If you haven’t heard of Missional Marketing yet, you’re in for a treat. This church marketing agency is a powerhouse in all things Google-related and works closely with church clients of all sizes to position them for growth. Missional Marketing’s service offerings include assisting churches in applying for the Google Ad Grant, managing their paid (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, & Google) or Google-funded ad campaigns, helping them rank in search results through better on-page or local SEO, and developing beautiful websites that are more conversion-friendly and findable in Google.
If you’re looking to take a page from their book, the expert team at Missional Marketing has written The Ultimate Guide to Google for Churches: How to Run Your Church Smoothly and Grow It With Google’s Apps for Churches, which we highly recommend for all churches to read. Online growth precedes physical growth and let’s face it — a strong digital presence in 2020 isn’t possible without Google. Ranking favorably involves considering all of Google’s algorithms and methods and working smartly within them to ensure searchers can actually find your church.
This takes considerable skill and effort, as Google’s metrics and criteria are constantly changing. Through their comprehensive guide to Google for churches, Missional Marketing has highlighted Google’s most valuable services for churches, including the ins and outs of the Google Ad Grant and the multi-faceted G Suite platform. The guide offers helpful tips that churches can perform immediately themselves, plus additional knowledge about any pieces of the Google puzzle that might require outside assistance to implement.
Churches using G-Suite have a host of advantages, from seamless integration across emails, calendars, and documents to the ability to access nearly any resource from just about any device. This makes G-Suite an invaluable collaboration tool for church teams. Churches can set different permissions for different users, and everything is browser-based, meaning church administration lives in the cloud. G-Suite is also one of the most affordable options out there, especially for how robust its services are.
The Google Ad Grant
The Google Ad Grant is something else that churches often don’t know about or can’t figure out how to effectively use. Missional Marketing’s guide breaks down the grant, which offers up to $10,000 in monthly online ad spend to nonprofits and 501(c)(3)’s, including churches. These ads display on Google search results pages and can make or break the discovery of your church by those searching. Missional Marketing also offers ad campaign management — for both Google Grant ads and paid ads that may also include Facebook, Youtube, and other digital mediums.
Search Engine Optimization
Then there’s SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This is a topic that still puzzles some of the most well-versed digital marketing industry experts, much less small churches trying to figure out how to use Google to their advantage. The bottom line is this: you can have the prettiest website in the world, but if search engines can’t find it, you will likely remain undiscovered.
SEO seeks to remedy that problem. Through optimizing both your website’s on-page content (including writing with keywords, including commonly-searched phrases, etc.) and your site’s backend fields (like alt tags, headers, and other metadata) you can prime your site to be found and listed on search results pages. SEO also includes setting your site up correctly so that Google’s bots are able to “crawl” it, or read and interpret its content, and many important “off-page” strategies, including citation building and the acquisition of links. Google factors in things like load speed and user experience when determining rankings, so Missional Marketing can help there too.
Google Results Page
One of the components explained further in the guide is how Google displays your church on its results page. With a few steps, you can actually determine how your church’s “Google My Business” profile or associated knowledge panel appears, ensure that your location’s picked up by Google Maps, and potentially break into the “local pack,” the top 3 listings suggested by Google for location-based searches. This result of Local SEO is a critical piece for any church, but especially those attempting to reach the unchurched in their area. Many searchers simply type “church in [city name]” and if your church is missing any of these Google optimizations, it could stay buried in the results.
Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Google also offers tools for businesses to track their success on Google. Google Search Console and Google Analytics are two vital tools for measuring the return on all the time and effort you’re investing in your web assets. These two systems can actually show you any technical issues with your website that might cause Google to rank your site lower, offering helpful feedback for solving these problems. They can also show you how your site’s visitors interact with your site, and what keywords are most often drawing them to you.
Finally, Missional Marketing goes into detail about each facet under the Google umbrella of offerings, including Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, and YouTube for churches — which is associated with Google. If you’re not convinced yet that you need to be using Google, check out the full guide, see what you can execute on your own, and when you’re ready to bring in the experts, give Missional Marketing a call. They work with churches of all sizes and on all budgets to strengthen their digital presence, increase their favorability with Google, and set them up for exponential growth.