Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

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aaronandrewjohnson
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Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby aaronandrewjohnson » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:05 am

Here is my original message:I am an SEO expert and my feedback is coming due to the front home page from Pres Monson stating "the world needs the Gospel".... here is my response: "then please do proper search engine optimization work to the lds.org site pages and make the choice to want to be found where people are searching".... People are looking for the gospel but we don't know the basics of proper search optimizing to research first what people are looking for and edit our pages so that we can be found at the top of google answering the questions people want answers to with a page at the top. Please consider looking into using a tool that can uncover the highest traffic terms so-called "long-tail" keywords and find the ones with the lower competition and edit some of the webpage so that google places it in front of those traffic streams. People are searching. Please consider using the most advanced strategies to be found. Here is an example: the term "what is faith" gets 22,000 direct searches each month and our page is the forth down instead of the top spot because in part the url says lds.org/topics/faith instead of lds.org/what-is-faith.... other very easily found spots would include "life church" and "grace church" and first christian church" ... all extremely easy terms to obtain with a total of 150,000+ direct searches each month and we could be the result at the top.
LDS Response Team responded on June 4, 2017 at 11:11 AM as follows:
Aaron,

Thank you for contacting LDS.org. Yes, the Church needs the help and expertise of our talented members.

So here is what I want to volunteer.

I want to spend at least 1 hour with those in charge of the website technical side and share exactly why we are unknowingly not reaching the hundreds of thousands of search inquiries every month. I want to show the exact steps and tools needed to strategically position future web pages. The first steps are simply doing a little research and modifying some of the page wording accordingly to make each of our webpages absolutely clear to the Google robots where each page is intended to be placed for ranking online.

As you know, Google bots are mindless librarians and they need our help to properly index our content so that each new page created is purposely edited for led.org to show up online where we want to show up.

I own a marketing agency and my mission is to educate on why and how to optimize and I am willing to volunteer my time and expertise so that the church is more readily found where people look.

The world needs the gospel and I know that we are meant to share it with them the best we know how.

Please consider a short Skype conference call with me so I can show you what I see. Thanks so much,
Aaron Tjomsland
local9marketing.com

russellhltn
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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:15 pm

While it's nice that you want to volunteer to help, you might be best off following up with the prior contact. The folks in charge of "technical recruiting" haven't been here in some time. The bulk of the forum is user-to-user support with a few employees that drop in to help the collective understanding.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

scgallafent
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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby scgallafent » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:00 am

This also is not a technical issue but a content issue. The developers create the tools and then the content publishers use those tools to publish. The issues of URL selection, optimizing for keywords, etc. are publishing decisions, not technical decisions.

aaronandrewjohnson
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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby aaronandrewjohnson » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:17 pm

The content department would be helpful but I am looking for the optimization department if there is one.
In my experience, the optimizing comes before the content creation in the form of deep research and then after in the form of exacting implementation of the required elements needed to rank at the top of search engine results.
I would have guessed the optimizing team would be on the technical side. I'm hoping that there is more invested in the church's website than amazing content, great design, and functionality.
I'm hoping we've taken the carefully researched approach of first looking into what people are searching for and then aligning with the science of getting each page found for each search term deemed most valuable to the church.
Don't get me wrong, the website is beautiful on so many levels- and it functions tremendously well... I just want to show someone who is in charge of the optimizing the multitude of elements I see missing when it comes to effectively reaching out to the world online.
Here is a rough copy and paste portion of the list of steps we follow when getting a webpage at the top of Google:
most effective keyword research
finding of low difficulty and high volume keywords
minimum words/page for best optimization
researching most commonly asked questions
on page optimization
symantic optimization
Branded Social Stack IFTTT networks
Internal Siloing
SEO competitor website link analysis
SEO competitor website link acquisition
We ensure these basics are covered on every page of each site.
According to the science of the optimization industry these are must-haves for any hope to show up at the top of where people are searching:
1. Title Tags
2. Description Tags
3. Image Alt Text
4. Logo Mark Up
5. H1 Tags (only 1 per page)
6. H2 Tags
7. URL Optimzation (length and Path)
8. Image Name Optimization(alt + name)
9. Broken Links
10. Landing Pages
11. Site Architecture And Navigation
12. Videos
13. Social Media Integration
14. Local Search (Google Places and Maps)
15. Robots.txt
16. canonical issues
17. XML Sitemap
18: Responsiveness
19. Facebook Open Graph (Blog)
20. Twitter Cards (Blog)
21. Customized 404
22. Schemas
23. Site Speed
24. Webmaster Tools
25. Google Analytics
26. Duplicate Pages
27. Redirects
28. Indexing And Crawling
29. Content Keywords Co-relation In Search Console
30. Search Queries In Search Console
31. Domain Authority
32. Blog
33. Google My Business Account
34. Accelerated Mobile Pages
I like to think that content is challenging enough to come up with. These optimizing tasks surely belong on the technical side.

Does the church not have an optimization team you can direct me to?
If not, I want to volunteer so that the world can have a better chance of finding what it's looking for.
Aaron Tjomsland
local9marketing.com

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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby lajackson » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:53 pm

aaronandrewjohnson wrote:Does the church not have an optimization team you can direct me to?
If not, I want to volunteer so that the world can have a better chance of finding what it's looking for.

I think the content guy and the technical guy work together on that one. [grin]

For many reasons, not the least of which is that direction comes from the top down, the Church does things in a different way than the rest of the world. Nevertheless, I imagine that they will find someone with whom you may be able to visit. It seems clear to me personally that you have experience and expertise that could be beneficial to the work. They will see that.

russellhltn
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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:25 pm

lajackson wrote:the Church does things in a different way than the rest of the world.

From what I've seen, the church works with a very small staff.

It's entirely possible that the first task will be to sell someone in authority on the benefits SEO and what it would mean for missionary work. The folks actually doing the work may not not have the time or budget to do much on their own say-so.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:30 pm

I'm actually impressed that LDS.org is the 4th result for a topic as common as faith!

EDIT: I just did a search for "what is faith" (without quote marks), and LDS.org appears as the first result. Is that just because I'm signed in?
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Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

aaronandrewjohnson
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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby aaronandrewjohnson » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:02 pm

Sorry i don't check this often -
The reason you got the result you did is because Google will show your browser results you most often visit- our site is still on the first page but if we're not in the first 3 spots we lose out on the vast majority of people searching with intent to find. The first result on Google receives 53% of clicks, the second receives 15%, the third 9%, fourth 6%...
We're #4 so we end up with the leftover 6%...

Our domain authority, however, is tremendously powerful due to worldwide visitors spending plenty of time on the site so we could easily get in front of 100's of thousands of monthly searches.
My point is, with some strategic adjustments we can easily take the first position for so many terms and it's breaking my heart how we aren't doing the basics.

I know the church values technology and believes that it is meant for the work to spread to all the world. The problem is, our website is not positioned to go to all the world - it currently requires pass-along cards and social media for the most part and so we're neglecting the biggest channel of intentional inquires online by ignoring our on-page optimization. In all honesty, it's beyond what a content department does and it's too highly specialized to just hire an "seo" company to handle it... the expertise required to do it right is found in only the very top 1% and this is why I wanted to offer it as a volunteer.

Most assume that if they just include keywords it'll work out but that's where the 99% go wrong and don't achieve top results. You can imagine, it's an exacting and precise science to get it right.

My opinion is this: If an online venture is to be started then it ought to start with properly researching what search terms are searched most frequently each month but that have the least competition. Then, each page is structured with intentional purpose and the content addresses exactly what is being typed in the search bar. The reverse is what unfortunately happens.. the website is built and pages created and then only a comparatively small number of people read it.
If there is one thing I would love to relay to the top it's this: It doesn't matter the quality of content if nobody can find it.

Hope this helps inspire someone to pass along the word to someone who's able to research what I'm talking about and modify our approach to bringing the Gospel of Christ to this needy world searching in vain.
Aaron Tjomsland
local9marketing.com

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sbradshaw
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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:54 pm

Thanks for your desire to serve and for sharing some tips. I hope you'll be able to use your talent and expertise to help move the work forward!
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

aaronandrewjohnson
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Re: Optimize lds.org be found on Google for faith and related questions people ask

Postby aaronandrewjohnson » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:44 pm

Thank you SB.
Btw, I just checked the updated rankings and I see lds.org number 14 now. Our domain authority is 84 which is the second most powerful website. We could easily land hundreds of first positions if we were aware of how valuable it is to the work to be found online for specific questions/topics.
Many of the search queries are asking the golden investigator questions. Some examples are about Christ's original church, theology definitions etc and it would be wonderful to see us at the top with an answer.
There's a big focus on social media but the down side about relying only on the social side of spreading the word is that it is passive. People see it when they aren't looking for it whereas Google search will almost hand deliver exactly what someone is wanting the same ten seconds they want to know.
Interestingly we have a budget for AdWords which we could save by targeting the keywords currently paid for... proper seo invested could yield greater frugality.

All I would need is 25 mins to screen share what I see and show someone the tools needed to do it
Aaron Tjomsland
local9marketing.com


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