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Reach the Unchurched Using Google's Local Pack

Google Local Pack

When a Google search is performed that is interpreted by Google to be requesting results that have locations, Google almost always returns a local pack.

The local pack is a set of three results, marked on a map, that typically appear above all other search results. The local pack contains only results that are geographically near to the searcher, and that Google is extremely confident actually exist at the location they claim.

When an unchurched person searches for a new church, they almost certainly are going to be using keywords that will return a local pack – for example “churches near me”, “local church”, or “churches in {location}”. Thus, the first three churches the searcher is likely to see will be those that are chosen for the local pack. Being one of those churches for searches in your community is of great importance, and we can help with that!

How It Works

There are three crucial steps in optimizing your church’s online presence locally. It is important to understand that Google’s top priority when it comes to local search results is ensuring the NAP information (Name / Address / Phone Number) for each location is correct. Google gains confidence when this information is both consistent and as specific as possible across Google My Business, the landing page(s) of your church, and other authoritative online directories.

Google My Business

Step 1: Google My Business

Our first step will be making sure that your Google My Business account has:

  • Optimized and correct NAP information
  • The most specific category available
  • Verified status – we will guide you through this process if it is not already verified
  • Unique entries and corresponding landing pages for each campus of your church (if applicable)
Landing Page

Step 2: Landing Page(s)

Next, we need to make sure that the landing page(s) on your church’s website are optimized in the following ways:

  • If your church has multiple campuses, there should be a unique landing page for each campus with NAP information specific to that location.
  • We will ensure the NAP information across your site is consistent with the optimized information set in your GMB account in Step 1.
  • The NAP information across your site will be implemented as schema.org structured data to make it easy for Google to understand.
  • We will include localization keywords in key areas of your landing page(s) if appropriate.
Important Citations

Step 3: Citations

The final step has to do with managing online citations for your church:

  • First, we will perform an audit to locate existing citations in authoritative directories.
  • We will then ensure that all existing citations are consistent with the NAP information used in Step 1 and Step 2. This level of consistency is crucial to be considered trustworthy by Google.
  • Finally, we will identify the highest value citations that your church is currently missing, as per your budget. New citations will be added to these directories.

With the three steps above complete, your church should have a consistent and trustworthy local presence in Google’s eyes. These are the types of search results that Google wants to display in the local pack.