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It’s no secret that the internet has changed everything. It’s also no secret that churches are struggling with how to keep up with the digital age and maintain their own church website. Churches need a strong SEO strategy in order to be found by people searching for religious organizations in their area, but many are not sure where to start or what it even is.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to the process of improving your web pages so they rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPS).
While there are many factors, on-page optimization such as title tags, meta descriptions, keyword density, linking structures and off-page optimizations like social media platforms all help make your site more visible when someone
You have a church website and your goal is to reach more people in your community, right? Yes, it is necessary to make people engage in religious events.
If you want to reach more people online with your Church Website, it is important that you work on your SEO. SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. It basically means all the efforts you put together on and outside of your website to make it do better on pages of search engines such as Google, Bing, Yandex, and the likes.
That’s the only way your online presence can be felt by people when they search on specific keywords and you appear in the result listing on search. To help with positioning your church website for a better result on Search we have put together 10 effective SEO tips to help you.
Add your website to Google Search Console
After your website is built and made to go live, the next thing is to add your website to Google Search Console, if you have not done that already. The search console is a performance metric tool by Google that will help you to have a detailed report of how your web is fairing on the search engine.
You can see reports of people who visit your site over a period of time say 7 days, 1 month, quarterly and so. You can as well see the number of pages indexed, you can have access to demography reports, link reports, and lots more.
To connect with the google search console, go to the website and click on the ‘start now’ button. I have exemplified in a simple video walkthrough how to do it the easiest way.
Evaluate your current SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in search results. This can be achieved by increasing the relevance of content, optimizing for both users and search engines, making it easier for spiders to crawl your site, giving greater prominence to internal links over external ones.
Yes, you can take your church website to the next level with SEO and this article is going to give you some more tips on how to go about it. You must understand your website’s current SEO value, this will help you to know where the website is lacking. You can hire an SEO expert to do a complete site audit or you can contact me to do it for your absolutely free of cost.
But, it’s something you can do yourself, You can use different free and premium tools as available. Some of the best tools are Google Search console, Ahref Keyword tool, Google Analytics, SEMRush, and more. An audit will give you a clearer view of how to up your web positioning strategy.
Keyword Research and Quality Contents
Doing keyword research and using them strategically in key pages on your website is important. Keywords related to your targeted audience need to be discovered and then used to create significant pillar content pages to generate traffic to websites.
In the process of using keywords on your website, you need to be mindful that they must come natural, you want to avoid, making it look too mechanized, keywords should appear naturally on your web pages to avoid any form of penalty from search engines on your website. The purpose of using keywords is to help people find your website through those keywords.
In terms of churches and religious organizations, reaching people is crucial. Because that is how people will know more about them to attend the events. There are some areas you can use the keywords and they are in the titles, subheadings, body text, meta descriptions, image alter attributes, etcetera.
As far as content is concerned , be sure that there is no plagiarism in the content of your website as this can hurt the long-term growth of your website. Quality content can help you stand the test of Quality both help your website to gain more authority to rank for even more difficult keywords in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Optimize your Images
Sometimes we avoid naming the images because we don’t realize how important it is for the website’s optimization for search, this is a wrong practice that can ruin the search positioning of the church website on Search engines.
If you are making your own branding images, you may want to tell your photographer or handler to properly name all of the images, crawlers from Google and Bing cannot see images, but they can read the images by their title and other meta data such as description and alt tags, so you can take your image optimazation further by adding proper description, alt tag, and title to each image.
To help the images make an impact on the SEO of your website, you just need to name them properly. You should also use the focus keyword of the page in the image to add more strength to your On-page optimization But avoid repetitive use of the key phrase or its synonyms in every image.
More like it, is image compression. Make sure the images are properly compressed, images big in size will potentially slow down your website and ruin your SEO, your website has few minutes to impress the first-timer ca and one of the ways to do that is to load speedily, no one has the luxury of time to wait on a sailing website. There are several tools you can use to compress your images without loosing quality, engage your handler on this.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
The verified business listing of your church is very important in terms of Search Engine Optimization. This is a result-driven and very effective way of improving the SEO of your website.
To add your church website to Google My Business, search for your website on Google if you show up on the listing you just have to claim your page. If you did not show up, it means you need to manually submit your listing to Google my Business.
The process is simple. All you had to do is follow all the procedures to complete the listing. Again, be sure you add all the necessary details as required by the platform, for example, you can add your worship hours, special events such as upcoming seminars, conferences, prayer meetings and more, you can as well upload images of past events this will help people to engage more on your page as almost every like picture stories.
There are other sections where you can create announcements, sell religious materials or have them listed as your publications, share your video and more. You may not realize how important it is. But these kinds of little things help websites rank, the more you add quality content consistently to your Google My Business Page, the better your organic reach.
Post Blogs Regularly
The trust and strength of your website is somewhat proportional to the number of pages your website have indexed on search engines like Google and Bing. Websites with more pages, not just pages but quality pages on different issues and topics attract more visitors than ones with scanty pages.
If a website has so many pages on google, the website will definitely appear within the first few search results. So, the question is how can you have so many quality pages on google directly linked to your website? The answer is very simple- Create a blog for your church and keep it constantly updated with contents that appeals best to your readers.
According to a recent statistics, 434% more indexed pages are to be added by blogs than a website alone. On the other hand, these blogs will help you get organic members who are willing to engage with your church and grow spiritually.
Embed Google Maps
Look, you are optimizing your Church website for google search engine. Google always gives priority to those websites or webpages that contain google services. From that point of view, you can understand how google maps can help your website rank.
Small things matter a lot in terms of Search Engine Optimization, because there are lots of competitors around you with the same keyword to rank. You can further enhance you page by adding google maps on pages such as ‘Contact Page’.
Use SEO Plugins
This is going to be one of the best SEO tips for your Church or religious website. When you try to post a blog, it becomes difficult to determine the SEO factors for on-page optimization. In this case, an SEO plugin can play a significant role to determine the SEO factors.
For example, if you use the Yoast SEO plugin, you will get two options in a blog post. One is SEO and the other is Readability. In the SEO part, you will have lots of options to work with and some of them are Keywords, meta description, word limitation, h1, h2 tags, etcetera. You just need to make the SEO and Readability green to stay in a good position in the search engine.
Embed YouTube Videos
Google’s YouTube and Maps are great tools for religious organizations like churches to get the word out. Churches can use Google Maps to find their location, and they should also create a channel on YouTube so people who might not be able to come in person or even watch from home will still have an opportunity to experience church services.
One way churches can boost their online presence is by uploading videos on YouTube and including them as external links on your website.
Embedding Youtube videos is a practice recommended by Google to help your website to do better in search. Since people engage more with visual contents, it will engage them to stay longer on your website and that can reduce your bounce rate which tells search engines like Google that people are staying more on your website because they are getting more value and that the search engine can push you up the rank so that much people can see the valuable pages you have created.
So, if you have videos to use in different blogs, first upload them to your YouTube channel and then use them as embedded video. It will definitely be beneficial for the SEO of your website.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly/Responsive
According to the latest reports, mobile devices now account for more than half of all Internet traffic. However, many church websites are still not responsive and optimized for these platforms which is a shame because it’s one of the ways churches can reach people in our modern-day world who may never visit their physical location or attend an event there again!
The majority of the Internet traffic is now coming from mobile devices. This means that if you want to reach more people, your church website must be responsive and mobile-friendly in order for it to work well on different screens.
So, get back to your developer and make sure that you have a mobile-friendly website. You can also create an app where users can engage with sermons, videos, or more on the go.
Mobile Internet traffic has increased from 31.16% to 52.6%, according to an online report that is updated monthly by a well-known company in the field of IT security and protection services, Akamai Technologies Incorporated; most importantly, this trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon due to rapid growths on mobile penetration across the globe–especially for emerging markets like India where nearly 99 percent have access to 2G networks with data plans costing as low as Rs 10 ($0.15) per month! 4
On top of all these perks, you would also be building your website’s responsiveness which could potentially help boost SEO rankings or at least make sure it does not hinder them too much when compared to other websites’ standings