SEVEN STEPS TO INCREASE YOUR CHRISTIAN MINISTRY'S INTERNET TRAFFIC
Tomorrow I am preaching on Matthew 5:16 "Let your light (so) shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven." How does this apply to Web Evangelism or Christian Internet Ministry?
You may have a wonderful ministry or message but if no one knows about it, your influence is limited.
We can make decisions and put a plan in place to increase our exposure of our ministry or message for the glory of God!
HOW TO HAVE MORE PEOPLE FIND YOUR CHURCH OR MINISTRY WEBSITE OR
SEVEN STEPS TO INCREASE YOUR INTERNET TRAFFIC:
1) Review and implement the basics of Search Engine OptimizationA great place to start is Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide found HERE
This covers the SEO basics in a concise way so I will not repeat all the basics here but please do download the guide and apply it. This is the most important of my seven steps for Christian SEO. You can also do a simple Google search and find hundreds of helpful articles. I also suggest going to YOUTUBE and subscribe to Google Webmasters video subscription and also search their videos - I find the visual format easier to learn from.
2) Stay current in the constantly changing world of Internet
I suggest that you subscribe to OurChurch.com's email list. I don't know them personally but I have followed them for years and believe they are an outstanding resource. Below is a video by Kurt Steinbrueck, Director of marketing services with OurChurch.Com with a Seo update.
May SEO Update: Google Makes Big Changes!
3) Focus on your niche as you plan and update your pages.Instead of trying to be the number one Christian Website in the world, focus on your niche. Keep it narrow. Consider what search terms will people use and include them on your website. Use Google's keyword planner and also include other pertinent search terms on your website. Don't forget to include your locality if this is important for you. As an example a church or a local ministry needs to show up in local searches such as "Church + city" or "Type of Ministry + city". It is more important to be found by those looking for your services in your particular location so list your city several times. I.E. people will search "Baptist Church" + Chicago as opposed to just "Baptist Church".
4) Get help but make sure they are not cheating!Many services will offer SEO help or guarantee page views but it is important that they do this through legitimate means. Google will penalize a website that takes shortcuts to get artificial links or artificial page views. Google has also increased their ability to figure this out. If you don't have technical knowledge it is worth the investment to get some help.
5) Make sure you add Social Media features to your website.
Make it easy for people to share on Facebook etc. Also keep the material on your website fresh - if it stays the same there is no reason for people to come back. The easiest way to do this is to include a Ministry Blog. You can assign different people to write articles or to give updates. It is also now fairly easy to include videos without a lot of technical knowledge. Remember a quality video can usually better connect to the heart of an individual than just words...
6) Consider advertising.
Google Ads are a great way to get the word out to your targeted audience.
7) BONUS - ADDITIONAL WAYS TO ACHIEVE HIGH SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS.
I have been very blessed to achieve high search engine rankings in spite of the fact that I have two glaring weaknesses that are very important to search engines. I do not have a massive amount of traffic and I also have not been updating my websites as often as I should. In spite of this, if you do a web search for the following terms you will see that I am at the top of the results that include millions of websites: "Internet Ministry", "Christian Internet Ministry", "Web Evangelism", etc. also "Internet minister" and "web evangelist".
I have been an urban missionary for over thirty years. I have long thought that the Internet is an exciting vehicle with awesome potential to empower Christians to share their faith and also a powerful way to share the GOOD NEWS! I feel the Lord has given me some good ideas, experience, gifts, and skills to eventually have a powerful web ministry for the kingdom. In order for this to happen, the Lord will have to provide funding for me and these endeavors. The Lord has not done this yet so I don't believe I should try to force things but wait on his timing. In the mean time, while I am waiting for the Lord to provide, I am using wisdom to prepare for that time. I figured when I am ready and have the volunteers or staff in place to recruit volunteers I would want a high ranking when someone searches "Internet Ministry", "Christian Internet Ministry", or "Web Evangelism". I also know that in the future I would want to be known as a "Web Evangelist" or an "Internet Minister". (This does not necessarily mean I would leave urban ministry but that I would be adding Internet Ministry to our ministry endeavors. Currently I am able to invest very little time in this and would appreciate your prayers for this to change, if it is HIS Will).
Anyway, I set up some websites with these specific goals in mind. One thing that I figured, even though I don't think I read it anywhere, is that the search engines are probably not playing entirely fair, but probably favor their own company in the search engine results. So I decided to use Yahoo as my hosting company (knowing that Yahoo would notice my site in their search engine results) and then I started this blog on Blogger (a Google company, knowing that Google would probably favor their site) I then cross promoted these two sites and was blessed with very high ranking websites.
I paid particular attention to the back side of my website. Naming the pages, files, and pictures names that pertained to my desired niches. This also included the alt tags with descriptive information on my niches. I also secured these particular terms on major websites: ie my youtube channel is internetminister. My email on google is: webevangelist, on microsoft (hotmail) it is internetminister. On facebook, my page is internetminister etc. and then cross promote (I provide my own high quality cross links). Often when I write an article or a webpage I do it with SEO in mind even though some concepts might be repeated in different ways... Now sites like ChristianInternetMinistry.com, InternetMinister.org (terribly outdated), webevangelist.blogspot.com, and Christ Cares' Internet Ministry page all have very high search engine results in Internet Ministry results.
A PRACTICAL STEP I PLAN ON TAKING, rethinking my above thoughts and also reinforced by OurChurch.com's Blog as well as by a wonderful seminar by Tony Chen of movement121.com that I attended earlier this week is to USE GOOGLE CIRCLES because it is having increasing influence on Google's search engine's results.
Anyway, I hope this is a help, drop me a line if it is...
Now, pause, & pray for wisdom and then invest some time in making changes on your website so you can better share the GOOD NEWS!
Web Evangelist and Internet Minister Scott Reese