Search Engine Optimize Your Website
At the request of my Pastor I created a 20 Step program for Marketing our Church on the Internet. To make it as inclusive as possible, I recruited the assistance of Randall Mains of Pathmaker Marketing LLC. Realizing that the results of our efforts would be beneficial to a number of Churches, I decided to do a 20 part series and place it on the Internet so as many people/churches as possible can be Blessed by it!
To date we have discussed launching a blogging process and doing keyword research. Today, I want to discuss search engine optimization – both what it is and why it is important to you as part of your church marketing program. As we discussed last time, the paradigm shifts in our society mandates that churches utilize small business marketing strategies, and an effective website is an excellent church outreach Idea!
In a nutshell, SEO is used to receive Page One rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo which facilitates more people to “click through” and find your website and all that you have to offer. As many people think they know a lot about SEO, there are three myths that I would like to dispel at this point in regard to the topic:
MYTH #1: As long as you Google your Church Name and come up “#1” you are in fact, search engine optimized.
The reality is that the major search engines treat your church name as a “gimme.” As a result, this means that in the realm of search engine optimization, this gives you virtually zero clout! In fact, if you don’t get page one ranking when you type in your church name you have a real problem!
MYTH #2: Search engine optimization can be achieved quickly!!!
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth!! It is a long, slow, and sometimes tedious task that leads you to the finish line in this race! There are, as you will learn, several steps involved, each time consuming in their own right. BUT the results are well worth the effort! As you schedule your SEO Program, you will want to allot at least six months to accomplish the task!
MYTH #3: You can accomplish SEO for Free!
The confusion in this realm is the fact that visitors come to your site for free, but the competitive nature of SEO mandates that you either hire professionals to achieve the rankings you desire, or that you plan on investing huge amounts of time and energy to accomplish SEO to your satisfaction!
The myths aside, SEO can be a tremendous boon to the success of your church. If you, through your SEO efforts, you can attain a #1 ranking on a Google search you will get a lot of click through traffic! This may lead to visitors who will, of course, greatly “enhance the chance” of your church growing!
Understanding that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of words related to a church, your goal is to make sure that yours shows up for as many of these words as possible when a potential parishioner is searching them, and that is where your keyword research that we discussed in Part II comes into play!
While the Internet is evolving daily, SEARCH ENGINES is one of the two items that tends to remain constant. Being well positioned allows people to discover exactly what it is that your church has to offer. To better understand this concept, consider the Internet a Super Highway with millions of people zooming along it every day. Your SEO program serves as a billboard, advising them of what awaits if they will take the “proper exit” and wind up at your place! Unless they can find you, however, they will always be “potential parishioners ” and never “your parishioners!” If you aren’t showing up in searches, you don’t have a Billboard! The first step is to conduct a keyword research project, which will allow you to find the right terms in order to have a website that is optimized!
As you can see, targeting keywords can lead to more visitors, which strengthens your church outreach. I know this may all seem overwhelming, and would suggest that if you have any questions that you e-mail Randall Mains at firstname.lastname@example.org, as he is more of an expert in this realm than even I am.
20 Ways to Market Your Church on the Internet – SEO
Search Engine Optimize Your Website