6 Simple Ways to Make Your Church Easier to Find This Easter

6 Simple Ways to Make Your Church Easier to Find This Easter

February 26, 2018 by

For a visitor to become a part of your church family, they have to know you exist. But that initial visit depends entirely on context. If they know someone at your church, they might enter the doors that way. If they don’t or they’re new to town, they’ll most likely find you through a Google search.

That means a visitor’s journey doesn’t start with the initial greeting at your church. It starts online. Knowing that should motivate us to get serious about how our churches appear and rank online, especially as we head into the Easter season. Church attendance is always higher at that time of year, and someone is going to Google “churches in my neighborhood” before deciding if and where to attend on Easter Sunday.

How can you make your church easy to find this Easter? With six simple steps. You can use them right now to improve your SEO and Google rankings.

1. Clean Up Your Google Account

Your Google business account is a simple, yet critical place to start. Make sure your church is listed under the appropriate name, location, hours, etc. Also check your contact information and verify it’s correct. Next, test the website links to ensure they direct people to your current site. Lastly, include as many relevant photos to your profile as possible. Images give a sense of what people will experience at your church and can be the element that convinces them to visit.

2. Include “Church” in Your Online Name

This might seem way too easy, but adding “church” to your online listing helps Google recognize you as a church, ultimately resulting in a higher rank when someone searches for “churches in my area.” So, if your name on Google is  “St. Peters” or “Bethany Pentecostal,” add “church” to the tail end. It’ll go a long way toward helping people find you online.

3. Keep Your NAPs and Links Consistent

NAPs means name, address, and phone number. You want all three to be the same everywhere online, which requires figuring out where you’re listed. You possess a Google listing, but you also have a website, Facebook page, digital church directory, and possibly an online local directory. Visit these places and correct any incorrect or missing information. While at these places, also check and update links for your church website.

4. Ask for Love and Affirmation

That is, ask people to review your church on Google, Facebook, Yelp!, et cetera. Reviews can be a deciding factor for a person considering whether to visit on a Sunday or not. Start by asking current church members to review and rate you on Google and Facebook. Depending on the person, also ask them to “check in” to church. Check-ins and reviews matter, so don’t be afraid to ask for them.

5. Amplify Social Signals

Because Google looks at other sites where your church is active to verify your legitimacy, you want to maintain active social media profiles. If you haven’t engaged or posted anything on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram in a while, now’s the time to create and use a social media strategy. It’ll help with SEO, as well as build a stronger online church community.

6. Embed a Google Map on Your Website

Finally, embed a Google map of your location on your website. It will not only help people figure out where you are in relation to them but also cause Google to rank you higher in local searches.

The six steps shared here demand little effort but deliver big rewards. By taking them, your church will be easier to find on any Sunday, including Easter. So think of this post as a bit of encouragement to take 10 minutes and complete some of the tasks listed above. It’ll help people move from online search to in-person visit.

More:

For more help with hyperlocal efforts, check out the super-practical resources from Courageous Storytellers. Our focus on hyperlocal outreach and evangelism includes a guide to using Google My Business.

Image: William Murphy (Creative Commons)
Post By:

Matt Morrison


Matt Morrison is the founder of Ascend, helping churches build great websites. In an effort to provide churches with great resources, they have created free church Easter graphics you can download here.
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