Church & Technology

Church Search Trends Every Pastor Should Know (Part 1)

79% of churches feel that they don’t “have a well-defined digital ministry strategy." The methods people use to search for churches are constantly evolving. Stay relevant and reach potential new members by keeping updated on the latest church search trends and best practices for making their churches more findable.

As technology advances, the methods people use to search for churches are constantly evolving. To stay relevant and reach potential new members, it's crucial for pastors to keep updated on the latest church search trends and best practices for making their churches more findable.

Join us as we explore part one of our two blog series, Church Search Trends That Every Pastor Should Know. Let’s dive in!

Church Voice Search Trends

When thinking about current search trends, most people begin by focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, voice search is one of the fastest growing trends, and if your online presence is not optimized, people may not be able to find your church. 

1. Voice Search is on the Rise

Voice search is no longer a novelty. With the rise of smart speakers and virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, voice search is becoming increasingly popular. More specifically, studies show that:

This makes voice search engine optimization (VSEO) more important than ever for churches. Churches that can optimize their websites for voice search will be much likely to reach more people. 

2. Most People Use Voice Search for Quick Facts

68% of people use voice searches to find answers to simple questions. Topping the list of the most popular searches are queries about the weather and “near me” searches such as “churches near me” or “restaurants near me.” 

3. 98% of Church Websites Are Not Optimized for Voice Search

VisitorReach™ is the leading digital outreach platform for churches. Their data from churches across the U.S. revealed that only 2% of churches are optimized for voice search. Voice optimization for a church’s website is a complex process and requires specific SEO tools. However, a good place to start is by using natural language and long-tail keywords on the church’s website.

Digital Maps Search Trends

Nearly 2 billion people use Google Maps every month. From where we eat to where we worship, digital maps are more important in our lives than ever before. Take a look at some of the latest search trends and see how they impact your church’s ability to reach new people in your area. 

4. People Are Searching for Churches in Your Area

Did you know that according to Google, there are over 1 million monthly U.S. searches for “churches near me.” However, If your church information isn’t listed correctly, they won’t find you. Studies by VisitorReach show that most churches only appear in 4 of the 72 online directories people use for searches. 

5. Church Online Reviews Matter

When it comes to map search results, online reviews play a significant role in a church’s online reputation and search ranking. In fact, 98% of people will read online reviews before visiting local businesses or churches. 

To make a good first impression, pastors should encourage people to leave reviews of their churches on Google, Facebook, and other relevant platforms. Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, can also help improve a church’s online reputation.

What Is Your Church’s Digital Health Score?

It’s important for pastors to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and make necessary adjustments to their church’s website and online presence. This can help improve a church’s search ranking and reach potential new members.

79% of churches feel that they don’t “have a well-defined digital ministry strategy” that is effective for engaging people outside their church community or non-believers. The root of the problem is that churches use their digital tools to promote their ministry, rather than using them to engage people to take the next step toward Jesus in their spiritual journeys. 

The best way to start improving your church’s online effectiveness is by taking your free Digital Health Assessment today. You’ll discover your church’s:

  • Digital Voice Score
  • Digital Maps Score
  • Social Clarity Score
  • Website Authority Score
  • And much more!

Meet VisitorReach—Your Ultimate Church Outreach Partner

Keeping up with the ever-evolving trends in social media, SEO, and church advertising can be daunting. That’s where VisitorReach steps in to help make this process effortless. 

We partner with your church to craft personalized ads that truly resonate with your unique message. These ads aren’t just seen—they engage. Anyone who interacts with them receives immediate follow-up through text and email, directly connecting them to your church.

Once a response is triggered, your team gets an instant notification via the VisitorReach App. Here, you can seamlessly manage conversations, track engagement, and nurture relationships with potential new members.

Churches using VisitorReach connect with 10–30 new people each week, fostering significant community growth and engagement.

Ready to expand your community reach and enhance engagement? Schedule your 15-minute consultation call today and see how we can help you connect with new people in your community every week!

Ready to grow your church with us?

Create 100+ monthly connections with people in your area, have meaningful SMS conversations, and watch new visitors walk through your doors — All through the VisitorReach App!

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