Church Website Optimization For Local Searches

Dr. Paul Moon
Dr. Paul Moon

Leadership Coach at The Epicenter Group, Strategy Advisor to LeadershipEdges
rpm@LeadershipEdges.com

The Local SEO is seeking for a relationship building with those, in the proximity of a local church, who search for keywords like “best churches near me”. Despite relatively lower search volumes, local searches often carry a lot more intents and can deliver foot traffic to your church that is far more likely to convert. This is why you should make sure of church website optimization for Local Searches so that Local SEO becomes a new evangelism strategy for a local church.

Before implementing the five-step website optimization for Local searches, first, it’s essential to register for a Google My Business page. This is the most effective method before tweaking your church website here and there for optimization for local searches. This will surely allow your church and website to appear in Google Maps as well as Google’s Local Pack, which has a significantly higher click-through rate than organic search results.

google local search result - best church in Washington DC
Google local search result example : Best sushi restaurant in NYC

How to make your website top-ranked for local searches

If you don’t have a decent website for your church, please construct one. It does not cost your arms and legs anymore. You don’t need a traditional full-blown church website any longer. All you need is a one-page website linked from landing pages with optimization for local searches. Anyway, the following five steps of optimization for local searches will get your church site appearing in local search listings:

  1. Schema data: You can use schema markup for local churches injected into contact pages to give clear indications to search engines of your church’s physical location. This will be one of the most essential tweaks for the maximum optimization for local searches. You can also add things such as Sunday worship hours and office hours and the type of your worship style. If read by Google, this will increase the chance of the knowledge graph being presented for a brand search of your church.
schema_org_example
You can use Schema.org to find the structured data markup you need for your particular page.
  1. Location keywords: Make sure you have the location of your church in at least one title tag, preferably the homepage, as well as the body text of your homepage.
  2. Local directory listings: Make sure to register at legit directories such as Yelp.com or Thomson, or sites such as Local Pages. This will not only function as an authoritative optimization for local search, but people tend to listen to the peers’ opinions now a day. Don’t forget to ask those, who like your church ministry, to comment about you, your church and the ministry with 5-stars.

Yelp - local business listing with reviews

Yelp.com – local business listing with ratings and reviews

People don’t seem to show their interests in those with less than 4-stars. If your star score is low right now, any attempts to optimization for local searches will hardly bear a fruit. It is an emergency and a time to start immediately a reputation management campaign at least for good six months. Feel free to contact me at rpm@leadershipedges.com for the reputation management campaign.

  1. Complementary content: If you have multiple locations or satellite campuses, it is my recommendation to have an independent website described briefly above. Each one should be optimized for its own local searches. If there is a central site supervising over-all locations or campuses, your keywords representing each location or campus should be included, at least, in a location-specific blog content.

     

  2. The mobile-friendly site is a must not only because a larger portion of any online searches is originated from the mobile devices, but also mobile website optimization for local searches will pay dividends if you are trying to rank for local search. That’s because more and more local searches are being performed with the integration of map-based apps, into smart phone-based browsers.
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