SEO Case Study


Getting to number 1 on Google with zero budget

Upper Coomera Church is a small church with less than 100 members.  Their new website was to be their only real marketing tool and they had no budget to spend on SEO.  Within weeks of being launched however was ranked at number 1 on Google and Yahoo for the chosen key words.  This is the case study explaining how we did it.

Step 1. Keywords.  For the uninitiated, keywords are words listed in a "meta tag" in the underlying HTML code of EACH PAGE of your website. These meta tags are looked at by search engines to establish what words the site owner thinks users will search on or "Google" to find the information the website provides.

The keywords need to be relevant to the content of the particular page and the search engine will compare the keywords with the headings and content in the page to confirm their relevance to any search.

Each page of your website should have its own keyword list based on the content of that page.  There is no value in listing hundreds of keywords in the meta tag.  If the keywords are not in the content of the specific page they will be ignored or in worst case scenario treated as an attempt to spam the browser and result in a lower ranking.

Step 2 - Relevant and Readable Content. A website needs to be attractive and readable to your target market as well as to search engines. At this point in time Google can't interpret images or flash presentations although I'm sure they are working on it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use them, but you need to balance graphics with text. In other words, the website should make sense without the images and images should be used only to enhance the effect of your text.

Upper Coomera Church Front Page


The main content of the front page should contain the most relevant key words in the first paragraph. This is not contrived but the natural result of making the content relevant to the target audience. By using a CMS to build your website you make it easy to add to and modify content on a regular basis. Where relevant, a "Coming Events" list on the front page (linked to a full events calendar) also helps readers and changes front page content daily.

Step 3 - Headings. Too often web designers ignore the HTML H1 and H2 tags that are designed to tell search engines what text is a heading. Using BOLD, underline, italics or colours may make your headings look good to human eyes but it is the H1 and H2 tags that signify to Google the importance of the content in your headings.

Upper Coomera Church Headings

Above - How Google sees the Headings in the Upper Coomera Church Website

If your chosen keywords are relevant to your content it should be easy to insert the most relevant keywords in the H1 and H2 headings on the lead article on the front page. This emphasizes the relevance of these keywords to search engines.

Step 4 Meta Description. The meta description is the text you see in the search engine for each listed site when you do a search. This is a statement that the site owner is making to establish the relevance of the website for the words used in the search to both the person doing the search, and to the search engine itself. Once again the meta description should be unique for each page of your site and should contain the most important keywords for that page.

Step 5. Links. Search engines look at the number of RELEVANT links from other sites back to yours as a measure of your sites relevance. Subscribing to Link Farms creates hundreds of links that are NOT relevant and this can actually lower you sites ranking. The quickest way to create relevant links is to list your site in online directories many of which are free. The first listing should be on Google Local if applicable.  In the case of a Church website there are many local community directories and church website directories available.

Social Media also provides great linking opportunities. Each time you add new content such as a new podcast you should announce the update on Twitter and Facebook etc with a link back to the site.

As you can see, ranking is about content, keywords and links. Decide on what keywords you want to target, include those words in the site keyword meta tags, meta description, content and headings, and then tell the online world about your site. It is not rocket science or voodoo and should not be expensive if your website is well designed. All of the above can be achieved with our $1300 Web Essentials package.


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