Moz’s 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey

This is one of my favorite articles that comes out each year on local search ranking.

If this all seems Greek to you as to how this translates to your church or ministry, here are some basic takeaways:

  • Do you have a Google My Business listing? If not, this is step number one in becoming more visible in search results. A new feature for account holders there is the ability to make a post on your business listing which shows up most importantly in search results in the sidebar, and Google Maps results. The degree to which this aids in your visibility and the degree of emphasis Google is placing in the frequency of these posts in rewarding businesses and ministries higher ranking makes this a great thing for churches to add to their weekly or daily routines. Make a post per sermon linking to your sermon page on your site or SermonAudio. Post a photo with a bible quote or one-liner from a Christian writer. Announce an upcoming VBS or Conference. There are various ways now of cueing up several posts so you can handle the job of posting daily only once a month or so.
  • Open an incognito browser window and search for the name and town of your church. You should see your church listing on the right-hand side. Somewhere in the middle you’ll see this:

  • Answer any questions there, and ask several and then answer them as well.
  • Make a regular habit of uploading new photos to your Google My Business listing. If you have any video you can add, you should upload that too.
  • Be sure your profile is quite complete with any possible info they could want from you.
  • If you can get some tech savvy folks at your church to write a review for the church, once a week is ideal, but not more frequently then that. That’s a tall order for a church however, and it is a bit awkward to ask, so anything at all will help. Just don’t have them all come in at once.

This is a good to do list that focuses on what has turned out this year to be some of the best use of one’s time in improving their search ranking. For a church, this means that the demographic of people who are literally looking for a church will be more likely to find YOUR church.

We plant and water, and always, the increase comes from God. But we have good biblical precedent to find the most effectual means of getting the Word out to as many as possible. Online outreach is low hanging fruit in this regard, but it does take many hands. Not just the one person who volunteered to make you your current website ten years ago. Comment below with the successes and challenges you’ve faced in your SEO efforts at your church/ministry!


Written by

Andrew Gruswitz

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Hello, I'm Andrew Gruswitz. My passion is to see my dear brothers and sisters of NAPARC churches to grow in their online outreach efforts. Check back at this website for updates in the world of church website design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for church visibility in web search results, and another passion of mine - web safety for families and online accountability and integrity for young adults and adults. Shoot me an email if you have any questions or concerns about any of the above.
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