how to get your website to the front page of google
back-linking your church website
Disclaimer: This article was originally written to address church websites, but the same rules apply to all websites.
Put your church website on everything your church passes out: postcards, business cards, letters, flyers, etc. Make sure your email signature has the church website on it as well. Some pastors put a sticker on their laptop that has their church logo and website, so when people see them at Starbucks, McDonalds, or the library using WiFi they'll see the church website too.
Start by making sure every social media profile your church uses has a link to the church website. Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, google plus, instagram, etc. if your pastor or volunteers write blogs, ask them to post a link to your website on their blogs.
Does your church post videos on YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook? Make sure the description has a link to your website.
Look for websites that allow you to post a link to your church website. Fwbmedia.com is one that offers this for free! Churchangel.com, usachurches.com and are two free sites to list your church on.
Make sure your church is on google maps in the local directory. This requires validation by google (via robocall or mail).
Overall the number of links is a big deal, but not nearly as important as the quality of links. A link from some blog about kittens isn't a quality link. However, a link from google maps or a church listing site is more credible to search engines.
The best way to increase the number of links is slowly but surely. Every time your church posts on Facebook or YouTube, throw a link in. Over time your church will rise in the search engine results.
What is the purpose of a church website?
Your website is a 24/7 billboard that you can use to inform prospective attendees about your ministry. It should be clean, easy to navigate, and informative.
Every church website is different, but should answer the same questions- who are we? Where do we meet? When do we meet? What can people expect?
Your website should make people feel like they know what they are getting into. Pictures and videos of services ease the minds of people because they can see a little of the layout of your campus. Most of our visitors have watched our services online before ever entering our doors. It gives them an idea of what to expect.
How do I build a website?
There are a few easy ways to get started.
First you must decide who will be building it. Unfortunately it's not cheap to pay for an entire website. Some builders/designers will charge thousands of dollars to build a website. If your ministry can afford that, it is the easiest and least time consuming method for sure.
However if it falls on you or a volunteer to do it, there are efficient ways to build a solid website.
Wordpress.com is a free web site building software with tons of free plugins and themes. You can host your own site and use their themes, or you can pay them to host yor site while still allowing you to design and maintain your site. There are tons of free and inexpensive themes designed specifically for churches using Wordpress.
Our church has used a few website building programs. We've found Wordpress to be the easiest to use. However, every program takes time to learn. Don't expect to design the worlds greatest website in 2.5 hours. Expect frustration and delays. Like anything it takes time, but once you are finished its up for the world to see.
This is not the purpose of a church website.
A place to post terrible clipart and midi music files. Nothing lets people know your website dates back to 1998 like a terrible audio clip of amazing grace, some doves flying across their screen, and a view counter staring them in the face when they log on to your website.
Keep it simple! Only post pictures, no clipart allowed. Acceptable pictures include: staff pictures, campus pictures, service pictures. Unacceptable pictures include: photos of your building with a date stamped 1987 in the corner, photos of your pastor from 23 years ago, photos of church people who are either dead, or haven't been to church on 12 years.
We also stay away from personal information on our website: prayer requests, personal contact information, vision casting. We use personal blogs of the pastors for those type things.
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