It takes a lot to deliver a fulfilling experience to your parishioners each week. It’s easy to forget that bringing new folks in the door is just as important.
And as wonderful as your community is, if you’re not talking about it, they’ll never know to check it out.
Today, keeping your church off the web is like keeping it a secret from the world.
Instead, one of the most influential and authentic ways to introduce your church to interested folks in your community is to mobilize those who already know the good you do—your parishioners.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is what helps your church show up in online search results.
This may look like appearing on the first page of a Google search for “__ church near me” as opposed to the third, fourth, or fifth page.
The higher you appear in relevant searches, the easier it is for interested people to find you!
Many factors influence where and how high your church’s website appears on a Google search.
While it’s not an exact science, there are certain factors that have an impact.
And one of the best things you can do to boost your position is to generate conversation about your church.
Non-sponsored reviews and testimony from real parishioners always reflect positively in the eyes of Google.
Like it or not, Google has a way of knowing where we are, at least generally speaking. As a marketer looking to reach your community, this is a huge advantage.
When you encourage your parishioners to leave your church a review, Google takes notice. They track the activity and boost the businesses that have a large number of high ratings.
To them, this indicates a healthy, active church that engages with their community.
Receive enough chatter, and your church can get pushed to the Google Local Pack, which lists the first three organizations in your industry near the top of the search page based on location.
This coveted spot guarantees your website exposure. Because unlike other fickle SEO tricks that are dependent on search algorithm changes, this one guarantees your exposure as long as you have the numbers.
Leaving an online review is a quick and easy ask. But you can’t assume everyone will do it if left to their own devices.
The key is to make it as easy as possible to leave the review and ensure you provide plenty of reminders across multiple channels.
For example, you can:
The bottom line is, positive reviews don’t just happen. But if you have a community eager to give back, this is a simple first step to get them involved.
Just remember to keep it simple, communicate often, and be sure to engage with reviews as they come in. In time you’re sure to be rewarded!
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