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Let’s a play a little word game. I’ll say a word; you say the first word that comes to mind.
- “Search marketing”
- “Church growth”
Your answers may have been something like:
- (Marketing): “businesses” “ads” or “commercials”
- (Search marketing): “Google”, “Adwords”, or “online company”
- (Church growth): “evangelism”, “outreach”, or “flyers”
But what if I said they are all connected?
Let’s look at the case of Knott Avenue Christian Church where marketing, search marketing, and church growth are all connected.
Knott Avenue Christian Church
Knott Avenue Christian Church is a non-denominational, multi-ethnic Christian church located in Anaheim, California. They are a vibrant and active church with a wide variety of ministries to help meet the spiritual needs of everyone they can and spread the Gospel in their community and the world.
In the past year Knott Avenue Christian Church (KACC) has been increasing their online presence through a variety ways. They have started using Twitter and Facebook. They are podcasting sermons and messages. They even have an iPhone app allowing people to watch their sermons from anywhere on their iPhones. In addition to these social media, KACC has been focusing on the local search engines.
Local Search for a Local Church
Most people these days go online to find information. If they are looking for a church or looking a resource a church can offer (marriage help, addiction groups, answers to life’s questions), they will most likely go online to find what they are looking for. So, it was important for KACC to start showing up so people could find them when they looked online.
Over the past several months KACC has been working to achieve high rankings in the search engines for searches in their local area through the Top Church Search Rankings service. So far they have obtained over 500 top ten rankings with well over 100 #1 rankings. These are rankings for search terms related to churches in their area, such as churches in Anaheim, CA. In addition to the search engines, the service also setup listings in local review sites, (like CitySearch.com) and Internet yellow pages, and church directories.
The results for KACC’s website have been fantastic. KACC.com has been averaging about 1250 visitors a month from the search engines alone. Over 50% of the visitors to the website are new visitors. I asked Jack Scalfani from KACC about the results and he said,
“I know that the website has been surviving with lots of help from your SEO. Obviously it has, because we have been consistently getting 100 visitors a day and mostly new visitors.”
But, in the end, the church website is just a tool of the church. The real results are in the church itself and how it has helped them fulfill their ministry. In addition to talking about the website, Jack went on to say,
“Our rankings that OurChurch.Com helped us get are bringing in new donations, new members, and new viewers on our live broadcast on our website.”
KACC has maintained having about 100 visitors to their church each week. These visitors include people who hear the Word of God and become followers of Christ, families who find a church home, and Christians who are strengthened and go out to minister to their community. They are a growing church in part because they are growing in the search engines.
Are you and your church engaging people online? What online church marketing strategy are you using? What results have you seen?