Reaching the Unchurched in Your TownWritten by Toby Wolf
Webs 4 Christ has been providing Church web hosting, Church web design and Church Internet Marketing Campaigns to Churches for over 4 years. During that time we have discovered some sure fire techniques for not only getting your Church excellent placement in search engine results pages for people who are actually 'church shopping' on Internet, (SERPs), but in helping you reach unchurched in your community. Those people who are not searching for a Church at moment, but who are looking for some other information about your community.
First question some of you will ask is "Why do I want to do that?" It's simple really. Its a matter of building name recognition for your congregation and, if you have designed your web site in such a way that you have exciting things to show a casual visitor, visiting your website may stir first longings within someone who has either fallen away from church or never been churched. (But that is a topic for another article *smile*)
Another reason is that by bringing in visitors for information related to your community, you are also laying foundation for a link program that will help your church gain ranking with search engines. Why? Because if you provide useful information to community, others will link to you for that.
So what can you do to help gain exposure? Stop right here! I will tell you it is a lot of work, but well worth it if you have time and/or assistance from others in church. Our latest marketing campaign is for a fairly small congregation of 165 average attendance in Palatine, Il, called St. Paul United Church of Christ. We designed their website and, in June, began to slowly build site to attract casual visitors.
The first thing we did was capitalize on upcoming 4th of July celebration in Palatine. The church was participating in parade, providing parking for attendees of 4 day festival, and also having a church picnic and fireworks watching fellowship gathering. We will list things we did here step by step and then tell you what results were:
- First we did a search on major keyword phrases that we assumed people looking for information on Palatine 4th of July Family Fest. We took a look at sites that ranked high for Palatine IL combined 4th of July Parade, Fireworks, Home Town Fest and parking.
- Then we created separate pages on our website for each of those items. Being sure to optimize pages for search engines.
- On our home page, we have a prominently placed "What's Happening" area. In this area, we placed links to those pages. At this time, Google et al were only hitting St. Paul website about once a week, so we had to move fast.
- Within 2 weeks, St. Paul was ranked #1 in Google, Yahoo and MSN for search phrases "Palatine 4th of July", "Palatine July 4 Parade", "Palatine Home Town Fest", "Palatine July 4th Fireworks" and "Palatine Fireworks Parking"! Even sites sponsored by city itself did NOT outrank us!
How to get repeat visitors to your siteWritten by Jonathan White
When you have a website online it is important for you to try and get new visitors to your site, but itís also important to take care of visitors that you actually already have. This is because you will want your existing visitors to keep returning to your site again and again. There are many ways that you can do this. Some of these include following: 1.Updating your Website content continuously This is an important factor to consider if you want your visitors to keep returning to your site. This is because if you keep on updating your sites content, then every time your visitors come back to your site they will see something new every time, which should then interest them even further. If you donít update your content on a regular basis, then your visitors will end up getting bored of your site and will then go elsewhere.
2.Making your site more sticky Giving your site more stickiness will make it more addictive to your sites visitors, which will in return make them want to come back to your site. This can be done by many different approaches. For example, you can add games to your site like http://www.simplysearch4it.com/games/gamdir.html You can even give free things away on your site. For example, you can give away free coupons, free scripts, free web hosting, etc. You can even offer your visitors free re-printable articles so that they can add them to their own site like http://www.simplysearch4it.com/article/articledir.php