So like most businesses you have a website, but you can barely find yourself on Google. You compete in a space like “church” where every other church is competing for the same position you are. Even though most church websites are terrible and yours is awesome, you still don’t rank high at all…groan. So is it even worth trying to rank well?
Short of buying advertisements or spending a fortune on search engine optimization (SEO), a year ago I would have said you need to find different ways of reaching your potential market. But that has changed a lot recently with Google moving to more integrated search and its recent new interface launch.
Google has implemented tools behind the scenes to know where you are in the world based on your IP address. Using this geolocation, they are now offering search results and advertisements that are relevant to your location.
So if someone seaches on the keyword “church” in your area, a Google Map will be shown with churches in the area including a list of churches in the area. This means you have a high probability of showing up in the results on the first page!
So how do you show up in this result? Google composes these results based on the address and phone number you post on your site. So make sure there is a text version of your phone number (not an image) on every page of your site and that you address is on at least your contact page. This is just good practice to do anyway. Once you’ve done that, then of course you need to do the traditional SEO 101 things to rank well. Over time, patience will help you rank on the first page in the traditional results for these common keyterms, but you need to keep focusing on providing good content and value to your visitors.