search marketing

Your Website is in a Race. Are You Winning or Losing?

Written by Kurt Steinbrueck

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Race 5 - East of Ireland Marathon Series - Donadea, Kildare - September 2013Did you know that you are in a race?  You may not have signed up for it, but none the less, you are in a race.  Your website is running a race against every other website that is similar to yours.  Whether it’s other auto-shops, other Christian gift shops, even other churches, you are racing to be the winner and Google and Bing are the roads you are racing on.

What is the Race?
The race is about people finding and visiting your website.  The main way people find websites is through the search engines.  Most people don’t search beyond the second or third page of results, if they even get that far.  So, if you aren’t on the first page or two of results, people won’t find you and they won’t visit your website.  Remember, there’s only 1 website in first place.  So, as the Apostle Paul says:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24

Granted, that’s way out of context, but the sentiment still applies.  Run that you may obtain the prize!

How Do I Run the Race?
Technically, you probably are already are in the race, but you may not be running…or even walking for that matter.  The race of the search engines is run in a variety of ways.

  • Make sure your website is indexed (that’s like registering to run the race)
  • Optimize your website for the search engines targeting key search phrases (keywords)
  • Create great content for your website so you build and audience and get links and social shares
  • If you are a local site, create local listings and get good reviews.

These are the primary ways you run the race well and get high rankings.

Ok, Your Website Isn’t Really in a Race…It’s in Hundreds of Races
Yep, that’s right.  Each keyword (search phrase) you want to rank well for has its own race.  Just because you rank well for one keyword, doesn’t mean you’ll rank well for another.  So, you are optimizing for many keywords on many of your website’s page and trying to build links to those pages.

infinity-300Where’s the Finish Line?
Good question.  I haven’t seen one yet.  You may run very well for a while and get a lot of high rankings, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll keep them.  Other websites are running as well and they may pass you if you don’t keep running.  Think tortoise and the hare.  If you decide your doing great and can take a break, the next guy who’s just been slowly, but surely working on his site may very well pass you.  So, you have to keep going…and going…and going.  Instead of running like the hare, you have to run like the Energizer bunny.

It’s Time to Start Running
So, where are you in the race.  Have you signed up?  Are you running?  If you are out there running with the best of them (optimizing, putting out great content, connecting with people socially, etc.), great for you!  Keep it up!  If you aren’t, what’s holding you back?  If it’s time or you’re not sure what to do, shoot us an email or give us a call and we’d be happy to help.  If it’s that you just haven’t gotten around to it, get up off the couch and start running…or give us a call and we’d be happy to help.  Regardless of your reasons, it’s time to start.  Even if you can only start slowly at least you’re doing something and, like the tortoise, you may start to catch up or even pass those hares that decided they could take a break.

So, let’s get going…come on.  Tie on your racing shoes and let’s start!

Share your thoughts:

  • What are you doing to win the race in the search engines?
  • If you aren’t doing much, what is holding you back?  What are the biggest reasons you haven’t been able to get things going?
  • What do you find most frustrating about running the search engine race?
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About the author

Kurt Steinbrueck

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .


  • Organic search is not the only race you can compete in…I was surprised to learn some of the over-100k-subscribers bloggers didn't even bother with Google or Bing.

    • Certainly, there are many ways to bring traffic to your website. That said, while these big time bloggers you've referenced may not have intentionally dealt with the search engines, they were still in the search engine race. All websites are. I'm sure they got plenty of traffic and subscribers from search traffic. Blogging is a great way to improve the SEO of your site 🙂

      Blogging, in and of itself can be it's own race, though. With blogging, however, the racers (if you will) don't have to necessarily compete against each other. For example, I have several SEO blogs that I follow, they don't have to compete against each other to have me in their audience, they just each have to provide content that I think is valuable.

  • "What do you find most frustrating about running the search engine race?"

    The fact that the organizers of the race keep changing the course!

  • I finally added a blog to my site…. rather than a link to an outside blog. Then I began blogging… adding a new one every few days… after just a few weeks… my ranking went from page 5 to page 2. This is the only thing that I have done, so it has to be working. Other than that… I occasionally post links to my site on LinkedIn, Twitter, and FB.

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