As experts in church growth strategy, if we could only make one specific church marketing recommendation unequivocally to every Christian church across the country, it would be this: Your church must do Local SEO.
Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a firm to do it on your church’s behalf, this is a universal truth. Local SEO is to your church as oil is to your car. The more time passes without a change, the greater the damage that’s done.
Local searches have an extremely high impact on church growth because of the following:
- They’re performed by people who are located near enough to your church to actually visit you in person.
- They’re performed by people who are both actively and explicitly looking for a church.
Local SEO is what makes your church accurately show in location-based searches:
- ‘church near me’
- ‘local church’
- ‘church in [city]’
Local SEO is what makes your church accurately show up in mapping apps:
Local SEO is what makes your church show up in Google’s Local Pack, which are by far the most likely results to be clicked:
Other local churches already engaged in Local SEO efforts will leave you in the dust:
- The longer they are working on Local SEO while your church isn’t, the harder it will be for your church to ever catch up or surpass them
- They will end up getting the online traffic that should be yours; people who are actually located closer to your church will end up on their site
Keep in mind, there are some significant pitfalls to doing Local SEO yourself:
- Claiming and managing directory citations is labor intensive when performed manually, without the benefit of automation
- Claiming and managing citations is fraught with vital detail and small inaccuracies which can actually harm your Local SEO efforts
- Local SEO requires intentional recurring work, month in and month out, which can easily slip out of sight
- Online Google Reviews are often neglected without a dedicated person watching them
We are pleased to offer a Local SEO subscription service for your church, you can find out more about this service here.
Whatever you choose to do, we ask that you please find some way to address this absolutely critical need for your church. We can’t stress this enough in saying that Local SEO isn’t optional!