In today’s episode, unpack nine SEO Mistakes that most churches make.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is an essential part of every church’s digital outreach strategy.
But doing SEO the wrong way can be even worse than doing nothing at all.
Join us as we unpack the mistakes we see most often.
We hope this conversation helps your church reach more people and grow.
Table of contents
Slow Load Times
According to Google, load times are among the most significant factors in where your site ranks in their searches. Everyone loves big engaging images, but these are among the most common reasons for slow load times. Also, your church should consider using a CDN such as Cloudlfare to get the fastest load times possible.
Not Enough Text Content
At a minimum, every page on your site should have 300 words of text content. That word count is widely seen as a cut-off for pages that Google will even consider ranking. If your sermon or event pages have fewer words on them, it is unlikely that they will ever show up in searches.
Not Creating New Content
In search engine terms, content generally degrades over time. This means that over time if nothing changes, your content will appear lower in the search results. That’s why it’s crucial to create new content regularly. In addition, it may help to update old content if it is still relevant.
Missing Your NAP
Something as simple as your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) can have a meaningful impact on your search engine rankings. Your NAP is critical when it comes to your local rankings in the Google Map Pack. Make sure it is on your site and used consistently.
It is good to have other websites link to your church website. But the folks at Google are smart. They can tell when you are trying to game the system. If you use spammy tactics to get links out there, you will get strikes against your site, making it harder to appear in search.
Key Word Stuffing
In the same way, stuffing lots of keywords into your site is not a helpful long-term strategy. It may work in the short term, but after a while, Google will catch you and give your site a penalty in its rank.
Not Using Meta Tags
Meta Tags are all the text items that you include that may not be in the normal body of the text. These are things like titles and descriptions. Make sure you use your keywords in your title. Also, when you add an image to your page, make sure that it has a title and a description.
Using links on your site is another crucial part of Church SEO. A page that ranks well will have both internal and external links. Every page you want to see rank needs to link off to at least one external site. In addition, other pages on your site should link to this page where it makes sense.
Using Other People’s Content
One other way to quickly get your site not to rank is to use other people’s content. Google knows when you add your content and can tell who put it online first. It will always give credit to the first publisher. If you are going to quote another site, the best practice is to link to them.