The rise of online church services has been very rampant since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing measures forced communities to discontinue any form of socialising, meeting, or congregating in line with public health and safety measures. In turn, churches have gone digitally proactive to ensure they can still provide a service for their community.
The Relevance Of SEO To Churches
As everybody uses Google to search for anything and everything, there calls the need for churches or parishes to be visible online as well. Since there have been an increasing number of people wanting to attend weekly worships online or finding podcasts, sermons, and other forms of spiritual support online, you should be able to understand how the SEO game is played. Recent studies show that a whopping 20% of internet users searching for local SEO church terms have taken action. This means those searches have been converted into new attendees of a local community.
Although it may not be a competition between churches it is imperative to ensure a church is easily discoverable online and potentially have online solutions for those who may not feel comfortable to attend in person or cannot make the time.
So What’s SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a method by which strategies to increase traffic, visibility, and visitors are geared towards high-ranking placements in search engines like Google, Yahoo and others. SEO ensures that websites are accessible and will be found in search engine results. Suffice to say that SEO is not just a single tool. Rather, it’s a combination of methods, strategies, or activities that organizes all information and content to present to search engines so it could bring you closer to your customers, followers, or audience.
Local SEO is important for churches in the same way as it is important to businesses. As people start searching for products and services online, there have been those who have been looking for spiritual support amidst a pandemic, and social distancing measures. Ranking on the first page of Google is the best way to make your church searchable to potential attendees.
Tips For A Successful Local SEO Strategy
Maximise Local SEO For Your Church
Knowing local church SEO is important especially since communities have local specificity requirements. This helps you show up in relevant searches for users within your proximity. If you’re located in Michigan for instance, make sure you include your address and contact details in all your marketing platforms and channels to avoid showing up on searches in DC or Pittsburgh. Don’t forget your denomination, too.
By providing relevant information, you are helping search engines to organize and compartmentalize your content to your localized target market. This could bring in more relevant exposure and access to a targeted customer database.
In order to localize your website, make sure you do the following:
- Ensure that your SEO title should be compelling enough to stand out to your local crowd.
- Ensure that your SEO title should convey an accurate description of what your church stands for
- Ensure that your SEO title is concise enough to be tagged in search engine results. Remember, titles can only show the first 65 to 75 characters in the search engine page.
Be Active On Social Media
Aside from the website, social media has played key roles in SEOs especially when we speak about optimising local SEO. While it is not the main source of SEO efforts, social media presence can help strengthen backlinks and traffic. By establishing a strong social media community, more traffic is generated which can somehow help you with your ranking.
Cross-posting, sharing, collaborating, and promoting content can significantly help you get more impressions and exposures. While keywords can help to some extent, content drives relevance and traffic. As we all share the same goal of improving viewership, following and exposure, cross posting and post collaboration is an effective strategy to get your church out there. Not only will it induce more views, but it will also strengthen your credibility as more and more people talk about you and your community.
Businesses and everybody who wants to be relevant in the digital platform know that keywords play an important role in search and presence. Utilising relevant keywords for your church can make you appear more for locals who are interested in attending church services this weekend. Use natural search terms and phrases, and focus on local terms and denominations to get higher organic traffic. Remember that keywords should also be included in photos, tags, descriptions, captions, headlines, and page titles.
Just like any other industry, being present in the appropriate listing page increases the chances of you being found by the right people. Find out if your area has a local church listing. Ensure that you get yourself a listing page with reviews and testimonials. Don’t forget to also register your church under Google listing. This is the best listing among others.
Once you’re on the listing, aim for the sweetest spot: The top. Make sure you stand out especially if there are many others in your area. Getting to the top may have a few ranking factors such as the completeness of the listing from the name, address, contact number, website, images, and responsiveness to inquiries.
Optimise Your Website For SEO
Search Engine Optimisation can make or break your digital presence. As more people access media through tablets and smartphones, the need for websites to be user-friendly and mobile-adaptable becomes a factor for an increased online presence. This is true, especially for Google.
When users type in relevant keywords and phrases, your website needs to show on the first few pages, if not on the first. This is a compelling reason why content and websites should be optimized. To get better rankings, you need to ensure that search engines can access you, understand your relevancy concerning the keywords and phrases used, and believe that your website (through your content and tags) is the appropriate site for the user.
Many businesses and digital players have not mastered the SEO game until now. It’s an enigma that needs technical experience and expertise to be solved. Ultimately, local SEO is important to your overall digital health and visibility. You will know if your local SEO initiatives are working on your favour when your website traffic increases and your ranking improves. This means that more exposure and impressions are granted to you, and the keywords, content, tags, and phrases you use are relevant to your searchers. Furthermore, it strengthens your credibility and authority over your topic, field, and industry.