Increasing Website Awareness

The suggestions below will help you in getting your website onto search engine listings.

Increasing Awareness of Your Website on Search Engines

The internet contains a huge amount of data, both good and bad. Finding information on the internet would be impossible if it were not for search engines which sift through the millions of web sites.

Everyone who uses the internet will have used a search engine to find a particular website or piece of information. Christians will often use the web when locating a church as the Internet should be an easy way to find that information. This is why it is so useful to have a Church website that not only provides information to its members, but also to non-members.

However a Church website will only be useful to visitors, if those visitors can find the site. This may be through using a search engine or by following a link from another website.

Search Engines have automated programs call “ Robots ” which will trawl through the internet and “ index ” the websites by following the links on each site. The web pages that are retrieved are then analysed and stored on the search engine servers to be used when people search the internet.

Meta Data

Meta data is usually made up of two parts :

  1. description
  2. keywords

The description should be a short summary of your Church/ Organisation. For example : “The Kenton New Life Church is an Assemblies of God Church with approximately 300 members based in Kenton, New Staffordshire.”

The keywords will be a listing of ‘key-words' that could be used by someone trying to find your site. There is no limit to the number of keywords that can be used and they should include where your church is based, church name and perhaps the names of the key staff. The keywords could also contain a combination of words that could be used such as “ Kenton New Life Church ”.

The example below shows how keywords could be used with each keyword or group of keywords separated by a comma:

“Kenton, new life church, Kenton new life church, church, Christian, Christianity, new Staffordshire, pastor Joe Bloggs,”

This meta data is not shown on your website, but is hidden in the HTML code on your homepage where it is only used by the search engines as they scan your site.

To add or edit the meta data for your Church Edit site you will need to go to Global Office and then SETTINGS > META DATA.

Include keywords on your homepage

Make sure that keywords are included within sentences on your homepage. They should appear in a structured sentence and the search engine will analyse the sentence and automatically pick out the keywords. 

Create back links

Having links to your site from other websites will also help a search engine robot to find your site. If a search engine robot is indexing another site and it comes to a link to your website, then it is likely to follow that link to your site where it will then index it. Having a link from another site to yours is called a ‘Back Link', the more sites that are linked to yours, the more likely a robot will index your site. 

Suitable links to your site could be churches in your area, local churches together site or your main denomination / diocese / team / group website. 

Give your web pages a sensible name

Name your pages with relevant words such as rather than Having relevant names will first of all make it easier for people viewing the site (and easier for the webmaster when editing pages!), but it can also help improve your search engine results as the search engine will also analyse the page address for keywords. 

All Church Edit websites automatically generate search engine friendly web page names. 

Submitting your site to the search engine

Many search engines have their own database which lists all the websites that they index. You can often submit your site to these search engines for free. Some search engines/web hosts still charge for this service but Church Edit do not recommend that you use the ‘pay for' submission. See the following link for how to submit your site, for free, to Google.  You will need to create a free Google account, if you don't already have one.

Optimise your homepage

A search engine robot will scan the contents of webpages to analyse for keywords that could be used in a search. It is therefore important that the homepage contains words that could be used by someone trying to find your site. For homepages, most sites contain information about the Church and this is likely to contain the keywords that are used. If your homepage contains your church name, and location (which sites often have) then this will help in improving where your site appears in a search.

A note about search engines

Please note that it can sometimes take weeks before your site is actually indexed by the search engine. The tips contained in this document are for guidance and are not a guarantee that your site will be indexed. All Church Edit sites are search engine friendly by providing hidden (non JavaScript) links to all pages within the site.