Local SEO is crucial for churches. Churches and ministries who aren’t doing SEO are missing out on new visitors and hindering their ministry efforts. So, what do you need to do to get your church to show up in the local search results?
Local SEO is growing in importance every year. At first the search engines created map services with listings. Then the search engines started including some of those listings in the universal search results. Today, those local listings can take up most of the real estate in the universal search results. At the same time the search engines more and more are localizing the general results, tailoring the SERPs according to the IP location of the searcher. So, even when people aren’t searching for a specific location, Google and Bing are serving up results for a specific location. Today, (according to Google) 20% of all searches are related to location and that number jumps to 40% if you look at only mobile searches.
Most Important Factors:
David Mihm recently released a survey of 33 local SEO professionals about what the most important factors in local SEO are.
Top Ten Factors in Local SEO:
- Physical Address in City of Search
- Manually Owner-verified Place Page
- Proper Category Associations
- Volume of Traditional Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
- Crawlable Address Matching Place Page Address
- PageRank / Authority of Website Homepage / Highest Ranked Page
- Quality of Inbound Links to Website
- Crawlable Phone Number Matching Place Page Phone Number
- Local Area Code on Place Page
- City, State in Places Landing Page Title
A General Consensus:
The trick with local SEO and SEO in general is that there’s a lot we don’t know for sure. We have theories based on tests and experience, but they are still theories. So, one of the better ways to get a good idea of what is important and what works is by surveying lots of people who work in SEO. Since they are still theories, there’s some disagreement. So, I encourage you to take a look at the full survey to see what each SEO had to say about the various questions. It’s a pretty long read, but has lots of good info.
What factors do you think are most important?