Churches are noticing a dip in their followers. While this is alarming for any church, there is a way to increase followers. Local SEO is the way forward as today, even worshippers and believers are constantly online looking for information, airing their opinions and befriending likeminded people. So, if your church does not have an online presence and that digital presence is not optimized for local search engines, you will not be able to improve the number of followers.
Without much ado, here are some tips to help your church boost its flock using local SEO and online marketing strategies.
Audit Your Website
Whether you like it or not, keywords are important and so are backlinks. Use a tool like Yext or BigLee, a web-based tool without user-friendly interface to audit your website and find out where you can improve your site to make it more search engine friendly. The tool gives you suggestions that you can incorporate to improve your site’s search engine rankings.
Source: Walkwel Technology
Create an Online Social Media Presence
If you truly want to reach out to more people, it is necessary that you have a social media presence. So, get online and create a Facebook page for your church along with a Twitter profile and an Instagram profile. You will find these pages extremely useful to begin your outreach journey and attract more people to join your church.
Create a Calendar for Social Media
It is necessary that people out there figure out what is happening in your ministry. While you can randomly schedule your social media content, it is best to have a calendar related to the things your ministry is doing and create content around it. You can easily schedule the posts in advance so that you don’t have to spend too much managing your church’s social media accounts.
Engage Your Target Audience
Improving your follower count is not just about getting online and working on local SEO. You also need to communicate with your audience and engage them rather than using social media just to request donations or acquire volunteer. Check your social media profiles regularly for comments, reviews of your church, and mentions about your church.
You can easily set this up through TribeLocal that allows you to keep a track of reviews and comments and respond to them. You can do it from a single dashboard and this means you don’t have to worry about logging onto multiple sites to respond to individual reviews, comments, mentions and views. This promotes engagement and allows you to figure out what your target audience thinks and believes. Based on those, you can plan sermons and online content.
Add an FAQ Page on Your Church Website
When people want to join a ministry, they have multiple questions. Anticipate those questions and provide relevant answers on your ministry website. You can work with a local SEO expert to come up with the right keywords to include in your question and answers to optimize the webpage and at the same time giving visitors the information they seek.
Use Photos and Videos on Social Media
Research shows that if you use photos in your tweets, it boosts retweets by 150 per cent. Now, that is something you just cannot ignore if you want to increase your flock. So, get onto Twitter and tweet regularly about your ministry and the work it is doing. Make sure you include a photo with each tweet to spread the word about your church. You also want to do the same thing on Facebook and Instagram, where accompanying photos and videos tend to help posts stand out. With people’s short attention span, visual content tends to work better and faster.
Don’t expect your target audience to be online at the same time and read the posts you publish on your social media pages. Hence, it is perfectly alright to repost content a few times. Try to post the same content a few days later, but at a different time. This ensures your target audience reads your posts and act based on what they read and feel. You can easily schedule the repost for days when there is no much happening in your church. It is a great way to spread the word around about your church and acquire new followers.
Become a Social Listener
Don’t use social media just to talk about your church and the work it is doing. Also, use these platforms to learn about your audience and find out what they are saying about your church. You can use an application called Mention to scour social media about any mention of your ministry. It can also be used to generate leads, like BigLee, and connect with local influencers to help your church promote itself and get more followers.
Use these useful tips to improve followers to your church. Just remember to have a little patience as getting followers can take time. Nonetheless, you will see results and before you know it the size of your flock will multiply.