A question was asked on Google+ about a “back-link” strategy for a new church’s website. This is a little different than what is commonly thought of in terms of blogging back-links. For blogging, one strategy for improving overall search ranking is to get other bloggers to link to your articles. For a church website, the strategy is different. For my church, we got our church page consistently on page one of searches on our demographic area. See how we did it after the break.
1. Use geographic aggregation sites to your advantage.
The first place we started was to actually do a search on each of the major search engines for “churches in Jackson, TN” and “Jackson, TN churches” because our church is located in Jackson, Tennessee. When we did that, we saw a number of churches there, obviously, but we also saw church aggregation sites that list churches by geographical area. We submitted our church’s website to each of these. To be honest, these aggregators seem kind of lame. But the truth is, people use them to find churches because they rank high. You really need to get your church site listed in these since they register really high, a characteristic important to most of the SE’s. Usually these sites have an “add my church” link somewhere to make it easy.
2. Tap into your local news market.
Next, try to get your local papers to publish “An interview with the pastor of XYZ Church, a new church coming to our area.” If you can’t manage that, try the event route. Sometimes papers will write a showcase article for an event if it seems like something their readers might find unique or interesting. Hopefully they’ll publish the article on their website and include your church link. This strategy also works if your local area has special interest websites.
3. Tap into relocator searches.
The first thing people do these days when they are going to move to a new city is to search for that city/state in their favorite search engine. So, do what they would do and search for your city/state in all the major search engines. See what sites rank high in that search. Try to get linked in those top results. You’ll be surprised how many people can find your church this way.