Missionaries who are sent out to preach the gospel in foreign lands are usually trained in the language and customs of that country. It's important to know how to interact with the people of the area. Similarly, the internet is like its own country, with certain rules and customs that should be considered before launching any teaching or gospel preaching online.
I've been a minister for years, and more recently, the owner of a small video production business. To attract customers and build my business, I needed to learn how to get my services in front of people who were looking for them online.
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Matt. 10:16
Let's talk about being wise. One of the most important yet often overlooked parts to reaching people on the internet is doing keyword research before creating content. Keyword research means exactly that: researching keywords that people type into the search engines to find things. Believe it or not, there are tools available that will reveal what specific words and phrases people use to find information. I've included resources below so keep reading.
Why is that important? Consider this: Let's say that you felt to write about preaching the gospel on the church blog. You entitle your 500-word write up, “How To Preach Like Rev. Bill E. Bob” and hit post. Poof! It's it up for the world to see right? Well, sort of...
Here's the reality: Your post will probably only be seen by those who visit that blog frequently or who get a direct link to that post. It may never get beyond those chosen few. If that's your goal, great! You can stop reading now.
By contrast, if you performed keyword research first, you might have discovered that the phrase “Preaching The Gospel” has nearly 400 Google searches every month. If you taylored your content around that specific keyword phrase, not only would you have your regular blog readers checking it out, you're likely to be found by many others month after month. A slight change in your approach may drastically change how many souls you reach.
I use keyword research EVERY time I post to any of my blogs and I'm regularly surprised at what people search for. From “how to save my marriage” to “why get baptized” to “gospel preaching” thousands of Americans turn to Google – not the church – for advice and answers to some of life's most challenging questions. That's heartbreaking, but it reveals an opportunity for those of us who want to reach the lost for Christ via the web.
If you feel led to start your gospel preaching online and to reach souls on the web, please consider doing some research to magnify your impact. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus: "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Eph. 5:15-16. One way to redeem that time is to match your message to your audience with keyword research!
After taking multiple websites and blogs to the top of the search engines, I wrote a short book called, “Where's My Website?” that condenses 5-plus years of trial and error into a practical guide to help people get found online. Though I wrote it mainly for small business owners, the principles and techniques are exactly the same for churches and ministers.
The book is short and to the point so you can read it, consider the tools I use and recommend, and start implementing proven techniques to preach to more people within a few hours. It's a Kindle book but you can download a free reading app for other devices if you don't have a Kindle.