I often wonder if SEO (or search engine optimization) is a Christian blogging strategy. How much attention should I really pay to it? Being a Christian blogger means you’re writing to someone. You want someone to be blessed by what you write, correct?
Christian blogging means you use a blog to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a variety of narratives, stories, and processes. It’s an internet ministry with words.
If you’re into Christian blogging, think about how people will find your work. SEO can help, but should never drive you or manipulate you.
This whole conundrum is rooted in wondering why (we) bloggers should write if no one ever reads our work? I don’t have that kind of time. No Christian blogger does.
How much time should I really devote to blog promotion? Is it really about that? Have you ever thought about this too?
If you’re thinking about taking on the ministry of Christian blogging, you’ll need to know a little about how to get your blog read.
On the other hand, if you’re already a Christian blogger, I would love to hear your answer to the following question: how concerned should Christian bloggers be about SEO?
Why I write doing my Christian blogging thing!
Let me tell you, I love writing so much! It’s so my creative bent. Actually, for me, it’s the arch of where my experiences, faith, and creativity intersect. I absolutely love being a Christian woman blogger! I’m not sure I really care if people read it. I’m LYING! Yes, I do!
What is SEO anyway?
First, let me explain what “SEO” is, in case you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about.
The term SEO, as I mentioned, stands for search engine optimization. It’s like the “magic” behind the internet curtain that enables people to find the stuff we write.
It’s likely how you found this blog post. Or is it
Search engines are scouring the web looking for these little “pings.” The pings are the words on your blog that tells Google “Hey! This is what that searcher is looking for! Send them here!”
You cannot ignore it. I really think as your Christian blogging takes shape, you need to know which words you want Google to use to find you.
Christian blogging and writing to be read.
SEO is super important for Christian bloggers. Without it, most fear Google would never promote their writing. God forbid!!! Again, what writer wants to work hard and long on a blog post only to have no one find it? Not me, that’s for sure!
That being said, boy, did I go off the deep end with my Christian women blogging SEO!
While all that stuff is useful, it’s easy to get carried away. I was a woman on a mission- promoting…promoting, and then promoting my blog posts some more! It was exhausting! I was out of balance.
Researching formulas, investing in SEO tools, and even re-thinking my blog posts topics to make them SEO-friendly are just a few of my misguided efforts to get you to land on GodsyGirl, MarriedtoaPastor, and My40somethinglife.com.
Or did it even get you here?
The most important factor for a Christian blogger is not SEO, but the anointing. It’s all about God’s presence. Christian blogging is about God’s plan.
You know, as I mentioned, I did all the “earthly” things to ensure my success, but I didn’t do the most important thing. I didn’t pray for direction, guidance, and instruction.
Christian blogs require prayer and instruction.
Prayer stopped being the cornerstone of my online ministry. It was more of a second thought… if I thought of it at all. Sad. After I hit the “post” button to publish my blog article, maybe I’d casually pray for God to bless it. Most of the time, I really didn’t. I’m ashamed of that.
SEO has its place, but not to control your content completely.
Christian blogging can’t be about SEO and such, but about moving in God’s will and timing. If we do that, we will definitely create content guaranteed to touch the hearts of His people and those yet to discover Him.
That’s way more important than a bunch of numbers on a Google Analytics chart.
It’s curious how we, as Christians, equipped with every spiritual blessing cheapen our efforts by attempting to do things in our own strength. Have you thought about that?
The Holy Spirit is our Guide and directs our steps. Not Google, right?
He’s all we need.
You know what else I discovered about Christian SEO?
Some SEO experts advise bloggers to let things like Google’s Keyword tool or KWfinder to dictate what you write. After reading that, I was like “hmmmm”.
Doing that doesn’t feel quite right. It is almost like rolling dice to decide what to do next. That’s stupid.
While these tools are good resources to aid the process, they can’t drive it.
Only Jesus should do that.
A casual conversation with another Christian woman blogger
This all actually started with an impromptu conversation (or was it?) with my cousin, Eileen Epps-Hamilton. The one chat threw my entire blogging life on it’s ear. She blogs at ITW ministries. Check her out!
Anyway, during the telephone conversation, she said something like “the world systems don’t define or direct our success. You can’t forsake the presence of God for those processes and ways of doing things.” She said it better but essentially that’s what she said.
She was not accusing me or trying to make me feel bad, we were just casually talking about Christian blogging. Sometimes, those “casual” moments are the best teachable ones. Maybe because they are unplanned and unscripted.
Soooooo, right there in the drive-thru line at Chick-Fil- A, I sat stunned by the simplicity and depth of what she said.
She sort of “smacked” me back into trusting God for the success of GodsyGirl, MarriedtoaPastor, and My40somethinglife.com.
God is the leader when it comes to Christian blogging!
God is the Source of all creativity and the arbiter of all success. He makes it all happen – not content marketing or SEO.
Let me say it one more time: SEO is not bad; it’s a tool. Resources are a good thing.
If you know my cousin, Eileen, you know she values knowledge and loves resources. She was not and never would advocate being uneducated or unprepared for any endeavor, much less blogging.
However, she saw my balance was way off and my perspective was a bit skewed.
Don’t you love it when God sends someone to help you get back into balance after you fall out of it?
She was that person for me on that hot summer day (actually, she is always that person in my life).
In this case, she reminded me Christian blogging is not about SEO or any other worldly system.
They are about God using a yielded vessel to write and craft content to draw a lost world to Him and encourage Christians already following Him in the Way.
Rely on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
Honey, the Holy Spirit can do what SEO could never do!
In one svelt swoop, the Holy Spirit can lead the right person to your blog and change your entire world! A book publisher looking for encouragement could land on your blog with no effort from you.
Say, a television producer searches for “Christian women blogs” and finds your latest post.
A famous preacher could be just surfing on his/her tablet and hit your URL. Your anointed, God-breathed words could be so rich, he/she invites you to speak to the women in his/her church. The end result is thousands of new readers. The Holy Spirit can do that in a second!
It’s all in His hands, Christian woman blogger.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
I’ve got total perspective now! I tip my hat to you, Google, but you’re in charge of nothing.
Jesus is. I’ll hinge my hopes on Him. It’s not in SEO, it’s not in Pinterest marketing…it’s by His Spirit!
Google Trends? Guess who causes things to trend? The Lord could make you trend inside of a minute!
Get outta here, SEO, but not all the way. I’ll utilize you sometimes.
Again, God may use those things to promote you, but He’s not dependent on them and neither should you be!!! It is God who brought you Christian blogging. It is God who will bring people to any work you embark on in this Christian adventure! Amen?
As with most stuff in your life, never esteem the “created thing” over the Creator of all things. Jesus Christ is your success measure. He controls ALL those tools (even Google!)
Since Christian women blogs are not about SEO…
Write what God tells you to write when He tells you to do it. Do your due diligence in promotion, then allow Him to work. Trust. Wait. Relax.
How long will it take???? I dunno.
Maybe you’ve been blogging for some time and you’re disappointed with how few visitors read your blog. It’s easy to become frustrated, trust me I know.
“And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
When you blog and you don’t see the attention or stats you want to see, understand you’re likely building a foundation for God to use in “due season”.
Keep writing. Pray and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your fingers and control your “publish” button.
He will tell you what to post and when. He’s going to promote you in time and expand your blogging territory.
Don’t give up and keep your eyes on Him! Write on, Christian blogger! Write on!
Tips for Christian bloggers
to rank in Google…
Again, I don’t hate SEO, it just cannot control your writing. With that, let me share some useful tips for promoting your Christian blog with search engine optimization.
Step one: decide what search engine keywords you want to rank for in the search engines. You can begin by pondering the purpose of your blog and create a list from there.
Step two: Keep that list and keep it handy. Refer to it often!
Step three: go to https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ select those “words” you listed and make sure it’s less than 1000 search volume.
Enter them into this tool and start the analysis. Which are popular (IE… people are already searching for them year-round)?
Also, I have KWFinder and pay monthly to use it (I think it’s $50 a month). I love it!
Once you have a strong list of keywords for your Christian blogging (with a search volume under 1000), you can write your blog posts around those topics (and name your blog posts congruent with them). Use Yoast! It’s super helpful.
Step four: Domain Authority of your Christian blog.
When Christian blogging, consider your domain authority (DA). Click here to find out what I’m talking about. Use Moz to see where you currently rank https://moz.com/link-explorer. You can also Google “Moz domain authority tool.”
Consider this DA when you choose your keywords.
Ask yourself: do I have a chance ranking against other sites? If other sites have higher domain authority, you won’t appear on the first or maybe a second page unless God moves. I look for sites with the 20s or lower so I can compete.
Step five of ranking my Christian blog: create a blog description using all of the keywords. The Lord will help you.
Put that description in all your images in WordPress, on your pages as headings and throughout the posts (where it logically fits).
Some SEO experts recommend having your keyword description at the bottom of every blog post to help Google find you…(I haven’t done that yet.)
Understand this: empty descriptions and untitled images are a bad idea if you want to rank on Google.
Another Christian blogging idea…
Titles for your posts. When God gives you something to write about, research keywords before titling it. I don’t manipulate my post for the keywords, but I consider them!
Long posts rank better Blog post length is also super important in order to rank your Christian blog on Google. Try to have several posts with at least 3000 words, if possible.
Google loves these long post. Not all posts have to be long, just some. Google also likes videos! They are trying to send folks to what they call “quality” sites” and resources and embedding videos will often help you rank higher.
Of course, use Yoast plugin (if you have WordPress). But, it’s only useful if you find the correct keywords that are attainable for your blog.
Note…again…I’m not advocating for you to be a slave to keyword researching, but what is the point of writing when no one can find it …or worse, no one is looking for it? Keyword research is just a tool.
Anyhoo,I just hope this helps. Don’t give up!
Remember, you can’t rely on Pinterest for traffic because they change their algorithms often.
Same with Facebook. Plus, Facebook really wants you to buy ads and boost posts.
Facebook groups are awesome as a complement to your marketing efforts, but, that’s also traffic that may be hard to rely on longterm.
Organic search engine referrals are “King” in my opinion. What do you think?