So you’ve spent a good deal of time purchasing a great, new church website. It looks great but nobody is visiting. As a matter of fact, you’re not getting many hits at all. What’s wrong? Well, a lot of companies don’t optimize your website the way they should. They simply build some eye candy and give it to you without doing much homework to make sure the site operates correctly.
The bones of a website are just as important as the pretty skin on the outside.
You want people searching for churches in your community to find yours first, right?
Optimize Your Church Website
1. Get a list of keywords your church website needs to leverage.
Church keywords are going to include the city, county, state and words like church, worship, and christians. You want to guess what people are going to enter into google when they are searching for a church to attend in your city.
For instance, if my church was called Lighthouse Tabernacle, and we were located in Lufkin, Texas I would use a keyword list like this:
- Lufkin, Texas
- Angelina County
- Lighthouse Tabernacle
- Christian Fellowship
- Lufkin Churches
- Churches in Lufkin
- Friendly Church in Lufkin, Texas
You should keep a list of 18-20 keywords that have a lot of searches in your area. You can check how many searches on certain keywords and key phrases by going to Googles Keyword Tool.
Use the Correct Link Structure
Once you know the keywords people are using to find churches and church websites in your area, the next thing you need to do is get your website ranked for those keywords.
How you do this is called Search Engine Optimization. You should read this post on learning how to link correctly .
The secret to the correct link structure is simple: Use the right keywords, make the keywords or key phrases your anchor text.
For instance, in the paragraph above I said to check out the post on learning to link. I could have said read the post here, and put the link on the word, “here.” But that isn’t any of the keywords used by that blog. That post is going to be ranked with the keywords link, learn, and correctly. When someone searches google for the phrase, “learning how to link correctly,” Google needs to know if that post is valuable information.
Using the correct anchor text in the link to the post will help google understand it better.
Look at it like this: When your church members are linking to your church, if they keep using the words “my church” as their anchor text, google is going to think your church website should show up when someone searches for “my church.” If they would link using the anchor text, “my church in Lufkin, Texas,” Google will see where your church is located.
Then, when someone searches for churches in Lufkin, Texas, Google will realize they are looking for something your website may provide.
Sometimes ranking the top in Google is as simple as having more incoming links with the anchor text of the searched keywords than anyone else. It’s simple and powerful.
Use Your Keywords In Your Copy
Don’t just write stuff on your website to take up space. On all of your content, keep those keywords on the list in mind. Use them as much as you can without ruining the quality of your post. The more times the keyword you are trying to rank well for is used in your site, the more Google likes to send people there.
Check your churches website stats. If you’ve never checked them ask your web designer or techie person to check the host to learn how to check your stats. Mark how many hits you are getting and how much is coming from search engines.
Then start utilizing your keywords in links, text, copy, and even on social media when discussing your church website. Try focusing on keyword building and link structure with those keywords for two months and then check your stats again.
Let us know how much improvement you see.