How does this role assist our churches with their digital presence and what makes it special(ist)? (PLUS a free SEO 101 Guide!)
Through college, I had given almost no thought to the idea of how the internet really worked. I used it to answer questions, stream entertainment to my devices and occasionally do some ill-advised online shopping. As a student studying journalism, I merely viewed websites as a platform to get my content out into the world.
My view on websites and the internet as a whole changed drastically after COVID changed the landscape of how the world functioned in early 2020.
At the time, I was in a content writing role for a large church. The nature of the pandemic had me shift into the digital space taking on a new opportunity to oversee the church’s Rock RMS website and mobile app (something I had very little experience in). I feel like God used that time and opportunity to stir up something in me – how could I use these digital tools to glorify Him and help grow His Kingdom?
All of that has led me here to the Digital Specialist position at Fishhook.
This role is focused on helping to equip people with your content when they need it most. It’s all about delivering the right message (your content), at the right time (when someone is looking for it), to the right people (those it brings value to).
There are several ways a digital specialist can help accomplish this goal. Here are a few of my favorites:
Practical ways a digital specialist can help bring value to your ministry and those it serves:
Enhancing your website SEO
It can seem like a big, complicated idea. And to a certain extent, that is true. My job is to be an expert in the subject to improve your website’s SEO and make it easier for people to find your ministry content. When you Google something, how far do you go down the search results to find what you are looking for? Probably not very far. That’s why SEO is so important—it puts your content at the top of the search results where people can actually find it. There’s an opportunity to optimize your page headings, content, meta descriptions and more to improve your site.I can audit your site to see what content people can find—and which ministry tools they can’t.
- Utilizing paid advertising
Paid advertising is sort of like the microwaved version of SEO. With paid ads, we can get your content to the top of the search results quickly and for a set period of time. This is a great way to guarantee that users will find your content that can help their walk with Jesus.
- Performing audience research
There is real value in researching your intended audience. We can see what kinds of things are on their hearts and minds so that you can minister to them and meet them right where they are. Digital tools help us to understand how your audience engages with your content, where they are engaging from and key identifiers that help you understand who they are.
- Leveraging web analytics
One wonderful thing about the internet is that data is always available. We can track your web traffic, how users are interacting with your website and how they got there in the first place. We use all of that information to make recommendations and create a plan to bring value to those interacting with your ministry’s digital tools.
- Optimizing your website structure
Whether you are in Rock RMS, Ekklesia or WordPress, the structure of your website matters. It’s best to think of your website as a ‘tree’ with your homepage being the trunk and every other page branching off of it. It is important to keep that in mind when creating pages, planning your menu/site navigation and performing site maintenance.
I believe these tools work and are useful in investing time and energy into. Why? Because I have seen them work for churches before. Perhaps my favorite part is that the results show us the value in the work. The data is all there to help see what worked well and what didn’t. We can always pivot to new ideas when things aren’t working, as well as keep up with things that are working for your audience and ministry.
All of these numbers matter to me and to Fishhook because, ultimately, those numbers represent real people whose lives can be changed forever by Jesus.
To help you take a next step, download our FREE SEO 101 Guide!
Have a question about SEO, audience research, digital advertising, analytics or website structure? Feel free to reach out!