A young woman’s constant companion these days is her cell phone. She knows how to work it well. Restaurant? “Let me pull up their menu, and their reviews.” Shopping? “They’re closed right now. It’s on their website.” But will they ever go to your center’s website? I’m talking about an abortion vulnerable woman. It’s not likely. Why? Well, test it yourself and see.
Here’s the test: Right now, on your cell phone, (not on your computer, because 90% of clients will use their phone), go to Google and type-in the words “Abortion [Your City]” For example, Abortion Grand Rapids. What comes up? Oh, by the way, DON’T scroll up. (You can’t count on the woman doing that.) What comes up on the first screen? An ad from an abortion clinic? If your center’s name and listing doesn’t come up on the first screen (also called, “Above the fold”), then you’ve lost the battle already. The woman simply pushes a button on her screen to call the abortion clinic. She doesn’t have to type-in the phone numbers, but just pushes a button. You can do something about this. And you should.
The Word Abortion
If your center informs people about the risks of different types of abortions, then you are providing information that will help women, and it falls under the search engine category of the word abortion. So don’t be fearful of using that word in this context, nor be concerned about criticism from the pro-abortion crowd, because their jabs are intended to stop you from saving lives.
Your center can purchase a Google Ad to counter the abortion clinic’s ad. Your ad should include a button for them to call. It should also include a button to Make an Appointment. If the woman has an appointment, she is much more likely to show up. When I do sidewalk counseling in front of abortion clinics, I can’t tell you how many times the woman tells me in our conversation, “But I have an appointment.”There is a pro-life organization that gets a bulk rate on ads because they purchase so many across the country. You can contact them through the email: info@OptionsUnited.com. Insist on having two buttons however for: 1) your phone number and 2) Make an Appointment.
You do want to also go after your Google Listing. This begins with your Google Places page. This is a free webpage from Google which features the basic information about your center including the location, a map, a phone number, pictures, and reviews. You’ve seen these many times with businesses. It enables people to see your hours, and click through to your website.
I highly recommend hiring a SEO (search engine optimization) specialist to get this done right. The average website designer unfortunately doesn’t have the experience to do this right. The SEO specialist will create listings, and get you found, not only on Google, but on Yahoo and Bing search engines (which in turn, influences whether or not you are found on Google). The SEO company will also help you get the Google Places page fully completed, including pictures, reviews, and center hours. Again, with the SEO company you need to insist on getting a Make an Appointment button. There are several SEO organizations I’d recommend, just contact me about it.
A common reaction from centers is that they can’t afford this. Granted, it does cost money for these things. But now that you are aware of the need, focus on it as an area for which to raise funds. First, cast a vision for this by having your Board of Directors each take the test on their cell phones. In your annual budget, assign funds to this. At your fundraising events, communicate the need for this. Find sponsors to support this. It’s important…because the abortion clinics’ parking lots are full.
Mike Brady is a former Executive Director of a prolife women’s health center, and is now the Director of Pregnancy Clinic Consulting. He can be reached through his website: ReachMoreClients.org