Social Media

Mindy Brock

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is SEO anyway and why should I be doing it? Does nonprofit SEO really matter?” Search Engine Optimization is optimizing your content and messaging so that it is easily readable. Because search engines find and rank your content and website based on your consistent listings, it is vital to work on these SEO tips. You want visitors to your website and online business, to reach a specific audience with your message right?

With over 15 years in the marketing industry, with emphasis on faith-based clients, we have come up with 9 proven local Nonprofit SEO strategies that are the basic foundation to any searching listing success. And did we mention they are free?! Our mission is to help YOU get your message and mission in front of the right target audience! Once these strategies are implemented on your website, you can rest assured it will increase your organic traffic to your site.

Most people who search on the internet use search engines like Google. Search engines want to give their users the best experiences while on the web. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in. They will rank your site based on how well you are doing these 9 things.

In this article, we are going to show you how to rank higher by focusing on local Nonprofit SEO strategies.

  1. Verify Google My Business Listing. Google offers a free business listing profile. Their motto is “So you can stand out and bring customers in!” Once a Google My Business listing is verified your website shows up on Google Search and Google Maps. Verify your listing here:
  2. Local Listings. If your listing appears consistent on several listing websites, they will rank you higher. SEM Rush offers a free tool that shows your listings on several websites. Check your listings for free here:
  3. Reviews. Another way to gain higher rankings is by utilizing customer reviews on these main listing websites. Ask your friends/congregation to write you a review on Google and Facebook!
  4. Get Backlinks. Start sending Public Service Announcements about your next event to your local news outlets. Ask your blogger/local media contacts to link back to your website. Search Engines really rank based on how backlinks you have to your site. This can also be achieved by guest blog posting!
  5. Google Analytics. Add Google Analytics to your site to measure your traffic and see how your audience found you. This is a great free tool to measure how many eyeballs you get on your site, how they found you, what device they are using! Check it out for free here:
  6. Website performance. How fast is your website loading? Do you have large images that take a long time to load? If you have a WordPress site there are quite a few performance plugins you can install for free. Hubspot offers a free tool for checking the performance of your site:
    Go ahead check our website out here too!
  7. SSL Certificate for your website. With all the spammers and fake websites out there, search engines are really working to increase security on the web. One of the ways they do this is hiding any websites that do not have an SSL Certificate installed. Most deluxe hosting packages come with free SSL with every domain. Contact us if you’d like us to check into adding one to your site!
  8. Metadata. Yes, Metadata is still a thing, although it’s hidden it’s still a crucial practice to be doing. If you have a WordPress site you can install Yoast plugin to do this for every page on your site. Also, it’s a great practice to name every picture on your site as well as add metadata and focus keywords on all pages and blog posts.
  9. Google Tag Manager. Add Google Tag Manager to your site to measure your traffic and see how your audience found you. Using marketing tags on your site. Install Google Tag Manager here:
    Your target audience is searching for your message and we want to help you optimize your web content to answer these popular search queries. Whether it’s “Hey Google, what’s the best place to worship near me?” or “How do I get involved in missions in Haiti?” Whatever your message, these tips can help get your message to the right audience. We believe utilizing these basic strategies is a good start to start seeing your web traffic increase with your target audience. There are many free tools out there to use to make the web a safer and overall better experience for everyone.

Global SEO

If you are an online business, like we are at Faithworks Image Consulting marketing agency, without a physical address, there is an entirely different set of strategies to implement. Here at FWIC, we offer SEO and other digital marketing services for churches, nonprofits, and businesses. Contact us for a free quote if this is something you want to learn more about!

Article written by Mindy BrockGraphic Designer at Faithworks Image Consulting

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Stock photos – we can picture them from a mile away. Whether it’s the way that everyone is laughing at the same time in a perfectly lighted coffee shop, or that the family on the couch looks way too happy to just be sitting there; we recognize a stock photo within half a second. Now…wait, you might be asking.. “Is this guy anti-stock photo?” No, let make this clear – I’m not against stock photos. But stock photos have their place. And when it comes to using social media marketing to promote your church, nothing beats real genuine photos.

Now, it might seem intimidating. You might begin to ask yourself “Who is going to take these pictures?” “What if we don’t have a nice camera?” “Will there be a problem if we post people’s pictures online?” We’ll cover some of those basics in a moment. The first question to ask is, “Why?” Why should you use real photos instead of glossy and perfectly posed stock photos? Because real photos tell a story. They tell your church’s story, share your culture and values, and give a glimpse to people who are not a part of your church what it would be like if they were. That’s something stock photos can never do.

Here are some practical tips on using church stock photos for your social media marketing.

  1. Put a disclaimer on your church’s bulletin or weekly communication. Stating something similar to the following: “Photographers may be present at church and at church events, and if you would like to opt out of having your picture used in social media and marketing purposes, please visit the table at the lobby.” This notifies members and guests that pictures will be taken. It also puts the responsibility on them to reach out to you if they would like to opt out of their picture being used. Always consult an attorney for the best practices when it comes to picture release disclaimers and copyright issues.
  2. Be extra cautious when it comes to taking and using pictures of children for church stock photos. To avoid any conflict only use pictures of children from side profiles or wide-angle shots where you are not able to identify children’s faces. Also, avoid including pictures where the child’s name is visible on a name tag or sticker when using for church stock photos. If you do use a picture where the children can be identified, make sure to get permission from the parents or guardians.
  3. Schedule your photographers. If you use Planning Center or any other scheduling software, set a rotation schedule of photographers just like you would with volunteers or worship team members. This ensures pictures will always be taken during services and events which will give you plenty of material to work with.
  4. Cast the vision. Select people who already have an interest/involvement in photography or people who have potential talent and offer them training if needed. Schedule a vision meeting and explain to your photographers that they are not just taking pictures each week but capturing church stock photos. Just like I mentioned above, convey the message that they are sharing the story of your church. They are capturing moments for those who do not attend your church.
  5. Streamline the process. Whether each person has their own camera, or there is just one camera being used for church stock photos, make sure the quality is similar between all photographers. Once pictures are taken, put a system in place where pictures are being onto a hard drive or cloud storage system (ie. DropBox). Whatever your system looks like, it’s important to have one that is consistent and easy to execute on a weekly basis. If photos are not stored consistently, SD cards get filled fast which causes problems such as deleting pictures before being backed up.

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