Make Your Ministry Website Engage More People
More of the right people, that is. More of the people who are actually looking for what you offer, and less random site traffic that may or may not be interested in what you do.
Every ministry—whether you’re a church, a school, a community service center, a media group, or another need-based endeavor—has a target audience. You have a type of person in mind that could best benefit from what you do…or you wouldn’t be doing ministry in the first place!
But how do we get that person to come to your website?
This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a MUST for all ministry websites. SEO is not just appeasing Google’s algorithms. It’s more about connecting to people. It’s about providing people what they’re looking for. That’s what Google wants to do, so people will keep using it. And SEO’s best practices, principles and tools can help you do that.
To get you started on SEO efforts for your own ministry’s website, we’ve complied a short list (below) of helpful tools based on the comprehensive list recommended by Neil Patel, one of the top influencers in SEO and digital marketing.
These will help you with
- Keyword research, which lets you know what search phrases are trending
- Content marketing, a continual engagement strategy that involves consistent publishing of valuable content
- Technical SEO, which helps you identify site errors or adjustments you can make to your website to improve SEO.
(Maximize your results! Want more advanced tools that are available for free? Read the full article here.)
COE’s Short List of Free Beginning SEO Tools
Ubersuggest is Neil Patel’s own keyword research tool he developed based on what he needed to do with the businesses he works with. It not only tells you how often the keyword/phrase is typed into Google, but also gives you ideas of related keywords or topics that would be work incorporating into your content. You might even find that you need to adjust the primary focus of the post you will write, based on the results from keyword research. Ubersuggest also has a Content Ideas feature similar to Buzzsumo. Enter a keyword and get a list of popular blog posts that contain that keyword. You can see what’s already been done and identify opportunities where you can cover a subject in a way others haven’t.
Answer The Pubic uses Google Suggest data (what pops up underneath the search bar when you’re typing in a search query) to show related questions people are searching for, in relation to the keyword you typed in. This tool is excellent for brainstorming for blog posts, social media campaigns, youtube videos, and more.
Google Location Changer is handy for ministries with target audiences all around the world, especially if their needs and preferences differ depending on where they are. This tool allows you to conduct searches within a specific country or even city! This can also be helpful for local advertising. If you’re promoting a local event or wanting to bring people to your physical location, you’ll want to get to know the search behavior of the people near you.
Portent’s Title’s Maker helps you with headline ideas. In content marketing, a headline can make the difference of your content getting read or not. This can also help with brainstorming different approaches for topic coverage.
SEOptimer gives you an overview of each webpage’s SEO “performance.” It tests important technical components that affect engagement, such as page load speed, how your page adapts to appear on different screens, or any security concerns. And it’s fast and easy! Just type in your website and it’ll run a free report.
SEO Analyzer is another one of Neil Patel’s own tools. You can run your URL through this tool to find out what might be holding you back from better rankings in Google search results (missing meta descriptions, broken links, slow load speed, etc.). If you register for a free account, you can even get weekly updates.