4 Reasons Potential New Church Visitors Can’t Find You
One of the goals of FindingYourChurch.com is to help you get new people to visit your church who have never even been invited by a real person.
This involves having a system in place online that makes it EASY for people to find your Church.
We want real people to invite too. Relational evangelism is a much better way to accomplish the Great Commission.
But we also want to put an automated system in place online where people are easily finding our church, even if they do not know anyone in our church.
In my previous Church Staff position I was responsible for our Church website and online presence. At a Valentine’s Banquet my wife and I sat next to a couple who said they found the Church through our website.
My position at the Church was behind the scenes, but my work was actively growing the Church through work I had completed months earlier online.
They came because of something I had worked on even though I had never met them or personally invited them. That was extremely encouraging to me.
You can improve the findability of your Church.
To accomplish improving your findability, you are going to have to think about more than just your website.
You do need a website. If you don’t have a website. You most likely need one.
But I want you to begin thinking differently about your website. Stop thinking about it as your ONE online promotion effort, and start thinking about it as the landing page for all of your real online promotion efforts.
Even if your website is optimized for Google so that when people search for churches in your town you come up, that is not enough. There is more you can do to make it easier for potential new visitors to find your Church.
When you only optimize for Church search terms you are only going to find the ones looking for churches. You definitely DO want people to find you who are looking for churches.
But how much better to be evangelistic with our online efforts and try to become more findable by people those who still need Jesus.
People who have not found Jesus are probably not regularly searching for churches in my town. Most of our online strategy will probably centers on people searching for a Church, but there are things you can do to expand it.
4 Reasons New Church Visitors have trouble finding you.
1st – Google is so massive that your church website can potentially get lost.
When you search Google for nearly anything you get around 2 million results.
If you are not in the first 10-20 people stop looking. If you are not a search engine optimization specialist, it can be very challenging to get to the top.
You can have the best website in the world and if nobody can find it, it is only good for those you tell. It can be a resource for your church, but it is not going to bring in very many new visitors.
You can also pay a search engine specialist to get you to the top. This is a great strategy if you have the money.
One of the easiest to get to the top of Google search is creating Google Ads. Businesses compete for the top ranking in search terms. Whoever is willing to pay the most, gets the top spot.
For Churches Google has actually created a program called Google Grants for you to be able to get up to $10,000 a month in FREE Google Ads that you can use to help you get to the top of search terms in your area.
That is a lot of FREE Ads, but it can be challenging to claim your Grant and set it up.
If you want a qualified person who can do this for you and setup your initial ads, click the link below and scroll to the GOOGLE ADWORDS MANAGMENT – GET LAUNCHED 1 MONTH Package.
This package includes claiming your Google Grant AND the setup of your initial Ads to make sure you get off to a great start.
2nd – There is probably a lot of misinformation about your church online. And you don’t even know it.
At my last Church Staff position people kept telling me that our service times were wrong, but all of my main channels of communication had our service times correct.
The problem is that websites suck other websites for information. So some websites had found information months or years ago and added it to their sites. They just did not bother to check back and correct the service times.
Sometimes these can be huge websites, or it could just be a local community-based website who has your information wrong. So there were people finding my Church, but they are finding the wrong information even though I had everything correct.
One way this happens is through local online business directories.
Have you tried to search for a hotel recently? It is almost impossible to find the actual hotel website. The first pages on Google are filled with business directory sites that go out and suck any information they can find from wherever they can find it and post it as fact.
They are doing the same thing with your Church. It is your responsibility to claim and optimize these listings to correct the bad information.
If you don’t claim and correct these listings like Google, Bing, Yahoo and much more your info is at best incomplete, but probably incorrect. It may have an outdated phone number, email, Church address or website.
So then you have a double fail. People actually do find you, but then can’t find you because of wrong information. It may not be your fault, but it is still wrong.
You want all of your information online to as consistent as possible. The most important part of this consistency is your Church Name, Address and Phone Number.
Google uses this consistency to help it decide if it will promote your Church and website in your local search results. It is very important that you fix this issue for your Church.
>> The FIRST STEP is to get a FREE Church Online Visibility Scan to see exactly where you currently are and are not consistently found. Get your free scan by clicking the link below.
3rd – Your Church Website is not ready for Mobile Devices.
When a potential new Church visitor lands on your website, what do they see?
You may have developed your website a long time ago when mobile was not as big of an issue. Even if you created your site a couple of years ago, many website developers and WordPress themes still had not switched to being completely mobile compatible.
A huge percentage of potential new Church visitors are searching for you on their mobile phones or tablets.
If your Church website looks broken, messed up or does not resize for mobile it is highly likely they will move on with their search. This issue may be something that is causing your Church to miss out on new guests.
The simple way, of course, to find out if your site look great on mobile is to go there on a mobile device.
Mobile responsive Church websites will not look identical to the desktop version of your site, so it may look different than what you are used to if it is mobile ready. But it should look great on mobile.
If the mobile view does not display a quality representation of your Church, you need to make a change.
Below are a couple of options you can look at to solve this problem. The first is WordPress, and the second is more of a done for you solution with ShareFaith.
4th – Your Church website is your ONLY online strategy.
Let’s be honest. People are searching on way more than Google when they need to find things. This includes Churches.
People are looking on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube [second largest search engine besides Google], iTunes Apps & Podcasts, Google Maps and much more.
Many Churches have the mentality that if we open our doors the sinners will come flooding in. But that is not the biblical plan is it? We are supposed to take the Gospel to the World, not hope they wander into our doors.
We need to have the concept of evangelizing our search engine. We need to go to them instead of expecting them to come to us. We need to do whatever we can to make it easy for them to find us.
We need to put our content in a place where…
- They are already searching.
- They can stumble across it on their own.
- It is easy for our own congregation to share it.
We need to put our message in as many places as possible so that the greatest number of potential new Church visitors can find us.
The Finder Resource Membership is designed to walk you through steps that will help your Church get found online and put these strategies in place.
These steps are something the Lead Pastor, Staff Pastors, Administration Staff or even Volunteers can do. It explains how you can do nearly all of these steps for FREE, but also offers paid solutions to help you get them done more quickly if that is a benefit to your Church.
Get access to your membership by clicking the link below.