That means that if you really want to attract more visitors to your weekly church service, you need to optimize your website for search engines. Because even church websites need an SEO strategy.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top five SEO strategies.
Keep reading for the inside scoop!
Update Your Website’s Design
The appearance of your church’s website is almost as important as the appearance of the church itself when it comes to attracting visitors.
Potential churchgoers may be put off by a poorly designed or disorganized website. On top of that, your site may not be showing up on SERPs if you haven’t paid careful attention to the design.
Create a site that is easy to navigate and filled with SEO-friendly content. Invest in a professional web designer’s services, purchase quality graphics, or try some of our other website design tips.
Hone in on Local SEO
Although fellowship and meaningful worship services are what keep people coming back to church, the truth is, many people will initially choose a church based on convenience. That’s why it’s essential that church websites don’t neglect local SEO!
Google reports that search interest in results “near me” has increased 34 times since 2011. So now more than ever, it’s important to make sure you’re showing up on local SERPs.
An easy way to boost your local SEO is by claiming your business on Google. Make sure you add relevant info to your listing, like service hours, address, and contact info. This will help drive even more local traffic to your website, and hopefully, to your church.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Technical
A big factor in your website’s success is how easy it is for search engine bots to crawl your site. Making your website friendly to bots is a vital part of any SEO plan, However, it’s one many people neglect.
The reason for this is many people don’t think they have the know-how to tackle technical SEO. The very idea of optimizing website structure strikes fear in their hearts. However, with some patience and basic research, even the technologically challenged can get their site to start ranking.
Alternatively, you can hire a professional to deal with the technical side of things.
Optimize Your Website’s Loading Time
If people have to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load, there’s a good chance they’ll get impatient and give up. There goes a potential church member.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, compress your media files, including images and videos. Bonus tip: Using YouTube for video embeds of sermons and live recordings will instantly make your site more SEO-friendly.
Find a Quality Web Host
Your web hosting choice will impact your site’s speed, uptime, and other factors. These, in turn, affect your website’s SEO. That’s why it’s essential that you choose wisely.
A quality web host also means a secure one. This protects both you and your visitors.
We Provide Quality Hosting for Church Websites
Our mission at Christian Web Host is to provide the best web hosting while maintaining our Christian quality of service. Contact us today!
In the last 10 years, church attendance has dropped almost 20%, and a large part of this decline comes from fewer youths and young adults. Why not attract this generation in the way that they respond best-with stunning web design elements and online features!
Here are 5 web design elements that will help your church site perform better.
Start with a Plan
The very first step you need to take before making or editing your website is to develop a strategic plan.
Will your website focus on attracting new members, retaining old ones, or “C” all of the above. It’s important to have a plan in mind so that each aspect of the website fulfills the purpose.
Otherwise, you may waste a lot of time on elements that don’t make any difference at all. After you have a plan, you’re ready to start developing your website.
While you are building your website you need to remember this next crucial element. Make your contact information incredibly easy to find.
People may turn to your website in moments of crisis looking for help. If there is not a clear and easy point of contact, they will likely leave the site.
Your contact information is also important to add so that people know where to go for worship services and any other events. By adding in your website and complying with Google standards, people will be led by their mobile navigation to your building.
Make it Mobile Friendly
That brings us to our next step. Be sure your site is mobile friendly. The majority of all internet consumption across the world comes from mobile devices.
That means that more likely than not people will be viewing your website on their phones, not from their desktops.
In order to better improve the mobile experience, avoid long paragraphs of text. Break it up with photos, bullets, or videos.
The fourth step is to continuously update your content. This will help your website in multiple ways. First, it will give people a reason to come back to your site.
Second, it will also improve your ranking on search engines. You can add updated content through blog posts, videos, and event information pages.
Diversify Your Content
The last step is to diversify your content. Adding in videos and photos will engage your viewers and keep them on the page longer. This in return will improve your website’s ranking.
Unfortunately, these pieces can use a lot of memory. In order to avoid losing them, look into using a cloud archive service like HubStor.
Get the Best Web Design Elements Today
Now that you know the basics, it’s time for you to create your very own website, complete with the best web design elements!
As you design your page be sure to check out these 5 simple ways to improve it. This will help you avoid mistakes and create great content from the beginning.
Have any questions? Send them over our way! We’d love to give you personal advice.
Churches are looking to digital strategies to increase their website traffic. Even if a church has built the best website it can be of little use without a good and consistent audience.
Knowing the right digital marketing solutions is as important as knowing how to use them.
With over 1 billion websites on the internet, the competition can be tough. But by creating content, staying consistent, and getting support, any church can succeed.
Putting effort into proven techniques is a great way to boost traffic. Here’s how to use digital marketing solutions and increase website viewership:
SEO and Analytics
Embracing the digital tools available means that any congregation can stay closer. While some churches are going so far as to offer online baptisms, a church doesn’t need to alter the tenets of their faith to be successful on the internet.
The way many organizations, churches, and companies track their success is with analytics and SEO – or search engine optimization – shows a website’s rank with certain search terms.
Analytics can measure the traffic of your audience. Using analytics will allow a church to find out the online habits and demographics of their viewers.
Before starting to use any digital marketing solutions it’s important to measure the starting point. Use a current view of analytics and SEO to track progress as you go.
Create Expert Content
One of the most important strategies to building an online audience is creating content. By continually updating your website with valuable information viewers will be more likely to return.
Creating expert content means producing information that is valuable to your viewers. Churches are fortunate to already have an idea of the concerns and questions of the congregation.
Using these types of topics as a starting point can help you create content. But being as specific and unique for your church is a definite must.
Highlight special events, congregation members, topics, and new information. With this type of attention to content, you will be more likely to attract viewers.
Focus on What Works
When a church begins creating content and updating more regularly they can see what works and what doesn’t. Using analytics tools allows your church to find which topics and blog posts get the most traffic.
This information lets a church know what is most valuable to website visitors. Focusing on the comments and responses is also a good way to find out where to put your efforts.
The blessing and curse of digital marketing solutions are all the opportunities available. A church can become distracted and ineffective online if they don’t remain focused.
Simply putting effort into the types of information your audience wants will keep them coming back for more.
In the early days of the internet, most viewers used desktop computers. Today the ratio is in favor of mobile users.
The audience of a church website is more likely to access information from smartphones and tablets. As a result, churches need to keep their design and content mobile-friendly.
Churches should also note that 81% of mobile users prefer an app to a website. Catering to the needs and wants of your audience is one of the best ways to build viewership.
More visitors will respond and interact with your site if you use mobile design and apps to help reach them.
Digital Marketing Solutions From The Experts
It would be a mistake for any business, organization, or church to go it along with digital marketing solutions.
Capitalizing on the expertise of these experts can mean the difference between failure and success with church websites. Maybe especially on the internet the latest tools and techniques can change fast.
Working with experts lets churches focus their energy on what is important and what works. Companies like The Web Ally SEO work with churches to help them grow visitors and use the best tools.
By offering website building, SEO enhancement, and web development a trusted provider will allow a church to build their audience.
Also, using a company with similar values for web and domain hosting can help. A church can use experts with comparable values for the best results.
An Integrated Approach
Success in using digital marketing solutions to build viewers requires an integrated approach. While the core of a church’s digital offerings can be a website there are many other tools to use.
For instance, if you focus on creating digital content then social media can help spread the good word. By making content that caters to your audience that is shareable on social media you will be reaching more current and potential visitors.
In addition, augmenting social media and website content with video can help reach your goals. As tastes change on the internet it is wise to use many different tools in an integrated approach.
This strategy should be done both deliberately and cautiously. It is better to stay focused and perform well than getting distracted online.
On the other hand, there is no reason to resist using all the avenues available that you are comfortable with.
Focus on Unique Church Goals
One of the things that are clear in today’s digital market is that not all organizations are the same. Focusing on the unique needs of a church’s website is a requirement to boost your visitors.
While there are many practices that might work for every company or organization it’s important to work with the support that understands your needs.
Focus on the strengths of your church, your visitors, and your faith. The internet will help you spread this message to a wider audience if you work with the experts.
Find The Experts
Once a church knows the benefit of using the right support they won’t have to look far to find it.
Christian Web Host has helped churches build their audience since 1997 catering to the needs of our clients. We offer scalable solutions for everyone.
From dedicated servers to support technicians and engineers, we have your needs covered.
Don’t wait to build your online audience. Contact ChristianWebHost today.
You want visitors to your church website to see what a welcoming environment your church is. But, you’re not really sure how to convey that message.
When it comes to building a church website, or any website for that matter, one of the best ways to influence visitors is through the use of images.
In fact, there have been numerous studies done that prove the power of images. One such study found that people only remember 10 percent of what they hear, 20 percent of what they read, and 80 percent of what they see.
Clearly, images are important. But, these images also need to be powerful. In this article, we’ll go over the top 5 tips for choosing influential images for your church websites.
Choose Pictures of People
Many church websites make the mistake of including images of only the building.
But, you preach to people, not to a building. Therefore, your images should focus on the people of your church. You can either have a professional take photos of your actual church members or, you can use stock images.
And, you can still incorporate the building in more subtle ways. You can do this by displaying pictures of people walking into your church or using a stained glass window or vibrant area of decor as your backdrop.
Choose Images of Worship
The main purpose of putting images on your site is to evoke an emotional response in your viewers.
And one of the best ways to do this is with images of worship. Worship is the reason people attend church, as it gives them a sense of community and belonging. Posting pictures on your site of your parishioners during worship will help them get a sense of what your church is all about.
Quality is a Must
While it can be tempting to take a few quick pictures from your phone for your site, it’s not going to do you any favors.
Low-quality images tend to turn people away, regardless of the organization you’re promoting. Make sure the images you choose are not grainy or blurry, and that they’re well-sized and look professionally taken.
The images on your church website should, collectively, tell a story.
Therefore, it’s important that color, style, orientation, filters, and sizing are all consistent. For example, if there’s one black and white photo, then all of the photos should be black and white.
Keeping the images consistent will help people remember your church more easily.
Less is More
A few powerful images can evoke an emotional response and influence people to make a decision.
Too many images, however, can cause someone to feel bombarded, confused, and disoriented. To prevent this, make sure to stick with the “less is more” tactic. Try to strike a healthy balance between written content and images. An on-page SEO service can help you with this.
Church Websites: Wrap Up
By following these tips, your parishioners and potential parishioners will be able to see what you’re all about.
However, images are only one aspect of improving your website. There are many other simple ways to improve your church website as well, such as videos, newsletters, and blogs. If you have any questions about the tips in the article, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below.
As a church, you have to get creative to increase membership. No matter how passionate your sermon is or how many unique unity ceremonies you offer, you can’t neglect marketing yourself. One of the best ways to do that is through your church website.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got five key ideas from the best church websites to fire up your engine!
Consider Your User’s Experience
Have you ever visited a website for a product or an event and details were few and far between? After several clicks all over the site, you probably closed the window in frustration.
In fact, 87% of people rank user experience as one of the most important website features. The best church websites always consider the user experience and you should, too.
How do you keep the user’s experience in mind when building your site? Try to think of the things you usually look for when you’re online.
Address, hours, and methods of contact, like phone number and email, are a no-brainer. Install a Google maps widget so people can see both directions and street view.
Do you already have that? Great – you’re ahead of the curve! We do have a few more tips to consider…
For example, add your staff’s names, pictures, and title. If someone wants to know about choir practice or where to send donations, they can find the right person instead of blinding sending an email out to anyone.
Cover your basics and make it easy for those who visit your site to find the information they need. It sounds like common sense – and it is! – but too many people forget about these crucial steps.
Statement of Belief
This is key for attracting new worshipers – make your statement of beliefs clear and easy to find on your website.
Why is this a key component of the best church websites? Because this is where you outline what you’re all about!
Is your church non-denominational? What’s the major doctrine you follow?
A Baptist church in Iowa might not be the same as a Baptist church in Texas. For potential congregants who are new to the area and are looking for a new place to worship, this helps clarify any questions they have.
You never know – you might pick up a few locals, too. If your church’s name doesn’t clearly list your denomination, a statement of belief on the website will help clear any doubts.
Does your church have a Facebook page or a Twitter? Sure, it takes a bit more effort to keep it up, but it’s worth it.
Besides telling your followers how to find you online during a sermon, you should add social media buttons to your website.
Don’t have social media? What are you waiting for? Social media isn’t the wave of the future – it’s the present and beyond.
Sure, it can be a bit frustrating to have to constantly keep up with it. Once you find inspiration, though, you’ll get into the flow. Plus, there are tons of great tools to help you manage your profiles, including creating graphics and scheduling posts.
The best church websites know to include social media – take this important tip and run with it!
This really deserves its own section. If you can get people interested in your church but they don’t know when to show up, then you’ll be right back where you started.
Make your calendar easy to find and simple to understand. You can even have fun with it – decorating it with red and yellow leaves for the fall months, for example.
Another item to add to the calendar? Office hours! If you have a set time that people can contact you with general questions, make sure to put that on the calendar.
The best church websites know that to keep their site looking fresh, they update it with relevant news.
Update is a key word here: you’ll lose a visitor to your site if the last update you did was in 2013!
Listing church news doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. If there’s something important your congregants need to know, add it to your news bulletin.
As with social media, once you get going, you’ll continuously find things to talk about. Feeling stumped? Ask your staff – you might discover one of them has a passion for managing the news feed!
Even your congregants can be a great source of news for your site.
Think You’ve Learned Everything from the Best Church Websites?
Ready to hire a digital marketing agency and get the ball rolling on your new online identity? Great! But before you start, we have a few more tips that will push you to the next level…
Find a photographer – A few professional photos can go a long way. It might not even be expensive – ask a congregant with a passion for photography or hire a university student that’s building a portfolio!
Info about your Youth Services – Make an extra page with details about your Sunday school, youth groups, and other kids’ activities.
Sermon archives and podcasts – If someone misses a service, have a recording available on your website. Podcasts are great to supplement your service or have an on-the-go option
Upgrade Your Website Today!
These web design tips are going to catapult you from basic to beyond. Once you’ve got the main areas covered, add on the bonus tips.
It’s going to take effort on your part but it will be so worth it! Get creative, put in some elbow grease and make the changes today to see a big difference tomorrow!
Finding the right church can be an exciting feeling. The right congregation doesn’t feel like a group of strangers, but a meeting of friends.
And with millions of people online on a daily basis, it’s easier than ever to reach a larger audience. But before the congregation grows, it’s important to build a great church website.
Here are some easy steps to help build a quick, responsive site.
Create A Sitemap For Your Church Website
Before creating a church website, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the direction it needs to take. Think of a sitemap like an outline for a paper or a recipe.
It’s what determines the overall structure and design of the website itself. And believe it or not, it isn’t too difficult to create.
Take a few moments and list every page the website is going to need. Then, flesh out the details of each page with a rough idea of what the content should be.
If this still sounds too abstract, practice with other sites before giving it a shot. Head to web development sites like Oonie and spend some time looking over their homepage.
Best of all, Google will actually help create a sitemap. Just follow their simple instructions and the site will be indexed in no time.
Design A Fantastic Homepage
Perhaps no page on a church website is as important as the homepage. But research indicates that some visitors never venture past it.
Accordingly, it’s important to make sure that all pertinent info is presented on the homepage. Think about what a visitor may want to learn when coming to the site.
They’re likely looking for information like hours, contact info, and service information. The homepage is going to serve as a visitor’s first impression of a church, so make it count.
You may even consider adding staff bios, a mission statement, and a calendar of upcoming services and events. That way, even if a visitor has never attended a service, they’ll have a good sense of what the church is about.
Make It User-Friendly
Of course, it isn’t just the homepage that needs to be tailored to the user. The entire site should be designed with the user in mind.
A site can have the best info in the world, but if it’s hard to navigate people won’t spend more than a minute or two on it.
Think about how people tend to use websites. People expect a clean layout, legible text, and a responsive design. Visitors to a church site are no different.
Pages need to load fast, with text loading before images, and users shouldn’t need to guess where to find info. Create a thorough but comprehensive menu system, and use submenus if necessary.
Browse the web to get a better idea of how site design plays a role in a user’s experience. Start paying closer attention to things like layout and menu design.
The sole mission of a church is to spread the gospel to all who are willing to listen. The more people you reach, the better your chances are of converting them into church members.
There are several ways churches choose to reach out to their audiences.
Using old-school methods, such as fliers is great, but nothing compares to digital marketing.
Times are changing and with it so should your methods for advertising your church. The web has proven to be a great medium for reaching churchgoers and other interested community members.
With a church website, you can advertise your location, detail your beliefs, and provide your service times to your intended audience. To be successful, you need to have a strategy to drive traffic to your site.
That’s where PPC marketing comes into play. Let’s review how it can help your church website.
What is Pay-Per-Click?
Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, is a form of online marketing. It consists of running ad campaigns that display on websites and within search engine page results. Surely, you’ve seen sponsored links at the top and bottom of Google searches.
Churches can use PPC to quickly gain visibility for their websites. The key is to develop a campaign with the right keywords and ad copy. This requires lots of research and a bit of split testing in order to find the best results.
With PPC, you’re paying for ads based on the keywords you’re using. The more competitive the keyword, the higher the rate. Then each time someone clicks on your ad, you pay.
If no one clicks on your ad the entire day, you pay nothing at all. If you can create highly-targeted ads, you can improve the chance of attracting qualified “leads.”
Generic ads may generate plenty of clicks, but if it’s from the wrong traffic, then you’re wasting marketing dollars.
What is Google AdWords?
Google Adwords is the PPC advertising system that’s most popularly used. It allows you to create the ads you display in the Google search engine and various other Google properties. For instance, your ads may show up on websites that have Adwords accounts set up.
You bid on the keywords you want to target, and if there’s not too much competition, your ad will show up at the top when users type in your key phrases. In a sense, you have to bid and then win your bid in order to show up for your selected keywords.
The way winners are chosen is based on the CPC bid (the highest the bidder is willing to spend) and the Quality Score, which revolves around your click-through rate, landing page quality, and relevance.
Importance of PPC Marketing
It’s important to have a campaign that’s well thought out and high-quality. You can achieve this more easily when you obtain PPC marketing services from professionals like this company.
Once you win, you can create ad budgets, so you don’t overspend. For instance, if you only want to spend $20 per day, your ads will stop showing in the search results once you reach your limit.
How often your ad pops up in the search results depends on your keywords and match types selected on your campaign. In order to create a successful campaign, you have to focus on the following:
All your keywords should be relevant to your campaign and the ad text.
Landing Page Quality
Optimize your landing pages with relevant keywords and clear calls-to-action.
Doing the above will improve your quality score, which improves your chances of winning bids.
Now that you understand what PPC and Adwords are, it’s time to see why your church website should use these marketing tools.
Let’s review the top benefits.
Get Your Church Website on the First Page of Search Engines
There are three major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing. They all have PPC platforms. You can improve the visibility of your church website by creating campaigns on all search engines.
There’s no other form of advertisement that can get your church website to the top five results (as sponsored ads) on these major search engines.
Receive Immediate Traffic to Your Website
What attracts website owners to PPC marketing is how quickly it can increase your traffic. Unlike with SEO, which can take months to see results, PPC marketing can generate results almost instantly.
If you know your way around ad platforms, you can have your campaign up and running in less than an hour. This makes it perfect for advertising upcoming church events.
Generate Consistent Traffic
In order to convert more visitors into church members, you have to continuously draw in traffic to your site. This can also help if you’re hosting an online event or sale and need a lot of views quickly.
PPC marketing will provide a consistent flow of traffic to your website for as long as you have your ad campaigns going. Your ad spend will determine how much traffic flows into your church website. The higher your budget, the more traffic you will potentially earn.
Create Targeted Ads
It doesn’t really matter how many visitors your church website gets. If it’s a bunch of people from the wrong audience, then you’re not spending your marketing money wisely.
With PPC marketing, you can create ads that are highly targeted. This way, only folks who are really interested in what you offer will click on your ads. And this will also potentially boost your conversion rates.
The best way to create targeted ads is to focus your ad text and landing page on a very specific market. For instance, you could focus on young families who want to live a modern life that pleases God.
It may take some time to get the best results, so split testing different versions of ads and landing pages is key.
Test the Market in Advance
Does your church have a new idea for a product or service? Are you looking to change your focus on preaching the word in a more modern way?
Before doing a product launch or brand overhaul, you can test the market first. PPC ads will help determine how many people are actually interested in your new idea. If you see there are a lot, then you can consider taking the leap of faith.
Increase Your Reach
There are only so many people you can reach with local flyers. The internet makes reaching the masses easier than ever before.
If you’re a church looking to grow its membership, then PPC can work for you. And this goes for both online churches, as well as physical churches.
Your ads will show up in search engines, as well as on websites using Google Adwords, Bing Ads or Yahoo Ads. If you initiate ad retargeting, your ads will follow your website visitors throughout the web for a certain amount of time.
This can increase their chances of returning to your church website.
You Are in Complete Control
The tools and features included in PPC platforms are quite extensive. There are analytics and tracking tools, as well as geo-targeting and ad scheduling features.
All of this gives you more power over your campaigns. For instance, if your local church is looking for new members in four cities around your location, then you can create campaigns for each of those areas.
If you know your audience is normally online on specific days and at specific times, you can schedule your ads to display only during those times and days.
The ability to track your ad spend, conversions and traffic can help improve your campaigns substantially. In turn, you can potentially boost your conversions and lower your ad spend.
Search Engines Aren’t the Only Platforms
You definitely don’t want to overlook the benefits of placing your ads on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. However, you don’t want to limit your church website.
With that said, there are other platforms you can include in your PPC marketing campaigns. For instance, you can use Facebook ads, display advertising, and video advertising.
You have to reach out to the content owner to get advertising spots on their videos and websites. For instance, you can purchase banner ads on relevant websites. Plus, you can have YouTube publishers place your ads in their videos.
A solid strategy is key to making all the pieces of the PPC puzzle fit soundly together.
Christian Web Hosting for Your Website
Spreading the word is easy when you have access to the right tools and technology.
At Christian Web Host, we’re committed to helping church websites increase their visibility by offering them quality web hosting. We can also register your site with various domains, including .church, .com, .org and .net.
If you’re looking for a quality hosting service for your church website, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Stop by our site today to learn more. And if you have any questions, feel free to contact us!
Your mission is to spread the word of the lord to as many people as you can. This makes building a website an excellent idea for your church.
With the right tools, you can create a site that draws in believers and hopefuls to your local sanctuary. And if you include a blog with advice and news on Christian-related topics, you can further your mission of driving in more traffic.
But the first step is finding the best church website builder.
Let’s focus on the best three.
WordPress Content Management System
For years, WordPress has topped the charts as one of the best content management systems (CMS) out there. Not only can you find free and paid templates to build your site – you can also manage your blog here as well.
It’s widely used as a blogging platform, which is important for your search engine optimization. Remember SEO techniques are a must if you want to boost your traffic.
WordPress offers a free and paid version. It’s also an open source site builder, which gives you a lot of room for customizations. If you have church items to sell, you can integrate a web store or open up a community forum for church members to chat on.
SiteBuilder.com Website Builder
This is another option that comes with templates you can edit. It includes drag-and-drop features, making it a user-friendly option.
SiteBuilder also has an e-commerce plan you can use to sell church items online. If you opt for the free version, you’ll have to worry about ads. So if you want a more professional look, then the paid version is the way to go.
It’s a great option for churches looking to build a quick site. If you want a blog, then this isn’t for you, since it’s not a CMS like WordPress.
Wix.com Cloud-Based Website Builder
Now, you’ve likely seen ads about Wix.com. It’s widely known for being an easy tool for building a website. But is it the best church website builder?
That’s up to you to decide. It has hundreds of templates you can choose from, which are all fully editable. The intuitive drag and drop features make it a breeze to design your site the way you want it.
Then if you want to add features to your website, you can install free and paid apps. This will enhance the functionality of your site.
There is a free and paid option – the free has limited storage and bandwidth. This may not matter if you’re looking for a basic website with minimal features.
Choosing the Best Church Website Builder
Once you’ve selected the best church website builder, it’s time to find a host and registrar. You need to come up with a website URL – maybe something with your church name in it.
The host will maintain your site to ensure it’s always up and available to your traffic. At Christian Web Host, we specialize in registering and hosting websites for churches. We’re here if you have any questions about hosting for your site, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you’d like to get a domain for your church website, stop by our site today!