Using Links to Improve Your Search Results Ranking
Link to Your Own Pages
Your first step for search engine optimization (SEO) is to link to every page! Users and search engines alike will not be able to find your pages if you don't link to them. Be sure your navigation and/or the text of your pages provides at least one link to every page on your site.
Get Links from Other Sites
The number of links your site has from other sites is one of the ways search engines determine the relevance and usefulness of your site, and this can definitely have an effect on your ranking in search results.
It's important to note that search engines these days do a pretty good job of showing search results relevant to what an individual is looking for. There's no need to try to "trick" the search engines into ranking your pages higher than they would naturally, and in fact, employing devious techniques will hurt you in the long run. Review "10 Google Dont's" for some sure-fired ways to hurt your search ranking.
The best way to get more links to your site is to provide content that people want to link to (sermons, how-to's, stories, and meditations are examples of popular kinds of content; of course, only post original materials—don't violate copyright laws). Offer some great content, and perhaps mention it to a few other sites who might want to link to it, and the rest will take care of itself.
Another easy and honest way to increase the links to your site would be to share links with your Unitarian Universalist (UU)neighbors, perhaps in one or more of the following ways:
- People searching for a religious home in your area may find it very useful to know there are other options nearby.
- Once readers have exhausted the sermons posted on your site (or perhaps decided that your minister isn't quite to their taste), they may appreciate being pointed to other sermons.
- If you coordinate with other congregations for outreach or other programs, be sure to include links to your partners' sites.
It's quite likely that your congregation's site won't have too much competition for rankings on searches for UU churches in your area, but it's worth some effort to try to get your site in front of seekers who may not know what they're looking for. How does your site perform on a search for "Sunday School programs in [your town]," for example?
Be sure to pepper your title, headers, and text with a variety of relevant key words and phrases and consider adding meta descriptions in order to make sure seekers know right away from the search results they see whether your religious community might be the right home for them.
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