Link building is vital for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for any website, but it’s especially crucial for church and ministry websites. Here’s why.
Churches and ministries have a unique mission that sets them apart from other types of businesses. They exist to serve their community and spread the gospel message. So, they need to ensure their website is visible to as many people as possible.
This means you need to boost your website’s Google ranking, and link building is one of the most important factors in achieving that milestone.
In this episode, we’re going to break down link building and tell you all you need to know!
Table of contents
What is Link Building?
A “link” is simply a connection between two websites. When you’re on a website or blog and see clickable text, that’s a link taking you to another webpage. Although this is pretty basic for anyone who uses the internet, you may not have realized that Google and other search engines use links as a way to determine how well a site should rank on their results pages.
Link building is the process of creating those links. It’s a bit like networking – you’re making connections and relationships that can benefit both parties involved.
Why is Link Building Important?
Link building is one of the primary factors that Google uses to rank websites. It’s also an important signal for other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo.
By looking at the number and quality of links pointing to a page, search engines can gauge how popular, important, and reputable the page is. This in turn affects how high the page appears in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Link building will also help you drive traffic to your website. By getting your site to rank higher in search results, or having a link on popular sites, you’ll increase the chances that people will click over to your website.
And finally, link building helps build relationships. When you reach out to other websites and ask them to link to your site, or link to theirs, you’re building a relationship that can be beneficial down the road.
What are the Basic Types of Links?
All links are important for SEO, but not all links carry the same weight. Here are the basics:
Internal links connect to other pages on your website. They help visitors navigate your site. This is ultimately important because if your website is poorly designed and people can’t find what they’re looking for or aren’t enticed to stay, they’ll leave which increases your “bounce rate.”
External links point to other websites. Linking to credible, high-quality sites helps search engines understand what your site is about, enhances your credibility, and provides value to readers. External linking also helps to build relationships with other websites and can bring traffic to your site.
Inbound links or Backlinks are links from another website to yours. Backlinks are gold when it comes to SEO because they show search engines that your site is being talked about and linked to from other places on the internet. Every link from a reputable site is a vote of confidence. If someone else is vouching for you, that says something important about your site to Google.
What’s the Difference Between Good and Bad Links?
The quality of links is more important than the quantity. Your goal isn’t necessarily to get as many links as possible but to get the right kinds.
A good link will come from a website that:
- Is relevant to your church or ministry (or subject matter)
- Has a high domain authority (this means it’s a well-established website with a lot of traffic)
- Isn’t using link-building schemes
What would be considered a link-building scheme? Anything that’s meant to manipulate search engine results or artificially inflate link numbers. This could be things like link farms, link wheels, or link directories.
Don’t ever try any of these methods, no matter how good the promised shortcut may seem. These are all red flags to Google and can result in your website being penalized.
What About Keywords and Anchor Text?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for information on the internet. When you’re link building, it’s important to use keywords in your anchor text.
Anchor text is the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or web page. Search engines give more weight to anchor text than to any other part of the link.
For example, say you’re linking to a page about your church’s summer camp program.
Good anchor text would be: “church summer camp in Fairview” because that’s a phrase people are likely to search for. And it’s better for local SEO.
Bad anchor text would be: “click here for info” because that doesn’t tell Google anything specific about your content.
The best practice is to use keywords that are natural and descriptive. Don’t stuff them in there or you’ll end up with anchor text that sounds spammy.
How Can Churches and Ministries Engage in Effective Link Building?
Here are some effective link-building strategies that churches and ministries can use:
- Reach out to other faith-based organizations and collaborate on projects. This could involve guest blogging, co-hosting events, or link exchanges.
- Submit articles to relevant online publications. This is a great way to get your name and website out there, while also providing valuable content to readers.
- Get a link to your website in directories like Chamber of Commerce or your denomination or church association.
- Get involved in local news stories, radio, and community events that will link to organizations and partners online.
- Create a blog and post high-quality, link-worthy content on a regular basis. This will give people something to link to, and it also helps improve your site’s SEO.
- Establish a social media presence and share your content across all platforms. This will help to increase your reach and give people something to share and direct others back to your website.
By using these link-building strategies, churches and ministries can build the links they need to improve their SEO and reach more people online.
Do you have any link building secrets for church and ministry websites? Share them in the comments below!