In general, when a church wishes to reach local people who are searching for location-based phrases, like ‘church near me’, ‘local church’, and ‘church in [city]’, they should focus their efforts on Local SEO.
When a church wishes to reach people who are searching for keywords related to existing ministry pages on their website, such as ‘church wedding’ or ‘twelve step program’, they should focus their efforts on On-Page SEO. These efforts would include optimizing their metadata for the keywords associated with each page on their website.
That being said, there are two aspects of overall website performance that should always be prioritized above Local SEO and On-Page SEO, namely, Security and Speed. In order to meet Google’s present-day standards of a trustworthy site, a website must be fully HTTPS enabled, and the site should load in a timely fashion to provide a good user experience. The reason these attributes are so important is that Google may be reluctant to deliver the page for either a Local Search or any organic Keyword Search result if it’s deficient in either of these two areas.
The main activities constituting Local SEO are:
- Claim and manage your church’s Google My Business Account
- Claim and manage directory citations
- Add location schema markup code to your church’s website
- Manage Google reviews
The main activities constituting On-Page SEO are:
- Do keyword research for each ministry page
- Optimize each page’s metadata for its specific keywords
- Clean up SEO errors and issues
- Publish an XML sitemap
We’re always happy to help churches with SEO as it’s a true passion and specialty of our organization, so feel free to contact us if you have any questions whatsoever.