search marketing

What is Church SEO?

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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What are your top questions about SEO (search engine optimization)?

When we asked this question in one of our monthly Listening Post surveys, we received lots of great questions including:

  • What is SEO?
  • How does SEO work?
  • Why does SEO matter? (What kind of return could I possibly get that would make it worth the time it takes me to invest in this?)
  • How can I get to the top of the [city] church listings on searches?
  • What can I do MYSELF to get higher search rankings?

This article marks the start of a blog series in which we will answer all of these questions and more. Let’s start with this…

What happens when you search online for a church?

Go to Google, Bing or any other search engine, and search for “church in [your city]”

This is how most people who are looking for a church start their search – using an online search engine.

Look at the results the search engine is showing you.

Do you see elements on the page marked “Ad?” Do you see a map with some churches listed on it? Other churches listed below the map?

How did the search engine determine which church is listed first? Second? 100th? Why aren’t some churches shown in the results at all?

Google uses more than 200 factors to calculate its search results!

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  And…

Church SEO includes anything we can do to improve the position a church is displayed on the search engine results pages (SERPs.)

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Church SEO includes things like

  • Fixing technical problems that prevent search engines from reading the church website
  • Optimizing (improving) the text and heading on the church website.
  • Optimizing (improving) parts of web pages that are not visible to human visitors but are important to search engines.
  • Creating, verifying, and optimizing local listings on sites like Google Business Profile, Bing Maps, Yelp
  • Much more.

There are literally 100s of things a person could do to try to improve their church’s search and bring more searchers to their website. Because of this, church SEO can seem confusing and overwhelming. So, most churches do nothing.

The purpose of this series is to help you understand which elements of church SEO are most important and how to do them, so you can have the greatest impact in the last amount of time.

Alternatively, if you want your church to have great search rankings and reach the people in your community without having learn the specifics and put in the work, hire OurChurch.Com’s experienced church SEO team.

More Articles in this Series

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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.