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Have you ever done a Google search and NOT found what you were looking for? Probably not. It may take a couple tries to find exactly what you need, but thanks to the power of a search engine it doesn’t take long to find pertinent information.


Here’s how it works:
Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others, search the internet “reading” website content. They review the content, give it a quality rank, and tag it for future use. When someone does a pertinent search they then display the information based on the rank they have assigned to it. The higher the rank, the closer you are to the top of the list.

 

Why does this matter to your church?

Because the majority of search engine users never look beyond page one of the results. This makes it important to get your church as close to the top of the list as possible.

This is best approached with a plan for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

At its core, SEO is the process of “optimizing” your website content to increase your rank so you appear higher in search results. A higher ranking equates to more unpaid “organic” traffic to your website.

 

Here is a list of 5 tips to improve your church’s searching engine ranking:

 

1) Make Sure Your Website Is Searchable by Google

Before you do anything else, you first want to determine that Google knows your website exists and is indexing it. Just because you have a web address, it doesn’t mean search engines are including you in their searches. The easiest way to accomplish this is to do a quick search for your site.

Example:

  • Visit Google.com
  • Type “site:[domain.com]”
  • don’t include any extra spaces, the http:// or www. just type it directly a search of this type for FirstChurch would look like site:firstchurch.com
  • Press ENTER
  • Make sure that your website displays properly

2) Write website content with a visitor (and Google) in mind

Think about how you search for things in Google. When you want to find a restaurant, you search by food type or location. When you want to find an extra-curricular activity for your child you search terms connected to the activity. People looking for churches do the same thing. They don’t know the name of your youth group, children’s ministry or adult Bible study. They search based on phrases familiar to them – youth group, kids church, bible study, parish meeting, etc. Explaining the ministry using these familiar “keywords” will help search engines know exactly what you offer. Any additional information you can include about what the ministry is, will help also.

Example:
[Ministry Name] is our [Age Group] ministry. [Group modifier] gather each [Date, Time] for [Event Description].
[The Oasis] is our [Jr. High and High School] ministry. [Students] gather [Tuesday at 6:45 pm] for [fun, games, worship and Bible study.]

 

3) Claim Your Local Listings

Let online sources know you are authorized to maintain and manage your online presence by claiming ownership. Should you need to update information or make changes to your listing, this will speed up the process going forward. Each source has its own process that may involve: a phone call, postcard with validation PIN, or an email with verification.

Resources:
Google
Bing

 

4) Submit Your Website and SiteMap to Search Engines

Help search engines better index your website by verifying ownership directly with them. They offer the ability to submit a Sitemap along with this service. It is a digital listing of the pages you see as most important and worthy of search review.

Resources:
Google Search Console
Bing Webmaster Tools

 

5) Use SEO Plugin to Improve Tagging

If you are using WordPress for your website there are several tools available to help you manage your SEO. These provide places to assign a “keyword” or topic for each page, and to write a short description of the content included. Search engines use this info to better sort and rank your content.

Resources:
Yoast
All In One SEO

 


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Did you know that Jesus appears in every book of The Bible? Watch and be amazed as this young boy (who has a bright future as a Pastor) shares a powerful message showing Jesus in every book of the Bible. Feel free to forward this inspirational video to family and friends to remind them that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, from Genesis to Revelation.


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God is Love / We Are The Outcome. The husband and wife team of Chris Rademaker and Jodi King form the Christian praise band: Love & The Outcome. You are invited to join us on the back porch of their Nashville home as we discuss their lives and their music. During this open and honest conversation, Chris and Jodi explain: what life was like growing up in Canada, how they met and what qualities they saw in each other that caused them to want to get married, why they literally sold everything and went out on the road, what they learned during their many tough times and what you can do to prepare your heart for Praise and Worship time at ISC 2017 in Dallas TX. In addition you will also enjoy several of their popular Christian songs during the interview. Don’t miss Love & The Outcome on Thursday, June 15 at ISC 2017 in Dallas, TX!

Chris and Jodi invite you to join them at ISC 2017 during this 30 Second Video promo.
Register Now for International Shelby Conference 2017!


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Chris Rademaker and Jodi King, the husband and wife team that form the Christian praise band: Love & The Outcome, will be leading us in praise and worship at this year’s International Shelby Conference in Dallas, TX. Chris and Jodi literally “sold out.” They sold their home and everything they own in Winnipeg, Canada and started a music ministry. There were tough times ahead. They lived in their Jetta for 2 years and sometimes barely made it from paycheck to paycheck. They were forced to stop when Chris’ mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer. But still they felt the call to go on. After years of touring, they moved to Nashville and now write and perform songs that change people’s lives.

Please take a moment to watch three of Love & The Outcome’s most popular songs (He is with Us, King of My Heart, The God I Know) by clicking the images (above).
Don’t miss the powerful music ministry of Love & The Outcome (on June 15) at ISC 2017 in Dallas, TX.

You can learn more by visiting our ISC 2017 web page today!


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International Shelby Conference 2017 in Dallas, TX is coming soon, but there is still time for you to join us. Learn, Network and Worship with hundreds of ministry workers from across the world.
Click the images above to watch three brief testimonials (less than 65 seconds) recorded at last year’s ISC event. Discover how networking is one of the major benefits of attending our annual conference.

Alyssa Hillman / Grace Sincock benefited from the lively discussions before and after class
Sandra Hall / Tina Whitman met for the first time at ISC even though they live in the same town
Cheri Hart / Annette Strange are new friends who love how Arena has cut their work load in half

You can learn more by visiting our ISC 2017 web page today!


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A good friend recently shared this video with me, and I would like to share it with you. It is as beautiful as it is profound. It is well-worth your time to watch it. I particularly loved this quote from Brother David Steindl-Rast, a benedictine monk, and the one speaking in the video:

“You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today…. It’s the only gift that you have right now. And the only appropriate response is gratefulness.”

Here are four ways you can transform today, taking it from ordinary to extraordinary:

1. Notice the gifts around you.
2. Open your heart to receive them.
3. Express your gratitude for them.
4. Bless someone else.

Today will never be repeated. It is unique among all the days of your life. Gratitude can transform it into something to be remembered.


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Take just a moment to discover what Arena features our Shelby customers love most.
Click the images above to watch three brief testimonials (less than 60 seconds) recorded at a recent event.

Revoydia Richardson loves Arena’s Event module because it has made the scheduling process seamless
Erik Peteron gets excited about the Arena Grade field
Martha Tauzin explains why the Arena Note Taking feature is her favorite

You can learn more by contacting your Shelby Sales Representative today!


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Lyrics

I’m the one who held the nail
It was cold between my fingertips
I’ve hidden in the garden
I’ve denied You with my very lips

God, I fall down to my knees
with a hammer in my hand
You look at me, arms open
Forgiven! Forgiven!

Child there is freedom from all of it
Say goodbye to every sin
You are forgiven!
I’ve done things I wish I hadn’t done
I’ve seen things I wish I hadn’t seen
Just the thought of Your amazing grace
And I cry ”Jesus, forgive me!”

God, I fall down to my knees
with a hammer in my hand
You look at me, arms open

Forgiven! Forgiven!
Child there is freedom from all of it
Say goodbye to every sin
You are forgiven!

I could’ve been six feet under
I could’ve been lost forever
Yeah I should be in that fire
But now there’s fire inside of me
Here I am a dead man walking
No grave gonna hold God’s people
All the weight of all our evil
Lifted away forever free
Who could believe, who could believe?

Forgiven! Forgiven!
You love me even when I don’t deserve it
Forgiven! I’m Forgiven!
Jesus Your blood makes me innocent
So I will say goodbye to every sin
I am forgiven!

Forgiven! Forgiven!
Child there is freedom from all of it
Say goodbye to every sin
You are forgiven!


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The United Methodist Church (UMC)
sent the following press release to all UM News Outlets earlier this week…

NASHVILLE, TN — The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) announces a new corporate sponsor. Shelby Systems is a leading provider of full-service church management software (ChMS) to churches of all sizes, denominational headquarters, and other organizations in the faith-based communities around the world. Shelby offers a wide range of integrated technology solutions with a goal to support ministries of The United Methodist Church.

The relationship between Shelby Systems and The United Methodist Church was forged more than 40 years ago with UMC churches and conferences,” said Russell McDaniel, VP/General Manager of Shelby Systems, Inc., “and continues today with Shelby’s selection as a GCFA corporate sponsor. Shelby is a leader in ministry solutions that are affordable and secure. We are excited and grateful to join with GCFA and offer our excellent products and exceptional customer service to UMC organizations worldwide.”

GCFA is proud to announce Shelby Systems as a vetted corporate sponsor. The addition of Shelby Systems enhances the resources GCFA is making available to local churches that improve administrative efficiencies, provide excellent customer service, and support the ministries of local churches,” said Bari Beasley, Chief Officer of Marketing and External Relations.


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April 7, 2017 is the national premiere of the new film The Case For Christ. Shelby Systems recently had the honor of interviewing Lee Strobel, the author who inspired the film. The book, with almost 6 million copies sold, was written in response to Lee’s wife announcing that she had become a Christian. In order to convince Leslie that the Jesus narratives are not accurate, Lee conducted a two year investigation into the veracity of the Gospels. But his research revealed surprising results. Results that changed his life forever. Now the award-winning book is a major motion picture. Click the image above to watch highlights from the movie, and listen as Lee explains:

Why he became an atheist as a young person
Where he worked after graduating from Yale Law School
What one word came to mind when his wife announced she had become a follower of Jesus
How his journalism and law background influenced his investigation into the Gospels
What surprised him the most when the book was translated to film
Who he expects the typical audience member will be
What he hopes people talk about on the ride home
The best way for a Christian to help promote the film

Learn more about The Case For Christ and access: study guides and witnessing videos.
Watch a Video Promo that Lee Strobel created exclusively for Shelby Systems.
Listen to the new Case For Christ song by JT Murrell.

Invite your skeptical and questioning friends to an unforgettable evening at the movies and then encourage them to attend church with you on Easter Sunday.