There are different ways to think about church and church work. In some churches they have the „pastor does it all” mentality, while other churches live out the „delegate or die” principle. What about the SEO work of the local church, who should do that?
Some days ago I wrote the article about SEO and Church Ministry. The question I asked in the article was if the church needed to deal with SEO at all, and if so, how and where. If you haven’t read the article yet I recommend you start with that, and then come back and continue with this article afterwards.
Ready to continue? Your church has realized that it needs to work with Internet and optimizing their website for better results in Google (and Bing). There are different people who could possibly do the SEO work of your church, but there is one person who shouldn’t do it.
The person who should not do the SEO work of the church
There is one person I believe who should spend his time with other activities than SEO work, and that is the pastor of the church. One of my arguments origins from Acts 6 when the apostles said that they shouldn’t get busy with to „daily” stuff, but rather focus on prayer and the Word of God. My other argument is that SEO is not easy and it is not for everyone. Just like you need insight to lead a children work in a healthy and efficient way, you need insight to do the SEO work of your church. And just to let you know, SEO insight is not gained in an hour or two. It takes lots of time to acquire knowledge and skills, and while actually doing the SEO work you will often like hitting the wall, because you can not see the success or achievements at once. I believe that in 95% of the situations this work should be delegated to other people who love this kind of work and who will not do the church SEO work on the expense of preparation for sermons and leading the church.
If not the pastor, then who should do it?
This is a much harder question to answer, but here you have my suggestions on who could deal with the SEO work of your local church!
1) Find a nerd in your church with skills or who can easily be taught
A great leader is good at delegating responsibilities. In your local church there might be some nerds who need a vision for their time on the computer. Doing SEO work for your local church can give them a vision for something they already enjoy, and it can turn into a real blessing for both the person and the church. However, the fact that someone spends hours on Facebook every day does not mean they have any clue about SEO. Therefore I would send the given person(s) at a course or at least make sure they have a mentor who can teach them and follow up their work and give them advices. The advantage with this version is that the youngsters in your church will do the job for free and as they grow with the task, they might turn into true resources on the subject, not only for your church, but for others as well.
2) Ask other pastors in town if they have someone they can recommend
Even though few churches are investing time and energy at SEO, some do, and a good idea can therefore be to speak with other church leaders in your area and hear if they have anyone they can recommend. If you find a person who have done SEO work for other churches in your area, they already know a lot about what channels to use to, where to promote and how to promote a local church page. If you are lucky they might use some of the other church sites they work with to link to yours, thus giving you free juicy links.
3) Find a SEO company or a SEO professional
Seen from a SEO perspective this might be the best and most efficient solution, at least on short term. A professional will know where to start and get lots of things done in a short period of time. Are there any requirements to the person I hire to do the job? In addition to insight on the subject of SEO I would say that it is very positive if he is a Christian. It is not a requirement, but a big bonus. As you do SEO work you will often find yourself writing guest posts, giving out information on social media, rewriting articles, changing content and lots of similar stuff. When doing such work you probably understand just as well as me that it is an advantage if the person is a Christian and has some theological insight.
The first two options for sure taking place locally. The third option can be arranged without ever meeting the person who actually do the SEO job for you. I would personally prefer having personal contact and meeting the person doing the SEO church work, but with Skype you can get good contact with making a video call, so it is not a requirement to hire a local. However if the plan is to hire a pro for a certain amount of time, and during that time he is not only to do the work, but also to disciple some tech geeks from your church so that they can continue the work afterwards, then I believe that it is more efficient to hire a local.
What do you think? Now I would love to hear what you guys think on this subject. Who should do the SEO job of the local churches? Have you got any positive stories about someone doing the SEO job of a church you know? Or maybe you know a negative story where things did not go the way they were supposed to?