Can you blog your way to winning church SEO? In other words, can blogs and other means of sharing information help your church website rank higher in search engine results?
Daycare as Outreach
In the last couple of posts, I have been focusing on using your church’s daycare ministry to reach people who are searching but maybe not particularly searching for a church. You can read more of the thinking behind this here. You can also look here to learn about some initial things you can do to improve your chances of being found when people search for daycare.
Blogging Your Way to Winning Church SEO
But those are just initial steps. Are you ready to take things a step further? This next step, starting a blog, will not only increase your chances of being found in web searches (by winning church SEO – Search Engine Optimization), but it will also provide helpful information to people who need it. In the first post in the series, I talked about the outreach nature of childcare ministries. Whether or not someone chooses to enroll their child in our program, you can be in ministry to people in your community who are trying to do what is best for their kids.
This is also an example of what is called content marketing. Successful businesses and organizations give content away as a way of letting people know about them and building goodwill among potential customers. That sounds like something the church should be good at.
What is a Blog?
Blog is a pretty generic term. It usually refers to a website that is regularly updated, usually written in an informal tone, and most often focused on a single topic or area of topics.
If you want an example, you are currently reading my blog. I post regularly about church communications and technology. My editors will attest to my informal tone. (And, they will tell you that I often take that too far.)
In the case of the topic of today’s blog post, the blog you would start would be about – you guessed it: childcare!
What Does Blogging Have to Do with Daycare, The Church, or Winning Church SEO?
In my last post, I wrote about the two audiences for your childcare ministry website:
The two audiences are:
- The search engines that are looking at it.
- The people who are looking at it.
For the search engines, a blog provides content and keywords. If you have a place on your website that is updated regularly with posts about childcare, daycare, kids, preschool, and other related topics, the search engines will see all those posts filled with reach keywords. That helps the search engine know that your site will be helpful for people searching for things like daycare. That is how you go about winning church SEO.
For the people looking at it, if someone searches for “daycare,” and that search leads them to your site, what is more helpful for them?
Information about your program rates, enrollment periods, and payment plans?
Information helpful to their search for the best possible place to send their children?
Looking for Insurance
To illustrate my point, let’s veer way outside the lines of church and childcare and talk about insurance. Let’s say I am a first-time car owner and I need car insurance. If I search my way to progressive.com, I can click on a tab that says “answers.”
If I pick a subject I am interested in; I get a well-written article on the topic.
Yes, in the article, Progressive provides links to get a quote and purchase information from them. However, the information is useful information no matter who you buy from.
These pages are helpful for both of Progressive’s audiences:
The search engines that are looking at it.
These information pages are chock full of keywords that are used in searches of people who are looking for car insurance. That allows the company to rank high in search engine results.
The people who are looking at it.
This is content marketing at work. It allows people to view Progressive as a helpful company that knows about insurance. If people find the information they are looking for, they make it very easy to buy from them.
So, Again, What Does Blogging Have to Do with Daycare, The Church, or Winning Church SEO?
What if you took this same model and put it to work on a blog related to daycare? Most church childcare ministries are filled with people who know about the topic. Teachers, administrators, and parents have a wealth of knowledge to share. Church’s with children’s ministry and youth directors have another source of quality content.
What should they write about? I am sure your church’s childcare ministry staff has its own idea but let me throw out some things to get you thinking:
- What to look for in a daycare for your child?
- What is the difference between daycare and an accredited school?
- How to make sure your child’s daycare is safe.
- What is accreditation and why does it matter?
- What to look for in a curriculum.
- Getting your child ready for the first day of school.
- What to do if your child’s daycare isn’t available in the summer.
- Dealing with the dropoff blues.
Again, these are just some ideas. If I were really writing posts for such a blog, I would do some keyword research. I would probably try to include daycare in the title of as many posts as I could. I would also see if there are any specific questions that turn up in a lot of web searches.
Keep These Same Tips in Mind
When publishing blog posts, keep in mind everything I wrote about your main webpage: be generous with keywords, include photos, and skip abbreviations.
My next post will be the final post in this series and is where I will pull it all together. The point of this series is to use the right keywords to get our church discovered online. Once you get people to click through to learn about your childcare ministry, is it possible also to connect them to your church? Yes. That is what I will write about next.
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.