In this day and age where telephone books are literally going out of both style and print, I wondered if I could easily find my church through a search engine online. What an eye opener this exercise was!! The closest christian mysticism I could find was over 20 miles away!
I put in such terms as “new thought churches XXXX county”, “new thought churches XXXX [my city]), and kept going until the only way I could find my home church was putting the exact church name in. There must be a disconnect I thought.
I mean if my church went through all of the time, energy and expense of building a website, was it all for nothing because either they didn’t optimize it for search engines or that it became so static that it no longer ranked with Google?
If people are looking for a church online..help them find you!
If you are doing what most folks do these days when they want to find a new church either in their community or where they are visiting, they go to a search engine and hope that it will provide a church near them.In terms of doing a search on any of the major search engines out there, if you don’t find it in the first few results, you are either going to determine that there isn’t such a church in your area or maybe another thought might come to mind. If they can’t come up in the search engine, they might not be relevant enough to go to. Neither of those are the church experience that you want potential visitors to feel.
Let’s face it, people don’t go to the second, third and fourth page of search results on the off chance that your church will appear magically.
You are losing out on potentially new visitors who may become members.
People have lots of reasons as to why they are looking for a new church. Maybe they are moving to a new town or city. Perhaps they saw or overheard someone at work talk about their church and they wanted to join one similar where they live. They might have heard someone speak or read a book. It really doesn’t matter why they are looking. They are looking. Maybe they are looking for answers. Maybe they want to be around like minded thinkers. Maybe they want to change their life and see what churches in your denomination stand for. Bottom line is that they are looking online for a church (usually in their community)…and that can be a good thing for your church.
If you don’t make sure your church’s website show up on the first page of most search engines or at least ranks well, they are most likely going to pass you by. Not because they didn’t like you. But because they will have never heard of your church and are not likely to know about your church unless they happen to drive by your church and find you.