The Difference Between Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization

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In my book, Fishing On The Other Side, I talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for churches.  SEO is all about non-paid or organic optimization of your church's website so that it performs better in internet searches. SEM involves purchasing paid advertisements that display at the top of search engine results pages (SERP's). While SEO can take a long time and can be somewhat elusive, churches can see quick results with SEM. 

The good news is that your church can apply to receive up $10,000 per month ($120k per year) in advertising credits from Google, via Google Ad Grants. I discuss that in my book and go into greater detail in the Renovate.Digital online course entitled: Being the Church in Today's Marketplace: Reaching More People With Social Media and Search Marketing.  While there are some hoops that churches have to jump through in order to get and maintain the Google Ads grant it is well worth the trouble. With the grant, you can create target ads that reach people who are searching for what your church has to offer. 

Your church can reach people from anywhere in the world who are spiritually curious and want to know what the gospel means or why Jesus died on the cross. You can also connect with people who are spiritually ready and are searching for information about local churches to attend. You can also use Google Ads to start building relationships with people who are not yet ready to hear the gospel, but they want to participate in an event or opportunity that your church provides to the community. 

For more information about the Google Ads grant, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].


Mark Weible serves as the Strategic Director of Renovation National Church Revitalization Conference, Director of Church Planting for Greater Orlando Baptist Association and Directional Leader for Mark is an experienced Search Engine Optimizer and Google Advertising Professional. 



: Fishing On The Other Side Podcast Episode 6 Search Engine Marketing.mp3