When the society — which lists several conservative Christian “founding partners” on the get.bible website — first applied for the rights to .bible, it pledged to provide wide access to “all qualified parties” interested in Bible issues. Soon after acquiring the domain name, though, ABS barred publication of material it defined as “antithetical to New Testament principles” or promoting a secular worldview or “a non-Christian religion or set of religious beliefs.”
Here’s a good read on the thinking behind “local SEO” and how to implement some of the strategies on your website. We do this for a number of clients when we build or revise their sites, particularly churches and nonprofits (and small businesses) who really depend on local search traffic in fundraising or awareness campaigns.
Local SEO is about how to optimize your website to rank better for a local audience. A website gives you the opportunity to target the entire (online) world. But if the target audience for your business is actually located in or near the city you have your office or shop, you’ll need to practice at least some local SEO as well. You need to optimize for your city name, optimize your address details. In short: you need to optimize so people know where you are located and are able to find you offline (if required). In this post, we will try to explain what local SEO is, so you can optimize your local site as well!
I think people who grew up with keyboards and mice will never be changed, but I think kids born within the past few years, who are growing up using touchscreen phones and tablets, will probably be the first generation to model their computing usage around touch instead of keyboards. We older folks just assume that word processing and spreadsheets are the computing model that will be here forever, but I think computing history indicates the status quo can drastically shift quickly.
I’d add Voice as a major input factor over keyboards in the next generation / decade as well, but this is a spot on comment.
SEO still matters as a part of your marketing mix. This helps, though…
Google has introduced infinite scrolling to mobile search results pages.
Where there used to be page numbers at the bottom of SERPs there is now a “more results” button. Tapping on the button will trigger more search results to load within the same page.
I recently had a question from a friend who attends a small church with a smaller budget but interested in marketing and outreach their congregation about the pitfalls of church marketing.
“Sam, why does church marketing fail?”
So with her permission, here’s my response…
The reason most church marketing and outreach efforts fail is lack of follow-through and consistency. We all want the quick dopamine release that comes with likes, hearts, and favorites based on our social media posts. But marketing (well, good marketing) isn’t about the quick and transient. Patience is part of the very intrinsic nature of the concept of marketing. Churches, particularly dealing with a budget, do a poor job of recognizing that.
Second, church marketing tends to be generic and formulaic. Perhaps because of the common practice of churches getting many of their resources like Sunday School materials (or pastors who “borrow” sermons from the internet), Vacation Bible School posters etc from a central office or approved denominational body, church marketing, church marketing also tends to be generic and not in touch with the surrounding community. But like politics, all church marketing is local. Not everyone can walk in and teach the youth Sunday School class even if they are using LifeWay materials. Not everyone can walk in and run your church’s marketing or outreach efforts even if they have a Facebook account. Nevertheless, church marketing often doesn’t live up to expectations because it is formulaic and generic rather than reflective of the local community.
Third, church marketing and outreach efforts often do a very poor job of asking “why would anyone who is not coming to our church want to come to our church?”. Salvation? Good luck marketing theology. In reality, if a church is going to embark on marketing or outreach, the church should first ask existing members “WHY?” as in “Why do you come to this church?”. Once you have answers to that first Why, ask Why four more times with the responses. The “Five Why’s” is common tool in setting up marketing and branding efforts and can really help clarify both a church’s identity and what makes it special (or not). I love doing this with our clients and it always leads to unexpected and surprising places. Don’t assume… ask why.
Church marketing is often targeted at the wrong audience. Denominational identity is rapidly becoming less of a “selling point” and something that can be used as a marketing point. I often have clients who initially want to “target (insert denomination here)s living in our town.” If you’re a Baptist church targeting Baptists in a few zip codes, you’re not going to have great success with your outreach. That time has passed as we now have more Millennials than Baby Boomers. There’s a reason we see many youth-focused churches dropping denominational labels in their name, even if they were planted and / or affiliated with a particular denomination or church.
Last, churches often target their outreach efforts to what I call the “seldom attenders”. You don’t want a congregation full of “seldom attenders” even if they write big checks once a year. A church should market to those who will attend every week and take part in activities and programs frequently. “I like the pastor’s preaching” isn’t a “selling point” anymore. People, particularly younger cohorts of people, want experiences. In this world of on-demand movies and music and dating and socializing, it’s the experience of your church that will directly help growth. Be authentic and own who you are (and the WHY’s from above). If you’re traditional with traditional hymns and everyone wears “Sunday Dress”… own it! There are people in your community who want that experience. Don’t market what you are not because you see the non-denominational warehouse church down the street bursting at the seams with involved young families. Churches, as all businesses and nonprofits, should tap into the unique experience of worship or the incredible feeling of belonging to a community of people seeking something larger than themselves.
Oh, and don’t be pretentious. If you don’t think your church is pretentious and wonder why it’s not growing, it’s probably because your church is seen as pretentious. You can’t market earnestness. But you can drop the pretentions and be an authentic congregation. That’s a whole other conversation though 🙂
Good read about what to do “now” with Facebook advertising…
The Facebook privacy quake has already forced the Facebook to change the way they handle and collect consumer data. That’s changing their advertising platform. And there’s more to come.
This is going to be quite the talking point for many Facebook users today…
“All users will receive a link at the top of their News Feed outlining which apps they use and what information each app uses, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said in a statement. Users whose data may have been improperly harvested by Cambridge Analytica can expect to receive an additional message like the one below:
“We have banned the website ‘This Is Your Digital Life,’ which one of your friends used Facebook to log into. We did this because the website may have misused some of your Facebook information by sharing it with a company called Cambridge Analytica.”
We could say goodbye to the creepy targeted ads and the algorithms, to the Nazis and bots and propagandists, to the harassers and the people selling hate. We could stop being spied-on for profit…
Or we can make the moral choice of renewal, of planting new bulbs and helping this old tree, a little bigger now, flower again.
Our hearts may end up broken. Again.
Source: inessential: weblog
There’s so much wrong with this post, but I’ll point out my biggest gripe here… RSS (like podcasting) doesn’t need the metrics of behavior tracking for it to be a success. It’s distributed. It’s not commercialized. It’s not tracked with clicks based on eCPM’s or eCPC’s or brand quality engagement views.
And that’s ok.
It serves a heck of an important purpose.
Let’s all start using RSS readers again, btw. The internet will be a much better space.
RSS’ true failings though are on the publisher side, with the most obvious issue being analytics. RSS doesn’t allow publishers to track user behavior. It’s nearly impossible to get a sense of how many RSS subscribers there are, due to the way that RSS readers cache feeds. No one knows how much time someone reads an article, or whether they opened an article at all. In this way, RSS shares a similar product design problem with podcasting, in that user behavior is essentially a black box.
Source: RSS is undead | TechCrunch
While Facebook continues to stumble through its public relations crisis over how it has handled developer access to user data, Twitter has been having its own issues with its developer base … just in a self-inflicted manner.
Twitter’ developer problem goes back to its decision to pivot the service into an advertising mechanism back in 2010 as it faced questions about monetization and shareholder returns. It’s simply shocking to me that Twitter executives are still struggling with these same issues 8 years later.
What made Twitter exciting and compelling in 2007 and 2008 was the rapidly expanding developer base that became attracted to the platform because of its rather open API that encouraged a healthy ecosystem of apps that built off of the Twitter coral reef.
So, it’s disappointing to see this struggle continue:
It’s good news that Twitter is backing down, but there are still open questions about whether its new Account Activity API is robust enough for third party Twitter apps to provide the same streaming services they now offer. So far Twitter hasn’t allowed outside developers to participate in the beta testing of that API.