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Boost Your Church's Online Presence: The Ultimate Guide to Local Church SEO

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Understanding Local Church SEO

Written by SEO expert, Rodney Bowen from Bowen Digital

Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States search ‘churches near me’ every month.

Imagine individuals and families in your city searching Google for ‘churches near me’ to immediately see your church’s website appear in the search results. After all, your community members are already using the internet to find almost everything else they need.

So - how does a church get its website to appear after users in your local market submit their Google search?

Local Church SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for Churches

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes your church website more visible to your local community by helping them find and discover more about your church online.

Visualize the internet as a giant library and Google as the librarian. Now, consider your church’s website as a book in this massive library.

As a new book enters the library, the librarian reviews the book to correctly categorize it, so the new book may be added to the catalog and placed within the appropriate location of the library based on the book’s subject.

Similarly, search engine optimization helps the librarian (Google) know more about the content on your church’s website pages. The search engine then can add the website into the appropriate location of its library of indexed pages.

Google may then quickly present your website to your local community members searching for information related to your website.

How SEO Equips Churches to Take the Lead

Google deploys robots across the internet to crawl millions & millions of website pages. These robots work to find, identify, and categorize the content on every website page.

After the robots define all the information, Google records the findings and saves the website page within its index (a library of web pages).

The SEO process empowers & equips churches to intentionally position keyword-related and location content within the pertinent areas of the website page (e.g. page title, headers, body text, image alt tags, & more) to better educate and help the robots crawl & define the content to be filed into the Google’s library of indexed web pages.

Then when someone searches for something, like ‘churches near me,’ Google looks through its library of website pages; and within milliseconds, the search engine selects and displays the best website pages related to the person’s search.

Why Should Churches Care About SEO?

Well, it’s simple. When people search for churches, local-community events, or even spiritual guidance, SEO can help your church's website be one of the first things they see. By leveraging the power of SEO, your church may better connect with your community and for those individuals and families looking for a church to call home.


Does your ministry’s website need a refresh? Do you need help getting a better ranking on Google and other search engines? Contact the experts at UMC Support.


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