Jane just moved to a new town. She grew up in a Lutheran church and would like get connected with a similar church in her new town. Jane does a quick search online to check out her options. While your church isn’t Lutheran, your denomination has similar historical roots or worship practices. There are very few Lutheran churches in your area, so you might be a the best fit for her. How can she find this out? (Hint: A great landing page would help.)
Carlos has become convinced that expositional style preaching is important. His current church preaches topically. Carlos types “expositional preaching” and your city in the search engine. How can your church be more likely to appear in his search results since your pastor is an expositional preacher? (Hint: A great landing page would help.)
The answer to both of these questions is landing pages. The term landing page often applies to a page advertisers use to get you to buy their product or service. These pages target the terms you searched for or an online advertisement you clicked on.
Churches can also use landing pages to help people connect with their body of believers. Many people like Carlos and Jane are looking for specific things (keywords) related to church. They may be looking for a particular denomination (Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist), a theological perspective (reformed, Arminian), style of preaching (topical or expositional), or worship (contemporary, traditional, liturgical). Your church might be a good fit. They just don’t know this. Your landing page can help them make this connection.
I pastor a Christian Reformed church. If someone searches online for a reformed church, we should be a top result because there are only a few in our area. Our denomination has some strong similarities to some Presbyterians and Lutheran denominations. We have folks from those backgrounds who are a part of our congregations. Search engines, and people looking for these kinds of churches, might not understand these similarities. I use a landing page to build a stronger connection for them.
Here are the important components to use to maximize your chances of search engines finding you.
- Page Web Address: You want the landing page web address to include the keyword you want to highlight. yourchurchdomain.org/keyword or yourchurchdomain.com/keyword-phrase.
- Page Title: Your page title or heading should also highlight the keyword. Questions or a brief statement are all you need. Are you looking for a Presbyterian Church? Expositional preaching is important to our church.
- Image or video: Include an image or video that focuses on the keyword or has a similar feel to your homepage. It could be a short video of your pastor explaining the similarities between your church and the denomination you are trying to highlight. It could also be an image that relates to the keyword. A good example might be the pastor preaching for expositional preaching or the worship team singing for contemporary worship.
- Brief Description: It is also important to include a brief paragraph that connects your church to the keyword. Tell your audience why the topic is important or how you are connected to their search term. Be honest If you aren’t a part of a denomination make that clear, but phrase things in a positive way so that people feel welcome.
- Call To Action: Use a button or text linked to another page on your website that encourages people to investigate your church more. “Click here if you want to learn about our church!”
One final word of caution, don’t go overboard with landing pages. Too many landing pages will dilute your message and make search engines think your website is spam. Find one or two denominations that are similar to your church. Highlight a few things that make your church unique. If you are at a loss for where to begin, ask your first time guests what they searched for to find your church and recent members what attracted them to your church.
A church landing page can be a powerful tool to help people find your church. A little work can help searchers make a connection to your church they wouldn’t have otherwise made.
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.