Excellent church website content, keywords included, is the key to being discovered by people who are searching. As I mentioned in my last post, many churches are easily found by people looking for their specific church, a church of their particular denomination, or even a church in their area. But what about people who are searching but don’t realize they are searching for a church?
We looked at the example of the search inquiry, “Who is God?” Local churches didn’t show up. Now, before you go out and try to create content for your church to show up for “Who is God?” searches, let me say again, you are not likely to succeed. Why? Because of the way search engines work.
Look again at these rankings I wrote about in the last post.
Wikipedia, according to these ranking from Moz has massive authority both on the page and the overall website. They are always going to rank at the top of this search. You are not likely to compete with pages with those high ratings of page authority and domain authority. So, what can you do? Find a search that has less competition.
I am not going to go into the methods of researching search keywords (though I may in a future post.) Instead, I did some research and found a keyword string that many churches will have a chance with.
Are You Ready for Church Website Content that Will Get Your Church Discovered?
Stop. Before I go any further, let me make two things clear:
1. What I am about to show you could bring new people into your church. So, if you aren’t interested in that, here is a link to a cat video.
2. This will take some work, commitment, and dedication. If you were looking for a quick fix to bring new people to your church, here is a link to a cat video.
Okay, ready. Here it is:
Church day schools, pre-schools, early childhood learning centers, or whatever the ministry is called are very popular in my tribe, The United Methodist Church. Even if you don’t have one, I recommend you keep reading, you might find a similar subject and follow the same roadmap.
If you do have one, you may be wondering, how is this going to help bring new people to my church?
Childcare as an Outreach Ministry
Well, interestingly enough, as I talk to churches about their childcare and child learning ministries, most of them tell me that they started the program as an outreach to the community. In many cases, it appears that everyone forgot about this as many schools are filled with the children of members of the congregation.
It seems that maybe we stopped telling members of the community about this community outreach. Or are we still telling them but in a way that they no longer hear? If your church is still promoting your pre-school program through a yellow-pages ad, in the newspaper, or by word of mouth, you have failed to realize that the way people search for things has changed. And I can demonstrate that.
People Are Searching for Daycare: Your Church Website Content Should Reflect That
Approximately 3,600 people a month search Google for the phrase “daycare San Antonio.” And it is not just San Antonio. About 1,600 people a month search Google for “daycare Austin, 1000 a month for “daycare Corpus Christi, and 390 per month for “daycare Victoria, TX”
Now, as you move away from urban centers, these numbers go down. Of course, there are fewer people in the community, so fewer people looking for childcare.
For instance, there is an average of 10 Google searches per month for the phrase “child care Beeville, Texas” That doesn’t sound like much, but that is 120 people a year who might be looking for something your church actually offers.
And these are searches with far less competition than “Who is God?” Look for a moment at the results for “daycare Victoria, TX.”
As I mentioned above, there is an average of 390 searches per month on this string, which is decent volume. Now let’s look more closely.
There are two websites at the top of the listings that do well in the rankings. They are both link aggregate sites, and they have a bit of an unfair advantage. However, go down to listing number three and the PA and DA scores drop dramatically. What does this mean? It means that, with a little work, a church with a day school in Victoria, Texas could work its way up to #3 in the Google search results when people search “daycare, Victoria, TX.” And that could mean clicks that lead to your church’s website.
So What? It’s About Kids!
But what if your daytime children’s program is already full? What if you aren’t accepting any more enrollments this year? What if people see yours but decide to go somewhere else?
None of that actually matters. You are getting an opportunity to put your church in front of people looking for childcare. What do we know about people looking for childcare? They usually have kids. Maybe biological kids, maybe grandkids, perhaps foster kids. What is one factor that tends to bring people to church or back to church? Kids.
Maybe it’s just the overwhelming awe of having children in our lives, or it’s because our parents took us to church, or we want our kids to have something to believe in, or we are just overwhelmed and are looking for community and help. Whatever the reason, the presence of children in a household increases the likelihood of someone going to church for the first time or going back after an absence.
By focusing on keywords like “daycare,” your church may be able to find itself on the top of the page when people search for a place for their kids. However, if they see you and they click on your link, you are going to need to offer them more than prices, accreditations, and forms. You will need to provide them with something extra, something that helps them to see you as a place that is more than a childcare center.
Soon, in this space, you will find a link to my next post that will lay out a plan to own this keyword, move your church up in the rankings, and quite possibly begin to see increased website traffic. While you are waiting, you need to decide if this is really something you are ready to do. So, ask yourself and/or your team these questions:
1. Are we really prepared to have new people come to our church?
2. Are we prepared to commit to the work? Can we be dedicated over an extended period of time to make this happen?
If so, get ready. If not, here is yet another cat video.
If you are interested in learning more about some of the tools I use to gather the information, check out Moz.com and keywordseverywhere.com. They both offer free options that let you begin to do your own research.
Is it time for a new website for your church? Check out my new webinar series, “Church Websites for Everyone.” Rio Texas Conference United Methodist Churches can click here for more information. All other churches are invited to sign up here for another webinar open to all churches.
Thank you. I am a United Methodist Young Adult District President and building up both our fellowship and non-profit organization. What can I do to improve those organizations in search engines? For the non-profit, we have a mission to fight poverty , hunger and societal ills in Africa (www.sehzoorlife.com ).
Thanks for the reply. I don’t know that I have an answer for you but I believe I can help you figure out where to start.
The first step is clearly defining what it is your want people to do. In other words, what is your call to action? For churches this is usually a call to visit the church. Most churches see their websites as tools to convince people to join the church for worship.
For non-profits, the call to action needs to be just as clear. There can be multiple calls to action but one must be primary. Is it a desire for people to give, to sign up for a mailing list, to become a member?
The second step in a search strategy is to consider what people might be searching for that relates to what you have to offer. For instance, I see that there are 260 monthly searches on Google for the phrase, “volunteer programs in Africa.” If your goal was to gain more volunteers, you could work toward getting ranked in that search. It would take a bit more research around your specific goal.
The next step is what my next post will be about – creating content on your website that would show Google that you are the best source for information about the subject of that search.
I hope this helps!