search marketing

Choosing Sermon Topics for Better Church SEO?

church SEO - ongoing project
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

Most churches are creating great content every week – the Sunday sermon – but getting almost no church SEO benefits from it. However, as I explained last week, with the use of a sermon blog, churches could be using this content they’re already creating to significantly improve their search rankings.

Improve search rankings for what keywords?

If your church wants to reach people in your community who are searching online, this is an essential question.

Previously in our What is SEO? series, we discussed the importance of keyword research. It doesn’t help an organization one bit to get better search rankings for keywords that aren’t being searched or aren’t relevant to that organization. It’s important to target specific keywords that are relevant and being searched.

So, let’s think this through… If a church uses a sermon blog to improve search rankings, the sermon topics will affect what keywords are targeted. Therefore, a church might want to consider selecting sermon topics for which they want better search rankings.

Tail Wagging the Dog?

That may sound crazy and even un-godly. We don’t want the church marketing team telling the pastor what to preach on.  Pastors ought to be teaching on the topics God is leading them to teach on.

I totally agree.

However, are God’s leading and church marketing strategy mutually exclusive?

They shouldn’t be.

Consider some search keywords for which churches might want good search rankings:

  • Children’s ministry in [your city]
  • Student ministry in [your city]
  • Divorce care in [your city]
  • Food pantries in [your city]
  • Marriage counseling in [your city]
  • Recovery ministry in [your city]

Might God lead a pastor to preach sermons on topics related to these keywords?

I hope so. Maybe the sermon titles wouldn’t be those exact phrases, but these are issues that are important to God. If God is leading a church to be involved in ministries like these, then I would hope the pastor would occasionally teach about the scriptural basis for the ministries of the church and share stories of what God is doing through them.

Blog posts for the sermons on these topics can link to the ministry pages on the church website. Audio, video and testimonies from worship services can be added to those ministry pages to make them even more engaging.  In this way, the Sunday services can be a part of the church’s ongoing SEO efforts.


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Comment & Discuss

  • What is your church doing that people in your community may be searching for?
  • What are your thoughts on using a sermon blog to improve search rankings for these things?

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.


  • I could never recommend selecting sermon themes based upon SEO. As a pastor, I preach to the congregation I shepherd, not to the internet audience.

    However, choosing sermon titles for the online audience, and associating them with relevant SEO keywords and so on is good advice.

  • Paul, great article! Very useful for pastors and those in charge of sharing the church’s sermon online.
    I think it is very important for more church’s to begin reaching beyond their church walls, taking full advantage of ability to share the Gospel with as many as possible.

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