Top 5 Church SEO Strategies

I’ve written a lot over the years about how important SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is for churches, such as…

Not only is it an important source of new visitors, but by out-ranking non-Christian or anti-Christian websites for important topics, it can have a real life effect on what kind of help people get, what people believe about key issues, or even whether people believe in Jesus.

Church SEO is important.  So, how do you do it?

Here are the Top 5 Church SEO Strategies to get you started:

  1. User your address throughout your website.  Location is very important in local SEO (which is what your local church is doing).  The easiest way to do this is usually to just put your address down in the footer of your website by the copyright info.
  2. Create listings and citations for your church.  Make sure you have listings in Google Places, Bing Business Portal, and Yahoo Local.  Then create citations for your church.  Citations are any time your church name and contact info (address and possibly phone #) are on a web page.  It can include a link to your church’s website, but doesn’t have to.  Citations can be gotten by being mentioned on other website or in online news articles.  Citations are also gotten by being listed in the important local review sites, like Yelp, Insider Pages, and City Search.  You can find more about citations at: “Citations, the Secret Sauce of Local SEO“.
  3. Get positive reviews.  Positive reviews both help with local search rankings and make people more likely physically visit your church.  Churches have a relatively unique situation where you have a built in base (your members) who are more than happy to support the church and can easily post positive reviews if you just ask them.  You can read more about reviews at: “More Reviews Equals More Visitors“.  Some churches are afraid to deal with reviews because they fear negative reviews, but you don’t need to be afraid.  You’ll find that negative reviews for churches aren’t all that common and, when they do happen, there are ways of addressing them which can actually be very positive.  You can read more about this at: “Be Not Afraid, Research Shows Negative Reviews Can be a Positive“.
  4. Setup unique, keyword-rich title tags for each page of your church’s website.  Title tags are very important in SEO.  By using your targeted keywords in your title tags, you can help your church to rank better for those keywords.  By setting up a different title tag on each page, you can target many different keywords.  The keywords you’ll want to target should both include terms that would describe your church (family, contemporary, traditional, missional, your denomination, etc) and your city.  You can also include adjacent cities.
  5. Produce unique, interesting content.  Search engines and people love unique, interesting content.  By spending a little time adding new content to your site periodically, you can get people to return to your site more frequently, get links to your site, and increase your rankings.  Some common church content ideas are: audio/video of services, Bible studies, Pastor blogs, local Christian event listing, etc.

Alright, you know what to do.  Now you just need to go do it.  Don’t miss any more visitors to your church.  Start your SEO today.  If you are still confused about anything, post a question below and I’d be happy to answer your questions.  If you don’t have time to do it, I can help with that as well ;)  Just request a free, no obligation consultation today and we can discuss your options.

Share with us:

  • Is your church doing SEO?  If so, what are you doing?
  • Do you have any other church SEO strategies that you would add?
  • Do you have any questions about church SEO?
photos by: LiamDC & Aidan Jones

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .

33 Responses to “Top 5 Church SEO Strategies”

  1. - Include your website, twitter handle and Linkedin profile in your email sigline
    - Be sure the same are printed in all church literature distributed to the public
    - When you welcome church visitors be sure to let them know how to get your updates

  2. When you use acronyms in an article, you should spell it out at least once. I have no idea what you are talking about, so the article was useless for me.

    • Micheal, thanks for the feedback. Point well taken. I usually do try to spell out acronyms in articles at the first use of the acronym, but neglected to do that in this article. Thanks for the reminder. I have updated, the article to include the explanation of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

      • Kurt, I'm stopping by actually looking for SEO consultants that serve churches – I skimmed through some great info here and went' to comments as they looked helpful. I just wanted to say I think your answer to the edgy comment above is grace steeped and wanted to commend that, brother!

        Grace and peace,

        Pastor John Weathersby

        • Thanks Pastor Weathersby. Let me know if I can help you and your church reach more people through the search engines and bring more people into your church.

          God bless!

          -Kurt

  3. Bill von Husen Oct 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I agree with MIchael….What is SEC?

  4. Great article as usual Kurt… man I want to get a lot more info out to churches about this stuff.. hoping to do that early next year… :)

    For now I have more great tips on this subject here: http://www.churchbuzz.org/churchseo

    Thanks!
    Patrick Steil http://www.churchbuzz.org

    • Thanks Patrick. It looks like you've got some interesting stuff on your site. I especially like your emphasis on using various ways to communicate effectively with members and making sure your church website welcomes visitors.

  5. Getting here the top 5 church SEO strategies I am totally pleased and I am going to start to get SEO job. After all I am totally pleased and can say that it would come to help us more. Thank you for posting this valuable information in this website at all. Thanks and inform like this…

  6. There's location based church directory you can use. It's 100% free. Check it out at http://www.thechurchmap.com. I find that it's really helpful to get traffic.

  7. Lots of churches build a website and don't think about how people are going to find the site. I wrote an article about church seo on my blog and made some of the same points as you do here.

  8. I have seen many people build a website and think traffic will just come from nowhere, good seo is the future

    • PaulSteinbrueck Aug 2, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Thanks for reading the post. In the future, please post your comments with your name rather than targeted keywords, so I know your comment is genuine and not simply a link building campaign.

  9. Looks like I need to notify our Church about the importance of SEO for our site. Thanks for the tips.

  10. An important aspect of Search Engine Optimization is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand…

  11. This is a great tutorial. But I have a doubt on citation, is there any difference between citation & anchor tag ? are all anchor tags means citation to a particular website ?

  12. Interesting article. Whether you are an atheist, christian or anything in between, SEO principles remain the same. The key is to understand the objective of what you want to achieve from it.

  13. Hi Kurt,

    Another excellent and informative content as usual from you.

    I also firmly believe in the fact that webmasters should believe in promoting unique and interesting content. However, I was confused about one of the things. How many new content will be good for a website? I mean yes we should not worry about the quantity and care for the quality, but there has to be a figure in the amount of keyword optimization, which needs to be done on a regular basis. Is there a figure?

  14. I look forward to implementing these strategies to enhance my blog’s traffic kurt.

  15. Thanks for the tips…online church broadcasting has gotten very very competitive and every little tips help. It is amazing how popular online streaming is becoming…many thanks for the tips!

    Have a great day!

  16. Much has changed with SEO today and the "content is king" line has started to prove true. I would like to add that content must not only be unique and interesting but the same must be relevant too.

  17. Nice post. Base on my experienced attractive and interesting pictures can attract link and viewers. And also a proper balance of text and design can increase search engine optimization.

  18. Nice article. I got scared off by Panda and Penguin. It's nice to know SEO is still alive :)

  19. Interesting article. Whether you are an atheist, christian or anything in between, SEO principles remain the same. The key is to understand the objective of what you want to achieve from it –
    nice article

    • The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!b Keep ‘em coming… you all do such a great job at such Concepts… can’t tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!

  20. It takes more than just a plugin, backlinking and article marketing is important for SEO, though on page and on site SEO strategy is very important too, that is where a plugin like All In One SEO can help [link removed by admin]

  21. These are the strategies that every SEO contractor wants to know and it will help them a lot to take traffic on the church website. I have been doing SEO since last three years but I never work on citation but I always work on other 4 strategies. Today from your post I realize that citation is also important and I am very happy that you share such valuable information with us.

  22. Hi Kurt,

    These are valuable tips! I couldn't stress enough how important it is to produce unique, interesting content. This may sound cliche but it's true, "Content is King." It is also helpful to provide share buttons to various social media platforms and urge your audience/readers to share it so your website's/blog's only visibility increases.

    Thanks!
    Luther Fenton, White Label SEO and Advertising

  23. Mary S. Wilson Jan 27, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Normally people are not familiar about these strategies for church websites. I noted all the strategies and I will definitely implement it and then share my experience with you.

  24. What a really interesting concept. Made me think about lots of SEO applications that had never occurred to me before

  25. It's wonderful your infos. Thank you very much