We tend to think of religions as being conservative, stodgy, or lagging when it comes to anything that has to do with technology, and especially online technology. Therefore it may come as a bit of a surprise to find out that at least one religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are commonly known by the abbreviation “LDS” or the nickname “Mormons,” is one of the most advanced large organizations in the world when it comes to SEO, content marketing, and the use of social media [Full disclosure, I am an active member of the LDS Church]. As a member of this religious community and someone who makes his living from consulting with businesses regarding digital marketing, I have been more than curious to learn from the campaigns the LDS Church has engaged in to get their message out. Here are some of the lessons entrepreneurs and businesses can take from the Mormon way of doing digital marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, includes all activities that influence the ranking of a website on a search engine for a given keyword search. The higher a website’s rankings, the more traffic it gets. Digital marketing consultant Justin Briggs analyzed the SEO efforts of the LDS Church in 2010 while working for SEO consultancy Distilled and published his results in a well-read blog post. Given the time that has passed, I decided to revisit a few of Briggs’ finding when it came to the LDS Church’s SEO tactics and results.
First, I looked at rankings for non-branded, generic keywords. Although exact results may differ from one person’s computer to another, when I used the SEO software tool SEMRush to analyze Google rankings for the following keywords for desktop users in the United States, I found LDS.org rankings in the top five results for these searches: