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5 Ways Church Search and Social Are Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts

the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

the whole is greater than the sum of its parts


“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

That quote, attributed to Greek philosopher Aristotle, captures the idea of synergy.

We’ve all seen examples of it… the team of nobodies that is able to beat a bunch of all-stars because they play better together… the improv group that is far funnier than any one is at stand-up comedy… and then there’s my favorite example… peanut butter and chocolate. 🙂

Another great example of two things that combined are greater than the sum of their parts is search marketing and social media. While this is true for all types of organizations, in this post I’m focusing specifically on churches.

5 Ways Churches Can Create Synergy between Search Marketing and Social Media

The last couple of Tuesdays, I’ve blogged one specific place where search marketing and social media come together for churches – local listings/review sites like Google+ Local, Bing Places and Yelp. But there are others…

1) Sharing blog content. Publishing a church blog is a great way to engage members in deeper thought and discussion on a topic. It’s also good for both social media and search marketing. People love to share good content with their social networks. And that sharing may inspire others who see that content to link to it, which is good for search rankings.

2) Publicizing events. When your church as an upcoming event that’s been created especially for guests, post an announcement on your website (or blog) and then email a link to that announcement to your local newspapers, community organizations and any other website that publicizes local community events. Give them specific permission to republish it in whole or in part and ask them to send you a link so you can share “their” announcement in social media.

Most of the time when news and community organizations publish an announcement, they include a link to the organization’s website which will help your search rankings. Both you and the news/community orgs will benefit when you share their announcement with your social networks.

3) Engaging other local organizations. Don’t wait until you want your announcements publicized to begin engaging local news and community organizations. Follow them and share their content when it’s relevant to the members of your church. Certainly your chamber of commerce, city recreation department, Kiwanis, and local schools are doing things that would benefit from having your members involved, right?

4) Church business directory. Every church is made of up people who own or manage local businesses as well as those who are self-employed providing plumbing, accounting and even website services. Some have organized special groups like Truth@Work and C12 where business owners help each other. Why not create an online directory of businesses owned or managed by people in your congregation? By linking to those businesses, they may link back to your church site helping both of your search rankings. Periodically you may choose to feature a local business on your blog or social media, or just mention the whole directory.

5) Local search listings. As we’ve discussed the last couple of weeks, local search engines like Google+ Local, Bing Places and Yelp provide two main functions. First, they provide contact information (and a link to your website) to those who are searching online. Second, they provide a place for people to post ratings and reviews. In other words, they provide search and social benefits. Since we’ve discussed this in depth in the past, I’ll just point you to The Ultimate Guide to Get Positive Online Reviews for Your Church and More Insight on Handling Negative and Inaccurate Local Reviews for Churches

If you are a do-it-yourself-er, that’s great – go claim, correct and optimize your local listings. But if you’re one who wants the time savings and peace of mind that comes with delegating something like this to a professional, then take a look at our Top Church Search Rankings service.

And get ready for the one day only sale taking place tomorrow, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, on the Top Church Search Ranking Service.


  • What do you think of ways that church, search and social not only intersect but amplify each other?
  • Got any other ideas or ways your church is leveraging search and social?

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.


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