The next step in our church website design process is another one that is often overlooked by churches and other website developers: search engine optimization aka SEO.
Typically, a church will build their site, launch it, and then a couple months down the road notice that they can’t find it in search engines. That’s when they realize it needs to be optimized for search engines.
By the time they optimize their site, they have missed out hundreds of people searching for a church in their area.
For this reason, we recommend optimizing the pages of your church website BEFORE it launches.
5 Church SEO Tips for Optimizing Your Church Web Pages
- Address – Display the full address where your church gathers for services in the header or footer of your website so it appears on every page.
- Cities – Mention in your website content the city in which your church meets and also nearby cities where your people live.
- Title tag – Each page of a website has a title tag which is not visible to visitors but is very important to search engines. Most search engines use the title tag as the main heading for your search listings. Try to include the 3 cities you most want to target in each page’s title tag.
- Meta description tag – The meta description tag is another element that is not visible to human visitors but important to search engines. Search engines show the meta description tag in the search listing below the title tag. In the description tag, include the 3 cities you most want to reach as well as ministries and other terms people in your community might be looking for.
- Images – Optimize the images on your website by including cities and descriptive terms in the filename and the “alt” attribute.
There are many of other things that go into church SEO like setting up local/maps search listings, getting online reviews, link building, and monitoring search rankings that can be done after the website is launched, but the optimization of the web pages themselves should be done before the launch.
If you hire a church website design firm to build your website, they are often reluctant to give you or a church SEO agency access to your website before launch. Therefore, it usually works best to hire one company that is competent and experienced with both design and SEO.
A great church website is only great if people can find it. –Paul Steinbrueck
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At what point in the web design process did you optimize the pages on your church website? Why then? Post a comment and let us know.