You may have heard the quote by Steuart Henderson Britt, "Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does."
While the marketing professor is specifically talking about advertising, it's not too far off when it comes to promoting your church website. It's great that you know it's there. It's even better if the church leadership team knows about it. But what about the members of the church? And more importantly, what about people who have never even been to your church? They all need to know about your church website!
If you could use some help promoting your church website in 2018, here are 6 effective ways to do it.
1. Incorporate SEO Best Practices
These three little letters (which stand for Search Engine Optimization) hold the key to finding your church website on the internet. To do this, you need to make sure your website is optimized and easy to find.
When trying to incorporate the best SEO practices, keep in mind that they are constantly changing and the things that once worked very well, might no longer work so well. Some of the most current SEO practices to use when promoting your church website include:
- Ensuring your keywords are compatible with voice searches
- Using only high-quality backlinks
- Including content that both engages and informs
Remember that many people are now searching the internet with their phones, which means to rank high with Google, you'll need to ensure your church website is mobile friendly.
2. Create a Google My Business Page for Your Church
Another way to promote your church website is to create a Google My Business Page. This Google listing pops up in a box on the right-hand side of Google when people search for your website.
The business page lists your hours, directions, phone number, and will provide a way for people to click on your church website. This is a free feature that Google offers, so you'll definitely want to make use of it.
3. Take Advantage of Advertising Online
Oftentimes when people are looking for a new church, or they are visiting an area and want to find a place to worship, they will do a Google search to find one. If your church happens to be in a community where there are a lot of churches, your church might not necessarily show up on the first page of the search results.
Fortunately, you can easily fix this by purchasing Google AdWords. In order to ensure your AdWords are effective and your church ends up at the top of the list, look at buying ads for "your town name + church" or "your denomination + city name + church."
4. Make the Most Out of Email
Even with the popularity of texting, email is still a relevant form of communication. Many communication experts agree that using email for promotion and marketing purposes is definitely here to stay.
In fact, each year 74 trillion emails get sent and 85% of the adults in the United States still send and read email. In addition, 99% of us with email accounts check it every day, sometimes as many as 20 times a day.
Since you most likely have email addresses for all or most of your members, this is a great way to tell your members about certain features of the church website that they may not know about. For example, they may be unaware that they can hear online sermons, find a small group with a community group finder, or read the pastor's blog.
5. Use a Variety of Social Media Platforms
Whether it's through YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or any other platform, social media is a wonderful way to connect with your members and potential visitors. Besides that, it's absolutely free!
When using social media to promote your website, you'll want to include relevant links to your website in all your posts. This can be especially handy when it comes to promoting the church blog, an upcoming event, or introducing a new small group study. To get the word out even further over social media, have your church staff share, like, comment on, or retweet your content. If your aim is to attract the younger demographic, you'll want to use a platform such as Instagram or Snapchat.
Many social media platforms allow you to post videos, which is another great way to get the word across about your church website. Videos are effective for many reasons—in fact, a lot of people would rather much watch a video than read a blog post or article. Statistics prove this to be true.
For example, 45% of people watch more than an hour of videos on Facebook or YouTube every week and one-third of all online activity is spent watching video.
Videos that are up to two minutes long get the most engagement. If you are filming an event for your church, you may want to try the Facebook Live feature.
6. Don't Forget About Your Church Bulletin
Many church members and visitors still appreciate getting a church bulletin when they attend a church service. They know this is where they can find out about upcoming events, special announcements, services held throughout the week, and opportunities to volunteer. But your church bulletin is also a wonderful place to promote your church website.
Probably the easiest way to advertise your website is to direct your members to go online to fill out forms, give online, etc. When doing this, be sure to list the links right in the bulletin. Just make sure the URLs are short and easy to type. If you have an e-bulletin, simply include clickable links that will take the visitor right to the webpage.
You've worked hard on your church website, and now it's time to make sure everyone knows about it. It's our hope that you have discovered some awe-inspiring ways to promote your website. By incorporating effective SEO strategies, taking advantage of tools like Google Business Page and AdWords, making the most out of email and social media, and using your church bulletin, you should be well on your way to promoting your website. If you still need help with your church website, be sure to download our free ebook, Getting Your Church Website Back on Track.