This article is intended to help those who own churches and other places of worship in their Search Marketing priorities. There are a lot of different places to advertise online and it is important to know the best places to spend your marketing dollars. This month we will focus on the unique needs of churches and places of worship.
Obviously people are more inclined to worship at a place that is close to their homes or place of business. When it comes to families the ability to have a church down the street is important as preparing for worship service and getting everyone ready can take time. Thus it is important that you focus highly on your local search marketing efforts. When someone types in ‘church near me’ or ‘synagogue near me’ you will want them to see your place of worship come up. Obviously you can’t change the location of your building but placing it as close to a large population of people is a good idea because Google will track the users IP address and show them the places of worship closest to them. You can help your local listings by making sure that your Google My Business Page is updated with correct information and lists you in the correct categories. Also making sure that your site and businesses are listed in other notable local directories will also help. Make sure that your phone number, House of Worship name and address are all the same across different sites as this plays an important role as well.
When people are looking for a new church home or their first one it is imperative that your website be friendly and welcoming. You’ll want to show off all the different programs you offer as well as show people that you are welcoming to different types of people from many different walks of life. This can be accomplished very well with a solid visual website. One of the best marketing tools you have is your website and this is likely why someone would choose to visit your house of worship. Even if recommended by a friend someone will likely search your church name and then look over the website. Since all your other marketing efforts will drive people here make sure that it is easily navigated and updated consistently so people will know what the latest events happening are.
If you are a new place of worship or your congregation is starting to thin out and you want to revitalize your church membership paid search is a quick way to get eyes on your site. Since Paid Search ads go up almost instantly you can start attracting new people right away. You also can control where the ads are targeting so if you know that people who follow your faith live in certain areas you can just target those areas with ads. Paid search provides you a good way of getting in front of people where they might otherwise not know that your church exists.
Churches and other places of worship can use Social Media to let people know about exciting events happening within their doors. Although the outside of most churches look pretty daunting letting people know that interesting things are happening in those doors via Social Media sites will bring in new people and create a more lively and diverse congregation. You can utilize Facebook to let current members know what is going on and inform younger members through Twitter and Instagram. This is also a good way to introduce new people to your church as current members posting events will inform new people that your place of worship exists.
Although generally one of the most important ways to gain clients for commercial businesses organic search is one of the weaker ways for places of worship to be seen. This is due to the fact that Google will always choose those web sites that have been online for a long time and are established. This doesn’t necessarily mean the latest and most interesting place of worship. Many churches that have had sites up for years will see an advantage here but generally speaking your efforts are best spent on those areas of marketing that will get quickly in front of potential worshipers.
So as you can see Churches and other places of worship have a unique set of challenges when it comes to Internet Marketing. You want to get the latest information out via your website and Social media to as many people as possible. Bringing new people in and keeping your current church members informed will help grow your congregation. Using Internet Marketing to grow your church family can be an exciting and productive endeavor.