church search marketing web design

4 Ways You Need to Factor SEO into Your Church Website Design

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

As we continue on this month’s theme, Church Website Design Month, one of the things that is often overlooked during the website design process is search engine optimization, aka SEO.  For most churches SEO is an afterthought if it’s thought about at all.

While we do have lots of churches that come to us for help with SEO after their website has been built, there are several reasons why it’s better to have SEO in mind during the website design  and website building process.

1) Select a website platform that is SEO-friendly.  There are still some website platforms that create websites that can’t be ready by search engines. Some website builders don’t give access to optimize all components of the website.  Make sure to avoid these platforms, otherwise your website will be difficult if not impossible to optimize.

2) Design SEO-friendly page content.  A while back, we had an organization ask us to help them with SEO, but their homepage had just their tagline and a button to read more.  It looked cool, but there was no optimizable content on the homepage, the most important page of their site.  The client had to choose between their homepage content and new content that would get them better search rankings.

3) Optimize your website for speed.  More than 50% of website visits are now made from mobile devices.  As this percentage continues to grow, Google is making page speed a more significant search ranking factor.  The person who does your SEO is going to want your website to be as fast as possible.  But all of the elements of a website that effect site speed are created and managed by the website developer.  It’s much better to have an SEO guiding the developer to make your website as fast as possible from the start, rather than having to make significant changes after the website is built to improve page speed.

4) Select a church website designer and church SEO who can work together.  A significant part of church SEO involves making slight changes to content which is visible to visitors and parts of the website that only search engines can see.  It’s important to make sure that your web developer doesn’t overwrite your SEO’s work and vice versa.  The easiest way to make sure they work together is to have one company manage both your website and SEO.

The bottom line is…

Website design and SEO go hand-in-hand. They should be done together.

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OurChurch.Com offers something unique among tech companies that serve churches.  We offer church website design packages that include SEO.

This ensures that your church website is developed on an SEO-friendly platform, your website content is SEO-friendly, your website is optimized for speed and your design and SEO teams work well together.

Some of these packages are also available with little to no cost up front, just a very reasonable monthly cost.  So, they are ideal for church plants, as well as small to medium sized churches that don’t have lots of money in reserve but want to reach people in their community and grow.

Discussion

  • What if any SEO factors did you consider in the design of your church website?
  • Do you have a story to share – either how considering SEO during the design process helped or failing to consider SEO during design resulted in problems?

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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