HomeDigital MinistryChurch Website Keywords: 3 Simple Steps To Reaching Your Local Community Online

Church Website Keywords: 3 Simple Steps To Reaching Your Local Community Online

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Learn how to effectively use local church website keywords and have more people find your church.

One of the most effective ways to reach new people in your community is to find them after they have begun looking for a church to call home. 

In this article, I am going to show you how to strategically use local church website keywords to get in front of people who are actively looking for your church. 

Let’s jump right in. 

Church Website Keywords: 3 Simple Steps To Reaching Your Local Community Online

Step 1: Discover local church keywords

Keywords are terms that people like you, me, and potential church visitors are typing into Google every day. This can include search terms, like “how to build a deck”, “ best pasta recipes”, “who is Jesus”, etc. 

Local keywords are a type of keyword that indicates someone is looking for a location-specific product or service. These might include keywords, such as “best contractors Orlando”, “restaurants near me”, “church service Honolulu”, etc.

Notice how each of the local keywords has a geographic indicator included in it. Local keywords are what we will be targeting to reach more people in your community. 

SEARCH EXAMPLES

When I did a search for the term “church near me”, Anchor Church was the first church to appear on my Google result page, which you can see below. If you target the correct keywords, your church can also appear first to people searching in your area. 

But how do you know what keywords to target so you can show up #1 on Google? 

Google tracks every search term and how many times it’s searched each month. Your ministry team can access this keyword data in what is called a Keyword Tool.

Wanting more people to find your website and visit your church? Learn how to effectively use local church keywords. Excellent SEO = EXCELLENT RESULTS Click To Tweet

Here is an image with examples of real keywords people in your community are searching to find your church. The image below also shows the number of times each term is searched every month in the United States. 

In the image above, you can see that there are tens of thousands of people all over the country looking for a new church to call home.

The great news is that every month, a few dozen to a few hundred of these people will be within driving distance of your church and you can show up right in front of them

Here is another example of keywords that people are searching to find your ministry, right now. 

There are many more terms that people are using to search and find your ministry that you can quickly find using a keyword tool. 

Professional marketers use keywords as the basis of their online marketing efforts, and you should too. 

If your church is not targeting specifically-chosen keywords, the likelihood that you will show up in the Google searches that best fit your church is LOW. You might not show up at all. 

In the images above, I used the SEMRush keyword research tool. I also have had awesome results with KWfinder

Avoid mistakes: 7 Mistakes Churches Make With Their Website

Step 2: Choose your church keywords

Now that you know what keywords are and how to find them, it’s time to begin choosing keywords for your church. 

When targeting keywords, your goal is to choose the keywords that are twofold:

  1. Ones that are the most accurate to your specific church
  2. Those that have the highest search volume

For example, if you are a baptist church, you should target the “baptist church near me” term on your website. 

While you could get in front of more people by targeting a larger and more general search term, like “churches near me”, it’s usually better to prioritize the more niche term because you know for sure that those people are looking for you. This means the likelihood of these people actually showing up on Sunday will be higher. 

TARGET NICHE KEYWORDS

You can also target many other local church keywords like “Bible study near me”, and “Saturday night church near me”. Here is an example of a quick search for “youth groups near me”.

Do some keyword research for each ministry and service your church offers the community, and target a keyword for each one

In Step 3, we will be looking at how to use these keywords on your website to get in front of your audience.  

USE KEYWORD RESEARCH TO STRATEGIZE MINISTRY

If you are thinking about offering a new ministry to your community, a great place to start is by searching for what types of ministries people are ALREADY looking for online. It’s easier to give people what they want than to try to convince them that they want something you’re offering. 

Before you begin using these keywords on your church website, it’s important to understand how Google decides what web pages it will promote and which it won’t.  

Google looks at a local keyword a user types into the Google search bar and matches it up to web pages that are: 

  1. Geographically nearby
  2. Use the same term on their webpage

This is the essence of Local Search Engine Optimization. You choose keywords that accurately represent your ministry and strategically place those keywords on your website so that Google chooses to show your web pages first. 

Super strategizing: 3 Digital Ministry Stats To Direct Your Strategy

Step 3: Add Your Church Keywords To Your Website

When Google wants to match up your church’s web pages to people looking for you, they look for specific indicators on each page of your website. 

Each page of your website should target 1 keyword. This is known as the page’s focus keyword. When every page is targeted to 1 focus keyword, you will be more likely to show up in more Google search results. 

Each of your church’s services, ministries, and campuses should have its own keyword-targeted web page. 

LOCAL OPTIMIZATION

When using keywords on your website, in most cases you just use the keyword exactly as it appears in the keyword tool. In the case of local keywords, you will need to make a minor change to the keyword before using it on your website. Use your city and state in place of “near me”. 

For example: Instead of using the exact phrase, “Church service near me” as the keyword on your web page, use “Church service Austin, TX”. Google knows the location of the people looking for your church and will use “Austin, TX” in place of “near me”. 

WHERE TO USE YOUR TARGETED KEYWORD

Here are the 6 places on your webpage you will want to include your targeted keyword:

1. Page URL: www.yourchuch.com/church-service-austin-tx

2. Page Title: “Largest Lutheran Church Service Austin, TX

3. Page Headings: “Saturday Evening Church Service Austin, TX

4. Page Text: Sprinkle in your keyword in descriptions, paragraphs, or any other normal text on your webpage

5. Meta Title: This is the title that people on Google will see before they click on your link

6. Meta Description: This is the description people on Google will see for your webpage before they click on your link

SEO top tip: Each page of your website should target 1 keyword. This is known as the page’s focus keyword. When every page is targeted to 1 focus keyword, you will be more likely to show up in more Google search results. Click To Tweet

Be aware that you can use other words and phrases along with your focus keyword just as long as your keyword appears in the string of words. For example, using this phrase as your webpage title “Lutheran Church Service Austin, TX” is just fine because it contains your exact keyword (Church Service Austin, TX). You might also notice that it contains “Lutheran church service”, which is another keyword that may bring in additional viewers from Google searching that term. 

You can use local church keywords for the following types of pages: 

  • Campus pages: “church topeka, ks”, “church lawrence, ks”, etc.
  • Ministry pages: “Youth groups austin, tx”, “bible study austin, tx”, “soup kitchens austin, tx.”
  • Service pages: “Saturday night church service, austin, tx”, “christian school oahu”, “church counseling services austin, tx.”

Once you add your keyword into the 6 areas of each of your web pages there is nothing left to do. Google will usually look over your updated pages within 90 days and begin placing your web pages according to your new keywords. 

THE IMPACT OF CHURCH WEBSITE KEYWORDS 

It isn’t hard to imagine the positive impact of an effective (and wouldn’t you agree, simple?) keyword campaign. Anyone with an inkling to find a church in your area will have yours to consider now that you’ve made your web pages more findable online. 

What else would you like to know about reaching your local community? Let us know in the comments!

Learn more about using tech in your church when you read 5 Ways to Use QR Codes For Your Tithes and Offerings.

Brett Henderson
Brett Hendersonhttps://clickmill.co/
Brett Henderson is the digital marketing director at Clickmill.co and is the author of The Digital Ministry: Reaching The Ends Of The Earth Without Leaving Home. Brett has consulted with ministry leaders internationally, helping them create custom marketing strategies that get results.  After four years of Christian college, Brett worked at Discipleship schools, Christian camps, and was a Youth Ministry Directory at the Salvation Army. He later spent three years in sales and another three as a Marketing Executive for a digital marketing firm. Brett later started Clickmill, a digital marketing firm that works with Christian churches and Christian nonprofits. Brett’s courses on church marketing have over 10,000 students in 143 countries. Clickmill specializes in helping Christian ministries implement custom digital marketing strategies that help them reach more people, more effectively. Brett and his wife Siomara live in Honolulu, HI.

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