Using Sermon Videos to Increase SEO On Your Church Website

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In today’s episode, Katie and Kenny discuss how to make your sermon videos work for you in growing web traffic and new visitors, and be sure to visit https://missionalmarketing.com/sermons to see if a Sermon Video Library is right for your church!
For more information, visit Missional Marketing’s page, and be sure to fill out our FREE evaluation to find out if a Sermon Video Library would be right for your church.
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Katie Allred:                           Welcome to the Church Communications Podcast. I’m Katie Allred.

Kenny Jahng:                         And I’m Kenny Jahng.

Katie Allred:                           We want to help you become a better church communicator

Kenny Jahng:                         This is the place we’re going to talk about strategies and best practices for your church.

Katie Allred:                           Let’s get started.

Kenny Jahng:                         Hey, friends, it’s Kenny Jahng and Katie Allred here at the Church Communications headquarters. Our headquarters is on the interwebs, people, on the Internet.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, Kenny and I’ve only met six times.

Kenny Jahng:                         Is that all?

Katie Allred:                           I think so. I’m counting now.

Kenny Jahng:                         I feel like I’ve seen you as too much sometimes. No, I’m just kidding.

Katie Allred:                           I’ve seen you three times this year, Kenny. What the heck?

Kenny Jahng:                         We have been fortunate enough to have a distance-based relationship using-

Katie Allred:                           The Internet.

Kenny Jahng:                         … video and chat and social media. Last couple of months, we’ve been able to go to conferences together. It’s been fun doing the online thing, coming offline. Then while we are at conferences and events, we are meeting other Church Communications family members here in our ecosystem and our community. That has been extra special for me.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah. Did it blow your mind the first time it happened?

Kenny Jahng:                         Well, it’s just funny how people sometimes, even they’ll creep up on you because they feel…

Katie Allred:                           Right, they feel weird.

Kenny Jahng:                         They feel weird or intimidated. I’m like, “Why intimidated? I’m the one who should be intimidated. You guys are doing-

Katie Allred:                           The works, yeah.

Kenny Jahng:                         … rockstar stuff across the country in your own churches.” I love learning from people, so if you’re out there and you see one of us, please, come and say hello. There was one person who said they saw us but didn’t say hello.

Katie Allred:                           Why?

Kenny Jahng:                         I’m like, “That’s a crime.” That should be.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, that’s so sad. I feel like I missed out because you didn’t say hello to me. Now, I’m always bummed. It’s so funny. What it is, when people come to know somebody online and they don’t have an actual personal connection with them, but they feel like they’ve heard from them, right? You’re listening to my voice, you’ve seen me on video. When they have that kind of connection, it’s called a “parasocial relationship.”

Kenny Jahng:                         Yes.

Katie Allred:                           A parasocial relationship is basically this relationship that we have with our viewers who think that they know us personally, which hopefully, I feel like you do. I feel fine with that information. I just want you to know now, though, that I am taller and person than I am online. Apparently, I am a short woman on the Internet, but I’m actually 6′ tall, so people are always so surprised when they meet me in person. They’re like, “Whoa, you’re taller than I was expecting.” I was like, “What were you expecting me to be? 4’9″?” I don’t know.

Kenny Jahng:                         That’s funny.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, yeah, I don’t know. Maybe I give off a short demeanor.

Kenny Jahng:                         It’s as if we’ve got life-size cutouts of you in stores across the country and the cutout is 5′.

Katie Allred:                           Right? “I wasn’t expecting. Whoa, you’re tall.” I’m, every time, like, “What? Were you expecting me to be super short?” I don’t know. Then they feel ashamed. I’m like, “Don’t feel shame.”

Kenny Jahng:                         Well, I’ll pull out my buddy, our Canadian buddy, right? Neighbor to the North. Recently, at a SALT Conference, Owen Scott was sitting there in the restaurant. We had a meetup for breakfast one day and it was a little bit one of those like we caught each other’s eye, but he didn’t say hello. He would just watch me talk with somebody else that just I met for the first time, too, there. Didn’t realize until we went to the table that that was Owen.

Kenny Jahng:                         Now, again, I’m going to push back because Owen’s profile pic does not reflect his current look: beard versus no beard. How am I supposed to know? Why didn’t you say hello? It was just sort of funny.

Katie Allred:                           I also feel like his hair got redder somehow. Sorry.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yes. Yes, absolutely. But it was all good because we actually approached him to say, “Hey, are you here for the Church Communications meetup.” “Absolutely.” It was just one of those things where that little bit of hesitation.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:                         Some people say I might be big and loud, but some other people said I’m huggable, so I hope I’m not scary.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, right.

Kenny Jahng:                         If you do see one of us out in the wild, please come say hello.

Katie Allred:                           Also good to know is that when we are at a conference, if we’re speaking or sponsoring or whatever, we’re probably going to have a meetup at some point and we would love to just hang out and meet you.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yes.

Katie Allred:                           Why don’t you just send us DM or a PM or whatever? Send us a message and say, “Hey, I’d love to hang out. What are y’all doing?” Because more than likely, we’re having breakfast or something. You can come and hang out with us and just chat and we can talk about your church’s problems, your problems. We can talk about whatever you want us to talk about completely for free.

Katie Allred:                           I mean, what an opportunity, right? Because we want to learn so much more from you about what’s going on in your church and be a part of that, I think it’s just really, really fun. We would love to just hang out with you.

Kenny Jahng:                         Absolutely. Well, let’s get to today’s show. We are talking about video, as I’ve been saying for the last couple of years, Katie.

Katie Allred:                           Forever.

Kenny Jahng:                         Video is the new black.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:                         If you’re not recording your sermons-

Katie Allred:                           What are you doing?

Kenny Jahng:                         … we need to talk, because I feel like the church, as an organization, is a very unique one in almost every single zip code in that you are a seven-day production machine. Every single day, you’re producing stellar content and if you’re not capture recording and sharing it, it’s just going off into the ether.

Kenny Jahng:                         First of all, we need to make sure that you’re capturing your videos on audio, if not video. Then the question is: What do you do with it, right? That’s what we’re going to talk about today, Katie, right?

Katie Allred:                           Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:                         How to make your sermon videos work for you in growing your web traffic and also new visitors, right?

Katie Allred:                           Right. In an earlier podcast, we talked about how you should be putting some kind of call to action to watch a sermon on your homepage. Are people getting lost trying to find your sermons on the web, on your website? Is it very obvious in your menu where your sermons are or do they are the hidden underneath Media or something like that? Just need to make sure that it’s super clear where people can listen to messages, sermons, whatever you call them.

Katie Allred:                           Also, make sure you’re calling them something that makes sense. Don’t call them something fruity or fun. We really got to be super clear about what it is. Sermons, I think is great one. If you have other media, though, and you’re like, “We’ve got a blog and whatever,” I get it. You may want to put it underneath that, but it just needs to be clear about where it is and have some call to action to it at some point.

Kenny Jahng:                         Absolutely. I mean, it is something that is intuitive, but sometimes, you’re too close to it to think about it, so that’s something that you should set some time upon. Put it on your calendar and really make sure that you’re paying attention to labeling and using the right keywords. Just, yeah, sermon videos is a treasure chest of content that you have that many other organizations on the web do not.

Katie Allred:                           Okay. Every week churches create dynamic and relevant content through their sermons. Your churches’ sermons offer answers to some of the biggest topics people search for online every single day. If used correctly, a sermon video has the ability to reach thousands of people online that are searching for answers that your sermon is offering.

Kenny Jahng:                         Now, if you need help, our friends at Missional Marketing can help your church create a sermon video library to share your sermons online through what, it’s like a Netflix like experience, basically. Find out if a sermon video library would be a good fit for your church by just going to this website: missionalmarketing.com/sermons. That’s missional marketing dot com forward slash sermons.

Kenny Jahng:                         Here’s one question, and I think it’s in the future, I’ve seen some beta stuff of Google doing fun stuff. I’ve seen some churches where they just literally post the video file on their website.

Katie Allred:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative), and that’s it.

Kenny Jahng:                         And that’s it.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, I think that’s what needs to change. That’s what I was about to bring up. Google cannot really read video. It will in the future, I think, but at the moment, it needs words so that it can differentiate what this content is about. You’re just hurting yourself if you’re not doing this.

Katie Allred:                           The first thing, the really easy thing, easy, low-hanging fruit that you can grab is to just set up keywords, categories, and tags for your sermons. What Scripture is this from is super easy. You should be able to filter in your sermon library, like “Messages from the Book of Romans,” right? You should be able to filter it down to topics as well, right? Like “gossip” or “I’m dealing with addiction” or “I’m dealing with something.” It needs topical tags, categories as well.

Kenny Jahng:                         No, totally. This is perfect, right? Felt needs is something you should use as tags.

Katie Allred:                           Right? 100% because people are searching for that. You need to make that into categories. You need to put Scripture references as well. Then any other kind of tags that you can think of that can help set this sermon apart from others, I think, is really important because each piece of sermon is like an evergreen kind of thing. I mean, sometimes they are very relevant to what’s going on right now, but almost always, they’re an evergreen piece of content. How can we use that so that we can benefit our website?

Katie Allred:                           Also, something I think that churches aren’t doing is getting a transcript. You want to talk about transcripts, Kenny?

Kenny Jahng:                         Yeah, I love transcripts, and the fact that technology has basically democratized access to it. Transcripts is the word-for-word writing out of what people are saying, the narration. It used to be that people use to have transcription machines. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the transcription machine with pedals before where the transcriptionist can speed up or slow down the audio file or go backward and forward to catch all the words.

Katie Allred:                           Oh, no, I’ve never seen that. That’s pretty wild.

Kenny Jahng:                         It’s like an organ, basically.

Katie Allred:                           Oh, wow.

Kenny Jahng:                         Nowadays, we’ve got technology to aid us and there’s actually a couple of different services out there that I think that we would typically suggest for people to go to. The cost is really low; you’re talking about services as low as I think, well, there’s free versions out there, too, but as low as 10 cents a minute to high-quality human-based transcription to a dollar a minute. If you’ve got a 20-minute sermon every week or 30 minutes sermon every week-

Katie Allred:                           It’s $20, you know?

Kenny Jahng:                         … you’re not talking a lot of budget.

Katie Allred:                           Right, but I think you’re going to see a lot of value for the money you spend-

Kenny Jahng:                         Absolutely.

Katie Allred:                           … because you can use the transcript, not… Okay, I think you should be putting the transcript in the sermon notes on that page because of the SEO value that it brings, right? Your pastor’s going to use certain phrases. He’s going to say certain things that will help you increase your SEO ranking, your reach, right?

Katie Allred:                           But you can get a transcript so easily today. He was just saying there’s a lot of services we recommend. One of those is Rev. You can go to churchcommunications.com/rev and actually get a $10-off coupon that they gave us, so you can just try it yourself. So easy, so cheap. Just go on there and get this sermon. It’s R-E-V. Church communications dot com slash R-E-V. So easy.

Katie Allred:                           What I love about getting the transcript, too, is that you can use it to create evergreen social media content, too. I mean, I know that this is more about your website and SEO, but what I love is that when I was working at church, I was social media director or whatever, I could go through the sermon transcript and highlight portions of this sermon and decide, “Hey, this was a great point, this was a great point, this was great point. Let’s cut those clips and then put out the clips into the Internet.”

Katie Allred:                           It just makes your job so much easier, so you can create social media graphics from it because it’s easier. Then you can get the exact thing that your pastor said. You can eventually turn that content into a book. There’s so much more that you can do with it, so getting a transcript, it’s just like the low-hanging fruit of turning your sermon video into so much more for your church.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yeah, I love that. Transcriptions are so powerful. Here’s a question: Some people say you should put the transcription in your description field of YouTube when you upload your sermon video. Yay or nay for you?

Katie Allred:                           I feel like that would be a lot. I feel like at first, you should definitely put more like call to action there and then put it under the See More link. I think that’s good because YouTube is the number two search engine, so I don’t think that’s a bad idea, but more importantly, I think you should use that transcript to add captions.

Kenny Jahng:                         Absolutely. However, I’ll tell you this: I guess you could use it for captions for sure, but if you put the transcript there with the timestamps, those timestamps become hyperlinks in YouTube and jumps to that section of the video. Did you know that?

Katie Allred:                           No, I didn’t know that.

Kenny Jahng:                         That’s the latest thing I’ve been testing out. Again, I think my first gut reaction to you is that “Hey, that’s a little bit overload for descriptions,” but it might be the opening section of your sermon. It might be key portions of your sermon that you put into the descriptions and you keep some of the timestamps in there so that people can navigate through the video pretty quickly. That’s pretty cool.

Kenny Jahng:                         Now, getting it up on YouTube is great. I personally think you always want to use your home base, your owned media. I always say there’s two different ways to do things: You want to teach and preach. Teaching is your home base, you’re in your own four walls. Preaching is going out to new audiences. I look at posting on YouTube as preaching activity. Teaching is putting it on your website.

Kenny Jahng:                         Can we talk about that? Where should it be on your website? I mean, as intuitive as it might sound, not everyone has the same opinion or comes up with the same answer.

Katie Allred:                           Okay, you mean where should it be on your website in the menu or where it should be …?

Kenny Jahng:                         Just the section. Again, some people are putting their sermons on their blog just chronologically.

Katie Allred:                           Gotcha.

Kenny Jahng:                         It’s scattered all over, right?

Katie Allred:                           Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right.

Kenny Jahng:                         I personally think there’s another place that you should put it. I don’t know about you.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, a sermon video library, just creating a library of those assets. Missional Marketing has a great tool that helps you create a sermon video library. There’s tons of ways that you can do it. I know there’s plugins for WordPress and stuff. They’ve created a really handy tool that you can use just to organize the content weekly and also, to organize about felt needs as well, which I think is really important.

Katie Allred:                           You can go to missionalmarketing.com/sermons to see their tool. They’ve actually given you some examples and shown you a little bit more about how it works, but I think it’s just a really easy way.

Katie Allred:                           Just making it a library, though, instead of just posting it in a blog feed, I think, helps significantly. Or just posting on SoundCloud. There’s a lot of churches that do that. Honestly, I think you need a little more oomph to it. If you’re doing it on SoundCloud, that’s fine, but then you’re missing the SEO to your website.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yeah, absolutely. We want to be able to use SEO, we want to be able to use it also as a device to get people back to our site, especially if you’re using ads to drive traffic.

Katie Allred:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kenny Jahng:                         Maybe you can share, we talked about AdWords extensively on a previous episode, but why don’t you just share a little bit how consumer videos really work in conjunction with Google Ads?

Katie Allred:                           Sure, yeah. You can use your sermons, you can cut clips from them. Now that you have transcripts, you can actually… Okay, this is a good, hot tip. All right, what I did with our transcripts and it was so, so smart, please do this, upload them all to Google Drive because once you upload them to Google Drive, you can search for phrases across all of your transcripts.

Katie Allred:                           This was like, I thought it was the ultimate hack that I did. I uploaded every single transcript from Brentwood Baptist and I was able to search for key phrases that our newer pastor would say or talk about. I was like, “Oh, I remember he did a sermon about Oreos. I’m going to look for the word ‘Oreos.'” I’d be able to find every single time he mentioned Oreos.

Katie Allred:                           It was great because then I could go back and, okay, I’ve got 20 different sermons where he mentions this specific topic. All right, I’m going to go back and cut clips from all of them and I’m going to make a big collage montage video of him talking about this thing over and over and over again. Or just pull together the phrasing for my website or pull together phrasing for my landing page. We can use the sermon videos on our Google Ads just by pulling together really relevant content for those Google Ads right from our sermon library. You can just go on and create these, I don’t know, videos that are super-specific to those felt needs.

Kenny Jahng:                         Wow. That’s a powerful hack. I never even thought of that, but you know what? There’s so much more you can do with that.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:                         Pretty cool. Great. We’ve talked about sermon videos. I think honestly, this is one of those things where it needs to be put into a library section of your site. It’s probably the number one, two, three thing that you want people to get to outside of, say, your plan-your-visit type of material because you want to give people a taste of what you offer.

Kenny Jahng:                         This is what we call in my signature framework is the “paparazzi principle.” You want to leave no stone unturned. People want to visit your church. You don’t want them to be surprised by the style of preaching or the type of person that’s leading worship or the children’s ministry, et cetera. This is just one of those things that helps reduce the risk for someone to come and make a decision to visit your church for the first time.

Katie Allred:                           Right. I think the most important thing we can do now is to tell people where they can find this at. If you want more information about how you can do your own sermon library, where would I go?

Kenny Jahng:                         Again, one of the partners that we’ve had this season, they’ve been fantastic. It’s the folks over at Missional Marketing. They’re a shop that really helps a lot of churches out there and ministries; very open-handed.

Kenny Jahng:                         They’ve helped come up with this resource: If you go to missionalmarketing.com/sermons, plural, you’ll see a resource there that I think that you’ll find pretty instructional. Basically, it’s a evaluation. You’ll find out if building a sermon video library is right for your church. Again, that evaluation is something that is being offered for free to our community here at Church Communications.

Katie Allred:                           I think so, too. What’s next for the Church Communications Podcast?

Kenny Jahng:                         Well, we’ve been talking about some of the friends that we’ve made over at Missional Marketing. I thought, again, I’m hoping it works out. I’ve invited Jason Hamrock from that team over to come and talk about, you talked about what’s next, how basically, digital marketing consultants, experts, et cetera, determine what your church needs to do next.

Kenny Jahng:                         I want to ask him that question because I think it’s really interesting to see, especially with church attendance shrinking, what do you do? Is that an indication that people are less interested in spiritual things online? I don’t think so, but then what do you do with that? We talked about the three different audiences of church and that last audience being the ones that are not church-aware, it’s not in their orbit right now. How do we get to those people? What’s working for the clients that they’re working with? I love hearing those types of actual live examples.

Kenny Jahng:                         Again, it’s a callout. I’ve actually said his name. If he doesn’t show up, it’s on him. But Jason, if you are around, I’d love to sit down and just poke your brain a little bit so that we can have a little bit more information for the people here on the podcast.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:                         Then the standard questions, Katie, that I think is getting a little bit of a bad rap but it’s like, there are millennials out there. How are we going to reach them even though millennials now are not …?

Katie Allred:                           Oh, yeah. I’m a millennial. It’s so funny because they’re like, “How are we going to reach to the millennials?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I’m one. We’re old now. I own a house. I’m not a young child anymore.”

Kenny Jahng:                         Right? People still think millennials are just anyone under 30 at work you don’t like.

Katie Allred:                           Right? I’m like, “I am 30, so I’m not under 30 anymore, guys. I’m an adult.”

Kenny Jahng:                         Yeah. It is an important question for not just millennials, but Gen Z, the whole point is this next generations, multiple, there’s obviously a culture shift.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah. People are leaving the church, right?

Kenny Jahng:                         Yes, absolutely. Hopefully, we’re going to get that on the books as the next episode. I think the conversation is going to be rich and fun and pretty fast, so I just want to do a shoutout as we close out, getting close to the end of the season, Katie, that it’s been fun. We’ve gotten some feedback from people out there listening. We need more, right? We need to hear more because we’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do for the next series of topics that we’re going to tackle. I don’t know about you, but it’s not about trends of beards and plunging V-neck lines on worship pastors. What should we be talking about next, Katie?

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, we need to know. Somebody, leave us some comments, find us and tweet us and tell us, “Hey, I’d love to learn more about this…” because the next podcast season will be coming up shortly, so we’ll find out what everybody wants to learn about.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yes. This is an explicit call to action: Be selfish, let us know what you want to talk about.

Katie Allred:                           Learn.

Kenny Jahng:                         I know that there’s some Type-A personalities out there. We don’t mind you sending us a Google Doc with outlines or lists of things or of people that you want to hear from.

Katie Allred:                           I would gladly take an outline, please.

Kenny Jahng:                         Yeah, I’m just putting it out there. This is your chance to actually influence, impact.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, let’s do it.

Kenny Jahng:                         Who do you want to hear from? Let’s bring some people on the podcast and let things happen.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, we’re not above bringing some guests in.

Kenny Jahng:                         Absolutely. Thank you so much, Katie, for rocking it today with sermon videos. Hopefully, we’ll get Jason. If not, we’ll just come back, hop on for another episode this next week. But Katie, can you remind everybody, where in the world should they be connecting with us outside of this podcast?

Katie Allred:                           Churchcommunications.com, of course. Also, you can find us on Instagram and on Twitter. If you’re like, “Ooh, I would like to follow these people even more,” go and find us. Also, Church Comms has its own. I think it’s thechurchcomms on Twitter or you can go to churchcommunications.com/twitter, you can church communications.com/instagram to find us a little easier.

Katie Allred:                           Then, too, if you’re like, “I would like to follow these individuals,” you can follow me on all platforms, Katie J Allred, and then you can follow Kenny Jahng with …? What’s yours?

Kenny Jahng:                         My namesake. I’m available everywhere, Kenny Jahng. I’ll do this callout, I’ll be selfish: I am blogging daily with the #dailykjtv and I’m doing it on LinkedIn Natively.

Katie Allred:                           That’s true.

Kenny Jahng:                         It’s on our own net platform these days.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, I think you are.

Kenny Jahng:                         That’s one other option. If you want to hop over to LinkedIn and search for the #dailykjtv, you’ll check out some of my content there. Then before we go, this is the one last thing because I got my own gear recently. Do I have any here? I don’t have it here. I’ve got some gear. I ordered multiple things from our store on our website. Most people don’t know. The last conference I went to with one of the shirts and everyone was like, “Where did you get that shirt?” Katie, what’s the most popular items in our store right now?

Katie Allred:                           Probably the Church Communications shirt that says “It was in the bulletin. It’s been in there for two weeks,” or whatever. Hold on. I’m going to have to remember what the exact phrasing is. Do you remember?

Kenny Jahng:                         The shirt that I got is “Create, Post, Repeat.” People love that shirt.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah, that’s an original. That one’s been in the store for a while. Okay, it’s “It’s in the bulletin. Been in there for weeks.”

Kenny Jahng:                         That’s a fun shirt. I think I need to actually order that one now.

Katie Allred:                           Yeah. We also have one: “Yes, we have a communication strategy. It’s called planning ahead.” We like to be a little salty in our store.

Kenny Jahng:                         Well, that goes along with the stickers. Do we have any stickers left?

Katie Allred:                           We have some left in my backpack at the moment.

Kenny Jahng:                         How about this? Let’s find some people to comment on these show notes, wherever you’re seeing this, and tag Katie and myself and… There it is. Show them the sticker. It’s the, “I’ll pray about it” sticker.

Katie Allred:                           Oh, yes. If you’re watching this, you can see, it’s “I’ll pray about it.”

Kenny Jahng:                         We created these fun stickers called “I’ll pray about it.” If you want one of those in the mail, comment below, tag one of us, if we get enough requests, we’ll just do another run, and send some out to people.

Katie Allred:                           Mkay, sounds good.

Kenny Jahng:                         That’s a wrap. Thank you so much for joining us. We’ll be here next week on the Church Communications Podcast. I’m Kenny Jahng and Katie Allred and wishing you the best for… We need a tagline to get out of here. What is the …? We need one of those…

Katie Allred:                           Become a better communicator. See you next week.

Kenny Jahng:                         Be a better communicator. See you next week.

Kenny Jahng:                         Your church’s weekly sermons have the power to reach thousands searching online for the exact answers your sermons offer. Did you know that? Find out if Missional Marketing’s sermon video library is right for your church. Go to this website: missionalmarketing.com/sermons. That’s right, missionalmarketing.com/sermons.




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