The Big-Picture, Kingdom View of SEO

kingdom of GodYesterday, shortly after the launch of the new Christian SEO Guys blog, Kurt published an epic post titled The High Stakes of SEO for the Kingdom of God that conveys the big picture of why search engine marketing is critically important to all Christian churches and ministries. He wrote:

When a young woman searches for ”unplanned pregnancy” in the search engines, do you want your Christian pregnancy center to show up at the top of the search results of planned parenthood? …

People’s eternal salvation may depend on SEO. It’s a big claim, but take a look at the screenshot to the right. Those are the search results for “church near Colorado City, AZ”. Three out of the top four results (including the top two results) are Mormon or Jehovah’s Witnesses churches.

A lot of people have the misperception that search marketing is all about organizations acting in their own self interest. It’s businesses trying to improve their rankings so they can get more customers than their competitors. It’s First Baptist Church trying to get ahead of First Presbyterian Church so they can get more members.

We need to have a bigger, kingdom view of SEO

  • What difference would it make in your community if the top 10 churches listed in Google were Christian vs cults?
  • What difference would it make in your community if the top 10 counseling centers, pregnancy centers, food banks, life coaches, and more were Christian vs not Christian?

Now multiply that time millions of communities around the globe.

  • What difference would it make if the top 10 search listings for “Who is Jesus?” were Christian vs not Christian?

Now multiply that times thousands of related phrases and hundreds of languages.

4 Action Steps To Advance the Kingdom View of SEO

We have a real opportunity to spread the gospel and advance the kingdom of God through search engines. To do that, though, we need to take action and seize this opportunity. Here are 4 things each one of us can do

1) Raise awareness. We need to help more and more Christians understand the critical importance of search engines. Talk about it regularly with your church leaders. Blog about it, tweet about it, Facebook about it. Share articles showing how Christian organizations are changing lives after people find them in search engines.

2) Optimize your own sites. Do your part to make sure your Christian church, school, ministry, or business is as prominent as possible in search engines. That’s probably not going to be easy. You’re probably going to have to learn a whole lot about SEO or get someone to help you with it.

3) Connect with others … who recognize the importance of SEO on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Linked in. Help others by sharing their content, commenting on their posts, guest blogging and publishing guest blog posts on your blog.

4) Share your insight. Search marketing is constantly changing. Search engines are changing their algorithms, developers are creating new SEO tools, SEOs are experimenting with new techniques. Instead of hoarding knowledge, let’s help one another optimize better.

That’s what we’re trying to accomplish. That’s the motivation behind Christian SEO Guys.

What do you think of this bigger, kingdom worldview of SEO?

Which of the 4 steps above do you feel motivated to act on?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

5 Responses to “The Big-Picture, Kingdom View of SEO”

  1. Wow, I have not looked at it that way but you are so right.

    I have often struggled with the thought of SEO as a missions organisation as we are competing against other missions organisations. With a view on bigger issues though I can see how SEO could really be used to help extend God's message into areas that at the moment aren't hearing the truth.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Apr 7, 2011 at 8:18 am

      Bill, glad to hear the post resonated with you. Thanks for commenting and retweeting the post. That helps with action step #1, raise awareness.

  2. I am so glad I found this blog. As a marketing professional with SEO experience and a Catholic, I have attempted to bring my church, St Clare of Assisi in Surprise AZ, into the 21st century with social media and SEO, etc.

    Marketing and spreading the word of God are not mutually exclusive. We are making headway though.

    God Bless.

    Richard Saling

    • PaulSteinbrueck Apr 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      Great to meet you Richard! I hope Christian Web Trends and our new blog ChristianSEOGuys.com can become a regular resource for you, and I hope you'll contribute some of the insight and perspective you've gained through your experience in comments and maybe even a guest post.

  3. Praise God! Someone like-minded! Love to hear your comments about our site at ThinkOnIt.org