So your church has a website, but your church members are the only ones gracing the site.
Have you tried all you know how to, but your website just isn’t attracting the traffic you expected? You’re not alone. It’s a common challenge many other organizations face, but it can be fixed through better SEO practices.
Optimizing your church website is essential to making it work for your church. The goal is to make sure your church comes up on the first page of search results when someone looks for churches in a specific area. You can do this so well such that when you’re not actively updating the site, it’s still drawing in new traffic and potential members.
Your church’s website is the new digital front door and can be a great way to connect with people within and outside your community online. It can also lead them to meet you in person by visiting your worship service.
Sometimes, many people searching for a new church will search online first. Perhaps they’ve moved or intend to move to your community. Regardless of why they’re seeking a new church, some of them are likely looking online.
Here are the best church SEO practices to get your church found in search. These practices complement each other so you should plan on taking action on everything highlighted if you haven’t started.
Claim your local listings
First thing’s first, claim your local listing; this is a critical step you must take in church SEO. Churches need to be found with ease, and one of the best ways to ensure this is through local listings. Your website is certainly not the only place where people might find your church. Local listings provide your church with a local citation, which is a vital component to ranking in local church search results.
Claiming your local listing will let search engines prominently display your information in search results. This process is a simple one, and it allows you to update the location, phone number, and website of your church, which is essential for visitors to find you. You have to actively manage your local listings, so people don’t find false information. Claiming your local listing also allows you to respond to reviews, answer questions and add relevant photos, if necessary.
While you don’t need to get your church on every local listing site, updating details on top local business listing sites such as Google my Business and Bing Places are great to help with your church SEO.
Opt For Responsive Design
You need to make sure your design is responsive. Why? Well, you know by now that more online searching is happening on mobile devices. Even Google changed its algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly websites. Most potential visitors are coming from smartphones and tablets. And if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it just might not show up in search results on these devices. You can boost your church SEO by upgrading your site to a responsive design. You can also use the free Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check if your site meets Google’s standard.
Include Location Details Everywhere
When people are searching for a church on search engines, they are likely to include their specific location in their search term. Even if they don’t, by default, Google displays local churches. So it’s pretty smart to include your location details on every page of your website. And the ideal way to do this is to include your address in schema. If your address appears only once on your website, it probably won’t rank high in search results. Your location is one of the main keywords to optimize on your site.
Pasting schema markup (by the way, schema is a code) into your website’s HTML makes it easy for search engines to read and identify your Church’s location. It also ensures that you have a uniform address on every page of your website.
Carefully Place Your Keywords
This is where you put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What keywords or phrases would you type in search engines if you were looking to find a church around? If you are clueless as to what keywords people are using to get to your site, not to worry. Install Google Analytics on your website and save yourself the headache.
Google Analytics can give you information on the keywords visitors are using to find your church website. It also gives you insights on which websites or social media platforms refer them, which pages they’re browsing on your church site. Tools like You can utilize Google Keyword Planner to generate keyword ideas. Google Keyword Planner also allows you to know the average number of people typing the keywords every month.
Once you have your keywords and key phrases, make sure that you optimize your webpages using these. Specifically, you’ll want to have those phrases in these strategic places:
Use keywords naturally on your church website. Use keywords and phrases that people would use to search for your site. For optimal results, add your keywords to strategic areas, such as title tags, image description, page link (URL), meta description and content.
Create and Optimize Content
Creating and optimizing the content on your website is one of the best SEO practices to get your church found in search. Quality content (texts, audio and videos) is a key ranking factor on any website. Making regular blog posts equates to having more pages indexed on Google, which increases your chances of showing up in search results.
Publishing video content gives potential visitors a feel of the service experience in your church. Uploading sermon podcasts improves your website’s SEO strength, and you also get to reach an entirely new audience.
These probably seem like a bunch of to-dos, but with a good church management software, it’s become relatively easy dealing with them.
With all you’ll need to do to successfully implement the best SEO practices to get your church found in search, you want to jump on the products available on ChurchPad to help lessen the burden and stress. Our unique management tool allows central handling of and accessibility to your livestreams and sermons.