Your church is local, so shouldn’t your listings be local? All the major search engines now have local listings. Google has Google Places, Yahoo has Yahoo Maps, and Bing has Bing Local. In addition, there are a slew of local review sites like CitySearch, Yelp, and Insider Pages as well as several Internet Yellow Pages, like yp.com. These are all places where people can search for churches in a specific city or geographic location and these are all places where your church should be listed.
So, How Popular Is Local Search?
According to an article from USAToday, “ComScore has Yelp attracting 26.1 million users, followed by YP.com at 24.8 million, Idearc’s Superpages at 17.3 million, Citysearch’s 14.3 million and Yahoo Local’s 13.3 million visitors.” Comscore also indicates that Google got 178 million visitors and Google says that 20% of their traffic is local searches. So, that puts Google’s local search traffic at 35.6 million visitors. That’s a lot of search traffic.
It gets even better, though. Google, Bing, and Yahoo all include their local search listings in their general search results. So, when you search for churches in “churches in Charlotte NC” in Google, you will not only see websites listed, but also listings from Google Places. You will even see local listings when you just search “churches” because the major search engines are able to detect where you are from your computer’s IP address and then return local results for that area.
Multiple Search Results
As mentioned above, the major search engines include local listings in their general results. They also include local review site listings and Internet Yellow Page listings in their general search results. So, by setting up listings in the local search options of the major search engines, local review sites, and Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) sites, your church could show up in the search results multiple times.
As an example, try doing a search for “Catholic churches Las Vegas” in Bing. We all may see slightly different results due to personalization, but what I see is Bing Maps results, then the website of the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas, then Yellow Pages, SuperPages, CitySearch, Yahoo Local, and some other results. So, if you were a Catholic church in Las Vegas, you could be listed in the results 5 – 6 times just on the first page of results! Most of the local review and IYP listings are city category listings, but I regularly see specific church listings in the results as well.
By getting listed in the various local search sites, you can greatly increase your church’s visibility on the web.
Picture by: Wayne Vota
What local sites has your church gotten listed in?
What sites do you recommend?