Imagine that someone in your area wants to find a church to visit, so they search Google for “churches near me.” Does your church show up in the results? And if so, where does it appear—within the first 10 results or further down the list?
The fact is most people will visit your church’s website before ever attending in person. That’s why it's essential to have a church website that’s easily discoverable, full of helpful information, and represents your mission and values.
One critical aspect of helping people find your church online is search engine optimization (SEO). With proper SEO, your church can improve its visibility in search engine results, making it easier for people to find and connect with your community.
Let’s take a look at the importance of church SEO and discover some tips for optimizing both your local and website SEO.
In today’s digital world, most people turn to the internet to find information about local businesses and organizations. This includes people searching for nearby churches. If your church doesn’t show up in their search results, how can they know where you are, when you meet, and why they should visit?
By optimizing your church’s online presence for search engines, you can make it easier for people to find your church when they’re looking for a place to worship.
“Local SEO” refers to the process of optimizing your church’s online presence to show up in local search results. For example, when someone searches for a church in your local area, you want your church to show up in the results. You also want to make sure the information there accurately reflects your church. So where do you start?
Here are three important tips for optimizing your church’s local SEO:
1. Set up your Google Business profile
Google Business is a free tool that helps you take charge of your church’s online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By personalizing your profile, it’s easier to connect with potential visitors, list your ministries and services, share updates, and much more.
Start by creating a Business Profile on Google. Next, claim your listing and complete your profile with accurate and up-to-date information about your church, including:
Once your Google Business page is updated, it’s a good idea to add photos and then share your listing on your church’s social media. This helps expand your reach and provide Google with more reason to rank your business page.
2. Get listed in other local directories
Similar to Google Business, there are many other local directories that you can use to promote your church online. These directories include Yelp, Facebook (Meta), Yahoo!, and Bing. Be sure to claim your listings and complete them with accurate and up-to-date information about your church.
It's also a good practice to add your church to national and local church directories such as The Gospel Coalition, denominational listings, USAChurches.org, etc.
3. Ask people to write reviews
People often make their decisions to visit a church based on reviews. To get started, ask people from your church like staff, volunteers, and members to write a positive review of your church. It’s also important to respond to reviews that people post about your church, answering questions and thanking people who wrote a review.
Taking these steps will make your church be more visible online, help Google understand more about your church, and make sure people know where, when, and why they should visit.
Website SEO refers to the process of enabling your church’s website to appear in search engine results. Here are four tips for optimizing your website SEO:
1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Did you know that 63% of all internet searches are done on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets? Some websites, however, are not mobile optimized and could provide your visitors with a horrible experience.
It's also important to note that Google tracks how fast your website pages load. The longer it takes for your pages to appear, the more likely it is that your visitors will "bounce" and leave your website. (You can click here to learn how to see how your church website's speed is performing.)
The best church website builders, like Subsplash websites, are fast-loading and mobile responsive so they look great on any device. Better yet, you can easily choose church-focused templates to build a beautiful website with integrations with live streaming, online giving, and other digital tools to help give your guests more reasons to visit over and over again.
2. Create high-quality content
Search engines like Google are always on the lookout for good content. That’s why it’s essential to create high-quality content that provides value to your website visitors. This can include sermon recordings, weekly bulletins, Bible studies, and other types of content that are relevant to your church’s mission and values.
Subsplash websites are uniquely powerful for SEO because their pages are connected to your church’s Subsplash Media library that turns each of your sermon videos, podcasts, or other media items into its own dedicated URL.
In other words, your church can quickly add lots of additional pages containing relevant content on your website just by using the Subsplash Platform! By creating such high-quality content, you can attract more website visitors, increase engagement, and improve your website’s overall SEO.
3. Optimize your website structure
The structure of your website plays a crucial role in SEO. Be sure to use a clear and concise website structure that makes it easy for search engines to understand your website’s content. This includes using clear headings, meta descriptions, and titles.
4. Focus on keywords
Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for information online. By identifying the keywords that people use to search for churches in your area, you can optimize your website content to include those keywords.
There are many tools that can help you with finding keywords. For example, Ubersuggest is a free keyword tool that shows you how many people are searching for a keyword, how difficult it is to rank for that keyword, and even gives you content ideas based on that keyword. To get started, try searching for “churches in [your city]” in Ubersuggest, and then use those results to help you optimize those keywords on your website.
5. Learn how to use Google Analytics & Search Console
To learn more about how your church’s website is performing, check out Google Analytics Academy as well as their Search Console. These tools will help you understand who your audience is, how many people are visiting your website, and much more.
Each of these steps will help improve your website’s visibility in search engine results and make it easier for people to find your church online.
Many website builders offer hosting, cool designs, and SEO tools, but only Subsplash One offers a website that also comes integrated with all your church’s digital tools, such as:
With Subsplash, you also get a powerful dashboard and world-class support to ensure that you and your team reach your goals.
To find out why over 16,000 churches partner with Subsplash to reach more people with the gospel, [.blog-contact-cta]contact us today! [.blog-contact-cta]