In this article, you are going to learn the basics of optimizing your site for search engines. If after completing these steps, you would like to further optimize your site, then we recommend reading through part 2 of how to optimize your church website.
Your Sharefaith church website is already search engine or SEO friendly, but there are some steps you can take that will help the search engines rank your site more effectively.
Submit Your Site to The Search Engines
If your site is new or on a new domain name (i.e. www.my-domain-name.com), then you’ll want to submit it to the search engines. Here is how:
Change Your Site Title
- From the dashboard menu, hover over the Settings menu and select the General option.
- From the General Settings screen, enter your website title into the Site Title field and then be sure to select Save Changes towards the bottom of the screen.
Verify Privacy Settings
Sharefaith websites allow you to prevent search engines from indexing your site. This is helpful during the development of your site or if you are creating a directory and do not someone to find the site via search. But if you would like your site to show up it is essential that the Privacy Settings are set to allow the search engines to crawl your website. To verify this setting:
- Click on Settings Reading.
- Make sure that you do not have the box checked to discourage search engines:
- Select the Save Changes button.
Add Your Contact Information
Adding your contact info is not just helpful for the search engines, but it’s helpful for people visiting your church. Because of this, we recommend adding your contact information not only to your Contact page but also to your homepage. Of course, you will want to use your discretion as to where and how you want to do this on your pages.
Submit Your Site to Local Search Directories
If you have a brand new site, this is a really important step so that when people look for your church in your area that you are listed in the local business directory. Go to each of these directories and submit your church/ministry:
When listing your church, be sure to include as much information as possible.
Important: You will need to verify the listing before it is made active on Google and Bing. They’ll either call you within a few minutes and provide a confirmation code or they’ll send you a postcard with a confirmation code. Opt for the phone call if you are near the church phone as it means you can complete this step in one day.
Add Content to Your Site Using Keywords
Search engines like Google look for “keywords” in your website content to help determine what the site is about. If you are a Baptist Church in Athens and your site does not use the words Baptist, Church, or Athens, then it’s unlikely you will show up in search results when someone used those keywords to search.
These keywords should be added throughout your site, but use the keywords naturally, not in a forced sort of way. Here are forced keywords:
- Thank you for visiting the Athens Baptist Church website in Athens, Georgia. We are a Baptist Church that serves the Athens, Georgia community through prayer, fellowship, and various outreach activities.
Now compare it to this more natural use of keywords:
- Thank you for visiting the Athens Baptist Church website. You are invited to join us during our following services:
Sunday 9:30-11:30 AM
Wednesday 7:00-8:30 PM
Which one would you rather read? I’m guessing you chose the latter, natural reading sentence.