Every church wants its website to rank high in Google search results. Unfortunately, simply adding content to your website about your location and service times isn’t enough to gain a high ranking.
Local SEO is an often overlooked aspect of a church’s overall marketing strategy. It might even be the most important. After all, if people can’t find your church website when they search Google for churches in their area, how can we expect them to visit?
In this article, we will share 5 quick ideas to increase local SEO that any church could implement today.
1. Create a Google My Business account
Google My Business is a free and easy tool that allows you to update your business information on Google Maps, review pages, and other places across the web.
It also helps customers find your business online. This article from Google here will show you how to set this up so you can start benefiting from Google My Business for your church and start ranking higher in the search engines.
2. Optimize your website for mobile devices
It’s an unfortunate fact that many churches are not optimizing their websites for mobile devices. This is bad because the majority of people now access the internet via a smartphone or tablet, and this percentage will only continue to grow as time goes on.
If your church website isn’t optimized for mobile it can be hard to find, and difficult to navigate, which means fewer visitors to your church.
We’ve found that 75% of people are viewing church websites on their mobile devices across all of the websites on The Church Co Platform. Think about that for a moment. Only 25% of people are seeing your site on their computer.
3. Create Content Based on Local News Stories or Events
If you want to create a blog that attracts new visitors and generates leads, you need to start thinking about how your content can be relevant to the people in your local community. The best way to do this is by writing posts based on news stories or events that are happening around town.
4. Claim your business on Yelp, and other review sites
Your church is an integral part of your local community, and you want to be a positive influence in it. One way that you can do this is by encouraging people to write reviews about your church on review sites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook.
Many people use these sites when they are choosing which church to attend, so having good reviews will get more people coming through the door.
5. Optimize for local citations
Google has recently announced that it will be placing greater emphasis on local citations and consistency in NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number).
Churches should, therefore, ensure they have the appropriate citations for their business, as well as ensuring all of them are consistent with each other.
You can run a free single search at SEM Rush here.
6. Conduct local keyword research:
Conducting local keyword research for your church website can be a great way to find the most relevant keywords that your audience is searching for.
By thinking about what people in your community might be searching for, you can optimize your site to rank higher for those terms and get more visits from interested visitors.
Here’s a great example blog topic. “Pastor Bob’s list of his 5 best restaurants in Orlando to attend after church on a Sunday”. Sure this isn’t overly spiritual but not you are starting to rank when people search for Best “Restaurants in Orlando”.
Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension is a great free SEO tool for finding keywords that you should be using on your website. After you install the extension, head on over to Google and type in “your city” churches and you’ll see a lot of keywords that are related to your keyword.
Our websites are Search Engine Optimized right out of the box. We take care of making sure you have all of the proper tags and assignments on every page of your website. This is just another way that we aim to set you up for a win and when your church starts blogging on top of this you will start to notice more people checking the “Website” box on your “How did you hear about us connect card”.