By Aaron Earls
The women who went to the tomb on the first Easter Sunday couldn’t find Jesus there. People are still searching during this time of year, except now many are looking on Google instead of in the grave.
Google searches for Jesus, though frequent throughout the year, regularly increase around Christmas and Easter. This year is no different. The weeks leading up to Easter saw online searches for Jesus become more prevalent on Google.
Searches for Bible also follow a similar path—consistently high, but rising around Christian holidays.
Unsurprisingly, resurrection spikes on Google searches leading up to Easter. Most of the year, relatively few people search online for the word. As churches gear up to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, however, Google users begin looking for more information on the term.
Online Bible searches are similar. In 2015, resurrection, crucifixion, and risen all spiked during Easter as searches on Bible Gateway, a popular online Bible search tool. While spending most of the year outside of the top 100 keyword search terms on Bible Gateway, all three shot into the top five last spring.
At the end of March through the beginning of April last year, resurrection was the most searched keyword at BibleGateway.com.
The prevalence of these searches on Google and Bible Gateway should inform how churches approach this time of year.
People are still curious about the Easter story. Whether they’re reading about it for the first time or it’s something they’ve read their entire lives, people want to hear about Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Churches shouldn’t feel the need to chase relevancy or originality by focusing on another topic during Easter. If people online are going to search engines and Bible websites to find more about the story, visitors are probably coming to your church for the same reason.
Use your church’s website to talk about Jesus’ resurrection. Instead of a static page of information, update your church’s website with thoughts from pastors and church leaders about the significance of Easter.
While it’s important to provide the additional visitors to your website with standard church information, you can include seasonal reflections to reach those directly visiting your page or using online search engines.
Point social media channels to biblical articles and reflections on Easter. Use the platforms you have in place to help church members and others think through Jesus’ death and resurrection from a biblical perspective.
People are already online looking for resources and articles about Easter, why not help them find resources you trust? Share stories on your personal Facebook account or the church’s page. Tweet out interesting reflections from respected authors.
Be sure to use hashtags to help people in their search (e.g. Join us this Sunday. Looking forward to celebrating Jesus’ #resurrection and new life in Him.) Use the increased interest to provide biblical solutions.
- How to be Mobile Ready by Easter
- Social Media: Hashtags Do’s and Don’ts
- Who’s on Social Media: Here’s What Your Church Needs to Know
- 7 Keys to an Effective Church Media Strategy
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.