A focus phrase is an important SEO (Search Engine Optimization) principle. People go to Google (or similar) looking for solutions, and since Google must deliver results quickly and effectively, they’ve developed content rules based entirely on how we search. Follow these rules so people get exactly what they’re seeking. It keeps people happy! Content expectations are met.
Sure, SEO is focused on websites; but because we rely so heavily on the internet for content, we can take solid SEO principles and apply them to wherever people discover content. Like your church sermon. If it works for Google; we know it will help you too.
Here are 5 ways an SEO focus phrase can drastically impact and improve a church sermon:
- First, decide on your Focus Phrase. A focus phrase is an incredibly short description of what would be searched for in order to discover the full content. It should be less than 4 or 5 words. Think about what your audience would Google in order to be interested in your sermon. It should only contain words they’d use and never words they wouldn’t understand. Wondering what people are searching for in your area? Use online tools like keywordtool.io or other Google keyword planners.
- Use it in your Sermons Title. Now the challenging part: use it in your sermon title. At this point, you may have to adapt the focus phrase slightly. When someone is asked “what was the sermon about?” they should quickly and easily know: by using the focus phrase. Then the average person you want in your audience should say “that sounds interesting”. Tell me more.
- Make your points support the Focus Phrase. Now, establish sermon points that deliver information about the focus phrase. This establishes a framework to remember your sermon and assists them in understanding and applying the focus phrase (what they need and are seeking).
- Use the Focus Phrase throughout the sermon. On a web page with about 500-750 words, Google likes when you repeat your focus word 3 times. That’s about 2-3 minutes of reading! So repeating it every minute is what Google recommends. For a 30-minute sermon? Repeat your focus phrase more than you’d ever imagine. Why? Most people don’t listen for long periods of time. By saying what they need regularly? It 1) brings their attention back 2) reminds them what they’re listening to, and 3) provides words to describe your sermon’s benefits.
- Use the Focus Phrase in all communication channels. Use it in social media posts, on the sermon series web page, in your YouTube meta descriptions, on your sign, in worship, and even in your bulletin. Tell your staff too so that word-of-mouth aligns with other channels. That consistency and frequency will boost your content to be more discoverable. How does it improve your sermon? More will attend for what you’re offering. And we know that a larger attendance often improves your delivery!