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5 Church SEO Goals to Prayerfully Consider

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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We here at OurChurch.Com are big advocates of goal-setting.  However, I believe one of the biggest pitfalls of goal-setting for Christians is setting the wrong kinds of goals.

I touched on this when we discussed Should Churches Set Goals?, but I want go deeper…

People and organizations have a tendency to set results-based goals.  For businesses it might be goals like “Grow revenue 10%.”  For churches, it might be things like “Increase average Sunday attendance by 20%” or “25 decisions for Christ.”

Those are good things to work towards, but as a Christian who is it that can produce these results? Can you and your church increase attendance by 20% on your own?  Do you have the power to produce 25 new followers of Jesus?

We know from scripture “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44)

And yet when it comes to strategic planning and goal setting, we often set goals that only God can produce.

The real danger in this is what can happen a year later when we look back on our goals. 

If we meet these kinds of results-based goals, we have a tendency to congratulate ourselves for accomplishing our goals when God is the one who deserves the credit.  And on the flip-side, if we don’t meet the goals, we assume we must have done something wrong and need to make changes to reach our goals the following year.

On the other hand, some Christians make the opposite mistake:  assuming because only God can change a human heart that they have no role in the process and shouldn’t set any goals at all.

Jesus told his disciples, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20a)

What are our goals as Christians?

God gives us some big clues in Matthew 28:19-20 as to the kind of goals Christians and Christian churches ought to set.

Notice the words of Jesus I highlighted in the verse above  – go, make disciples, teach, obey.  They are all verbs.

As followers of Jesus, our goals should be to do what God is calling us to do, and trust him for the results.

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Tying this in with the 4 types of goals we discussed earlier, verbs (action steps) are the project and process goals.

Let’s get practical about applying these principles specifically to search engine optimization and church SEO…  When setting your church SEO goals for 2023, the question to ask yourself is, “What is God calling me to do?”

Here are some action steps (project and process goals) I recommend you prayerfully consider.

5 Church SEO Recommendations for 2023

1) Setup, verify and update your Google Business Profile.  Your Google Business Profile (previously called Google My Business listing) is what appears on Google Maps.  Also, if you do a search on for “church in [your city],” in the search results you’ll see a map with 3 Google Business Profile listings. If your Profile is out of date, lacks important information, or doesn’t exist at all, people will have a hard time finding your church on Google.

2) Integrate Google Analytics.  Google Analytics provides a wealth of information about how many people are visiting your website, where they’re coming from and what they’re doing on your site. I recommend looking at Google Analytics data once a month, but to do that you’ll first need to get it setup by creating an account and embedding Google Analytics code in your website.

3) Integrate Google Search Console.  Google Search Console will tell you if Google has any problems reading your website, and it will tell you what keywords people are using in Google to find your website.  This can be extremely useful for fixing problems with your website, and for identifying what keywords are bringing people to your website (and which aren’t)

4) Make sure your website has good Core Web Vitals.  Google introduced Core Web Vitals in 2021 as a measure of a web page’s speed and usability. If your website does not load quickly or is not easy for mobile visitors to use, Google will show your website further down in the search results.  Check your website’s Core Web Vitals with GTMetrix. If your website scores poorly, set a goal of improving your website’s CWV or having a professional help you with this.

5) Develop a Church SEO plan.  How is your website doing in the search engines? Are there opportunities to improve search rankings and reach more people in your community?  If so, what steps can you take to do this?  If you can answer these questions on your own, great.  If not, talk with a professional SEO who specializes in church SEO and ask them to do an assessment/audit and give you their recommendations.  The idea here is to get some recommendations you can prayerfully consider.

BONUS: Count and track how Sunday visitors find your church.  Wouldn’t it be great if you knew how many people who visited your church for a Sunday service found your church through an online search? This would help you understand how important your website and SEO are to your church’s outreach. The only way to do this is to ask – either by having people fill out a visitor/connection card that asks this question, or by having someone follow up with visitors personally and ask – and then track this info in a spreadsheet. This takes some work, but the insight is tremendously valuable!

If you’d like to talk with someone who understands churches and church SEO, complete the form below to request a time to talk – no cost, no obligation. We’re here to help. 🙂

Discuss and Comment

  • What do you think about setting Spirit-led, action-oriented goals rather than results-oriented goals?
  • What church SEO goals have you set for 2023?

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    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.