Remember when people use to simply go to the Yellow Pages or Religious section in the newspaper to find a local church? That’s no longer the case and being found isn’t as simple as just out spending the other churches to stand out a little more on that page of the paper or in the phone book. Just like anything else, people now turn to Google to find a church and it’s our goal that whether people are searching for a church or really anything else online, that they find your church. Here are some tips to help make your church more searchable without spending a penny:
1) Include keywords on your website home page. Think about the words that someone might search on Google and you would want them to find you. Most often the key term is your city’s name and the word church. For instance First Baptist Church in Little Rock would want people to find their church when searching “Little Rock Church” so make sure those words are all included in your homepage. If possible include these words in your page title.
2) Maximize Social Networks in linking to your site. While you are not likely able to manage a bunch of Social Networks, it’s always a good idea to create an account on social networks both for potential future use as well as for search sake. People can find your church while searching on that social network as well as creating additional links to your church. While posting content to these social networks make sure to regularly link back to your church website as well as always including your church URL in the About section of each network.
3) Setup a Google+ Page for your church. While Google+ from a social engagement standpoint will not be a valuable investment, from a search perspective it is incredibly valuable. Make sure you setup a Google+ page and fill it out well with your church address, pictures and basic information (including service times). You don’t need to constantly update your page with ongoing posts, but making sure your page is setup well is very important.
4) Encourage staff and members to leave reviews. While people are seeking out information about a church or more specifically your church, Yelp and Google Reviews are likely where they will land. Encourage your staff and members to visit these sites and leave reviews. This will both practically help those who are searching, but it will also enhance your ranking in Google’s page rank.
5) Maximize YouTube for all of your church's videos. It is FREE to host your videos on YouTube and it’s important to note that it is the #2 search engine in the world behind Google. Consider titling your videos with titles that people might search in either Google or YouTube. You can host both your sermon videos as well as sermon clips, video announcements or any other video that you might have.
After completing these 5 simple steps to becoming more searchable we would love to help you take Search to another level by applying for and managing a Google Grant. Google offers churches and other nonprofits $10,000 a month in FREE advertising on Google Adwords each month. It’s not a joke or a scam, these are real ads reaching real people. Visit http://Searchable.Church for more information.
Since this post includes 5 tips we wanted to offer 5 churches 3 months FREE on Searchable Church getting you setup and managing your Google Grant at no cost for 3 months. The next 5 people who go to Searchable.Church and request more information will be able to take advantage of this special offer.