church social media

5 Tips to Make Your Church More Searchable Without Spending a Penny

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.  

Church Technology Guide - Graphic Design

A month ago I launched a project I have dreamed about for a couple of years called the Church Technology Guide.  It's my goal to help church leaders maximize technology saving them time and money.  The first course in this series focused on Worship Production discussing basic audio/visual solutions and best practices to enhance your weekend worship services.  

I'm so excited to be launching the second course in this series about Graphic Design.  If you know me well, you know that I'm not a graphic designer nor did I know a lot about graphic design before this course.  I believe that is why this is the best course about graphic design for any church leader.  I structured this course with the basics in mind for a church leader with no graphic design experience, but values great design in their bulletins, sermon slides, song lyrics, social media platforms, website, flyers, posters, etc.  I brought in the expertise from my friends at Creative Church Staffing to help me guide you through these essential technologies in the life of your church.  

The bottom line is that every church no matter the size has design needs and I believe this course will help you look better while saving time and money.  Don't believe me or feel unsure about whether to buy the course or not?  Give the course a try today and if you don't feel like the course provided value to your church just let me know and I'll gladly without any questions reimburse your course fee.  

To purchase this Graphic Design Course today simply click here.  For the next week I am offering this course for half off of the regular price of $25 ($12.50).  I hope you will take advantage of this introductory offer and let others know of the resource as well.  

Twitter Video is Here

Click the image above to see my first Twitter Video.  Like every other social network Twitter too has not gone video!  I'm sure you have noticed more and more videos showing up in your Facebook news feed and Instagram seems to have almost as many videos as pictures these days.  

The great news about this is that you don't need any fancy equipment or special skills, you just need to be creative!

I just spoke with another pastor yesterday who didn't feel like he could do video because he didn't have a DSLR camera, a studio in his church and a video editor on staff.  My response was: "Do you have an iPhone and a thumb?"  That's all you need!  

So what are you waiting for?  Start creating videos and watch your social media engagement increase overnight on social media!  

To learn more about Twitter go to https://about.twitter.com/videos-on-twitter

Online Church Facebook Page reaches 500,000 Likes!

500K A little more than 4 years ago we launched the Facebook page for CBC Online  (now OnlineChurch.com).  I had a very simple strategy:

  1. I invited all of my friends to like the page
  2. I posted over and over and over again asking for the people on the page to visit Online Church

While this is a common practice for church/ministry Facebook pages, our experience was much like everyone else who follows this strategy: it failed.  Few people liked the page and even fewer people clicked the links to go to Online Church.

So we tried something different.  We started ministering to people right there on Facebook.  We began posting Bible verses, song lyrics, sermon quotes, etc.  People responded by liking and sharing those posts.  Facebook responded to this engagement by showing these posts to more people.  More people responded by "Liking" our page.  Well, actually they "Became a Fan" of our page.

I won't lie and tell you that it was really that simple.  We didn't just make this one change and grow to half of a million likes.  We applied significant strategy, utilized Facebook ads, invested significantly in content development, built a team of 1,000+ Facebook community leaders, and more.  I also can't take too much credit as it took me 2 years to grow the page to 100,000 Facebook Likes and our Social Media Manager, Nick Ovalle, has more than doubled the following of the page since he took over leadership of the platform.

So, today we're celebrating a significant milestone in our journey of reaching, teaching, and helping people in Jesus' name on Facebook.  I would love for you to join us in this celebration as we're doing a bunch of giveaways and having a lot of fun.   Check out our Heyo page and join the party!

My encouragement to you when it comes to your Facebook page is to analyze and rethink how you are using this platform.  Is it a marketing tool or a ministry opportunity?  Honestly, it can be both, but it will be a far better marketing tool if you first see it as a ministry opportunity.