If you’re like most churches, keeping your website updated is a struggle. Whether you have a small staff trying to juggle everything or simply can’t find anyone with skill, simply maintaining your content is almost a full time job. And when someone asks if your website is SEO optimized…
…well… lets just say its not even on your radar to look into that.
There are a lot of misconceptions about SEO. Most people tend to see SEO as one of those buzz words professionals say that seems overly complicated and confusing. If you barely have time to maintain your website, how would you find time to learn something else?
Let me clear the air and say this: SEO isn’t nearly as hard as you think. In a nutshell, Search Engine Optimization is planning ahead a little and making sure that your articles, pages and blogs match your churches voice. Does the focus and words on your pages mesh with each other to create a unified vision of your church? For example, if your church focuses a lot on community outreach, then you need to be including those types of words and phrases on your pages. Properly implemented SEO can connect your website with hungry people looking for a church. It ranks you higher in Google searches in your city, and it helps proclaim your message to a hurting world.
Interested? Let’s start at the basics.
The name of the SEO game is content
Adding new, relevant content is probably one of the single most important things you can do to improve your websites SEO. If you are wondering what that might be, don’t overthink it.
You spent all that time working on your Sunday sermon. You compiled several pages of notes during the week, gave an inspiring sermon on Sunday… then filed away everything. Ack!!! Those notes you wrote down are pure GOLD! Now you probably don’t want to post them in a raw format, but if you took 15-20 minutes on Monday while the sermon is still fresh you could probably write a short article covering the main points of your sermon. Post on your site and done!! Not only did you add some great, relevant content but you also posted your sermon for your congregation to read over! Win!!
Adding new content also lets the search engines know that your website is alive and well. Without new content, you run the risk of making your site appear (to both search engines and visitors) abandoned and unmaintained. If you were looking for a restaurant and found one with a website that hadn’t been updated since 2003, you probably would assume it was closed (or not suitable for a visit). The same applies to your churches website.
Don’t be discouraged when you look at your churches website. SEO can seem daunting but in reality it’s far simpler than you think. Start by focusing on the little things, like adding new content. Then as your church grows, find time or talent to focus on other optimizations.
Did these tips help at all? Do you have any more? Let me know in the comments below!