Home » Blog

Sharing your lecture event to a local audience using Google

Nowadays you can use search engines (predominantly Google) to search for just about anything. A recipe. The address or phone number of a local business. Reserving a table at your favourite restaurant. How to_________ (fill in the blank). In fact, no matter the question, there is a high probability someone has written a blog post on that very topic. And because search engines (especially Google) collect so much data about what people are searching on, they are getting better at delivering the exact information people are seeking.

But what about Christian Science lectures – are people searching for those? My recent research using the Google keyword planner tool showed that “motivational speech” is Googled between 100-1000 times per month in South-East Queensland. “Inspired talks” is Googled between 10-100 times, along with a number of similar phrases. So people are searching for inspirational talks.

How can your branch best reach these online seekers? Here are a couple of ideas that will help you reach a local audience on Google.

  1. Paid Google advertising

    With a paid Google advertising campaign your ad will appear at the top of the search results in most cases (depending on how many other ads are vying for the same spot). So you don’t have to worry about SEO. But you still have to write the ad and make it compelling enough to click on. (And wrestle with Google Adwords!!!)

    Here is an example of a recent ad I placed for one of Wynnum’s lectures:
    As you can see, Google ad campaigns allow you to have a number of links to click on, or a phone number to call (many people use their phone to search and this means they can simply click-to-call). These additional links at the bottom increase the exposure of the ad. It’s a great way to get a message directly to people who are searching on certain key phrases, and you can narrow your audience by geographic location too.


  2. Using Structured Data Markup on your website

    Another really cool way to feature an event such as a lecture in Google is to “markup” your event on your website. This tells Google where to find key information (date, time, address, title, image) on all events on your website. Google then uses this data to list your event, along with other events in your vicinity, that relate to the keywords people are searching on. This article on Forbes.com explains a bit more about marking up.

    For example, I marked up this lecture event to be held in Brisbane, and it appears like this whenever anyone Googles “inspirational events Brisbane” or “spiritual events Brisbane” with a handy map and directions, and link to the website: The great thing about structured data markup is you only need to do it once. If the data is structured correctly, Google will know where to find the information and will automatically pick up new events whenever it indexes your site.


If you’d like to know more about these ideas, or if you’re thinking of setting up a website or landing page to advertise your lecture events and have them appear in Google, please be in touch.

Benefits of a landing page for promoting Christian Science lectures

If done well, a landing page can be a particularly effective way of promoting a Christian Science lecture. For those of you who may be wondering what the benefits of a landing page are, here is an excerpt from a report I recently wrote:

What is a landing page?

A landing page is like a web page, but it is simplified and has a very specific purpose, without other information to distract from that purpose. Because of its singular purpose, search engines are more likely to recognise it as focused on that topic, and therefore there is potential to reach those who are seeking info on that topic. It can be used as a central web location for a particular event or group of events.

A landing page allows a simple focus without distractions. It is similar to a flyer in its layout and simplicity. Its intent is not to overload the visitor with extra information, but just to provide the information people are seeking, with a visual appeal that encourages people to respond. Due to its specific focus, a landing page is also more likely to be found on search engines by people specifically looking for an inspiring talk.

A shared landing page

“Wisdom, economy, and brotherly love” (Manual Art.XXIV, Sect.5)

One idea to consider in loving your online seeker is whether to provide just one web location to find all information relating to Christian Science lectures in your locality. It would potentially be easier for people to share events with friends and family who might live elsewhere in the surrounding area. And instead of joining multiple mailing lists they could join just one mailing list to be notified of all future events in your vicinity. Each lecture promoted would need to clearly state the sponsoring branch(es) and have a link to their website. People could then return to the site after the event to view a video or audio replay.

And, for those branches who wish to share all upcoming events from the surrounding churches with their website visitors, it would seem wise and economical to have one website showing all upcoming events and video or audio of recent events, thereby:

  • allowing them to simply place a link to it on their websites
  • removing the need to create other branch’s events on their websites
  • removing the need to place lecture video or audio files on their websites
  • enabling analytics reporting to be set up on the page to measure the effectiveness of various advertising campaigns.

Collecting useful data through registrations

A further economical benefit would be the ability to allow registrations for events. This would only work if the page were simple enough with no other information distracting from the message, such as on a landing page. Registrations would provide the following benefits:

  • People would be automatically added to the mailing list.
  • Interest in an event or topic could be gauged.
  • Useful data could be collected such as how they found out about the event, what future topics they would like to see, and feedback about the lectures, venues, etc. This would make future efforts wiser and more focused on lovingly meeting the needs of the community.

Presenting lectures as community-focused events

Due to its simple focus on the upcoming event(s) and appeal to search engines, the landing page also provides the potential to present Christian Science lectures as community-focused events.

 

If you’re interested in exploring this option for your branch, please be in touch.

New website: Corona del Mar!

It was a joy to work on this website and their beautiful imagery – my favourite so far!

Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Newport Beach, California (Corona del Mar) wanted a website with a bright, lively, beachy feel, that welcomed visitors with joy and non-judgement.

The colour scheme, images, and text were chosen to reach out and bring a sense of inclusivity to the website visitor, no matter who they are. Members provided many beautiful images of Corona del Mar.

Built using the “Cherry Blossom” template.

Here’s what Heidi and Dana had to say:

“Leah is a pleasure to work with, very professional, and receptive to our ideas. She did a beautiful job designing and customizing our website making it inviting, soothing & inspirational. Leah has made navigating the website clear and easy with a number of different links designed for the newcomer looking for answers, as well as long time students of Christian Science. She is also very quick to respond to any changes or additions in updating our website.”

– Dana & Heidi, Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Newport Beach (Corona del Mar)
Website: ChristianScienceCoronadelMar.com