Don't forget this important tool to engage and inform people in your community.
Do you ever Google something and it shows you the options in your area? Whether you’re searching for restaurants, dry cleaners or churches, the options in your area play a huge role in what you see.
One Forbes study shows us that 95% of people use their mobile devices to perform local searches. And out of those searches, 61% called, and 59% of people visited the church or business.
Most people seeking to connect with a church are looking for one in their area where they can find community. Now, there are certainly some churches that have people all over the country (or even around the world) who engage with them weekly online.
And if that’s your church, then your SEO strategy looks a bit different. But if engaging a global audience isn’t a part of who your church is, then improving your local SEO may be one of the best ways for people in your area to find you.
What goes into Local SEO?
There are several factors that play into local SEO.
Regardless of location, keywords play a large part in SEO as a whole. As search engines crawl your site, they find keywords to help people find the content they are searching for.
So with locality in mind, you’d want to implement using some geographical language in your website. Phrases like “Looking for a church in Indianapolis?”, “Bloomington college ministry”, or “Indianapolis Easter service”.
When going through this process, do some research into the keywords you’re interested in. Tools like WordStream allow you to check out search volume and potential advertising costs for the keywords you plan on implementing.
- Google My Business
If you’ve ever been hungry and tried to find the closest, most reputable restaurant, then you’ve probably leaned into the power of the Google My Business profile. ,
This tool allows you to manage your business listing through Google (the search engine and the maps listing). It’s very often one of the first things people see when looking for your church online.
Here are a few ways to optimize your Business profile:
- Make sure you’ve completed all sections of the profile
- Add an accurate category and attributes
- Verify that contact information and business hours are always accurate
- Ask people to leave reviews and routinely respond to them
- Add new photos and updates on events
Performing these tasks will have you rising in local search rankings as well as leaving a positive impression on potential visitors. Nobody will be wondering if you’re welcoming or reliable if you use your Google My Business profile to showcase that you are.
A big part of the local SEO equation is being local … obviously. And that’s part of the equation that you really can’t control (unless you plan on expanding)! If you’re within a reasonable distance of someone searching for churches, you’re much more likely to appear on their radar.
But if there are 25 other churches, all with great profiles that match their search, between you and them … it’s unlikely that you’ll be a primary result.
According to a study on church commuting, 68% of American church attendees are traveling 15 minutes or less to the church building. So, even the best SEO strategy will have a hard time convincing someone to drive 45 minutes to and from church each week.
Are you looking to improve your Local SEO?
If you’re looking to reach more people in your community, local SEO may be the best next step for you. Our team would love to chat more about helping you optimize your church’s digital presence in the community.