search marketing

How to Get Your Church Website to Rank for “Christmas Eve Services near me”

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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Are you ready for Christmas?

Is your website?

If you are person responsible for your church’s website, hopefully you have information about your church’s Christmas Eve services (and Christmas services if you have them) on your church website.

I did a search to see how Google responds to people searching for “Christmas Eve services near me”

Google Christmas Eve services near me

What immediately stood out to me was how much different the search results look compared to when I wrote the first version of this article in 2018:

The most obvious difference is that Google is no longer showing the “local 3 pack” (map + 3 local listings) on the search results page, at least not to me.

There are a few other things about the search results I find noteworthy.

1) No paid ad at the top

See the paid ad for Harborside Church which appears above the map on the 2018 screenshot? There are no ads at the top in 2021. I did scroll down and see an ad specifically promoting a church’s Christmas Eve service down at the bottom of the page (see below), but a lot less people will see that than if it appeared at the top.  Because there’s no competition for that top spot, it’s likely a church could get their ad placed at the very top of the page for a very affordable rate.

google ads christmas eve service near me

2) Not many churches in the results

Of the 10 web pages listed on the first page of the results for “Christmas Eve service near me,” only 2 are church web pages, and one more is a Church Facebook page. The rest are news sites listing Christmas Eve services in the area.  That tells me two things…

First, not many churches are putting the exact phrase “Christmas Eve service” on their website.

Second, Google seems to favor pages that list many Christmas Eve services.  This provides a great opportunity to get onto the first page of the Google results for churches that have the insight and courage to publish a web page listing all the Christmas Eve services in their community, including those not at their church. 🙂

3) Website updates & reviews affect Google local / maps results

While the results for “Christmas Eve service near me” didn’t have a “local 3 pack” on it, I noticed that when searching for “Christmas Eve service near St Petersburg did.

Google Christmas Eve service near St Petersburg

Notice below the BridgePoint Church listing it says, “Today’s Christmas service was spectacular.” This is an excerpt from a review someone posted to that church’s Google My Business listing. This means asking people to post a review and specifically reference your church’s Christmas Eve service can help.

Also notice below the Pasedena Communit Church listing it says, “Their website mentions christmas eve.” This tells us that Google is not just using data from Google My Business listings, but it’s also using data from their websites.

Note that it’s important to use the text “Christmas Eve service” on the website.  Google still can’t read graphics, so if you just put “Christmas Eve service” on graphic, it likely won’t get shown in the search results.

Additionally…

4) Website updates won’t help you if you don’t include your website in your Google My Business listing

Previously, I looked at some churches that mentioned Christmas Eve services on their homepage but did not appear in the Google search results.  When I looked at their Google My Business listing, I noticed there was no website listed.

This means this church has not updated their GMB listing to include their website.  As a result, Google is unable to connect their GML listing with the information on their website, and they are left out of the search results for “Christmas Eve services.”

This is another example of why it’s so important to create, claim and optimize your church’s Google My Business listing.

If you haven’t done that yet, we have step by step instructions in our free Ultimate Guide to Online Reviews (Part 3: How to Create, Claim & Verify Your Google My Business Listing)

If you’d prefer not to do this yourself and would like some help from our experienced church SEO experts here at OurChurch.com, let’s schedule a free phone call to discuss that.

Blessings to you as you celebrate the birth of Jesus and introduce people in your community to our Savior! Merry Christmas!

Discussion

  • Where does your church rank in Google for “Christmas Eve services near me?”
  • What questions or comments do you have about setting up your Google My Business listing or ranking for “Christmas Eve services near me?”

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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.

    1 Comment

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