketing challenges similar to The Journey Church? Are you struggling to expand your online visibility and connect with potential new members in your community? Schedule a consultation call with the Google Ad experts at Missional Marketing to discuss how you can replicate The Journey Church’s outstanding results and accelerate your church growth.

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