If you run a blog for your church, then you are likely already familiar with the term SEO, or Search Engine Optimization – the concept of adapting your website and blog posts so that search engines like Google will show your website higher in search results, and therefore gain you more traffic to your site.
Perhaps you post to your blog, but you’ve been disappointed at the traffic it’s getting – or rather, not getting. It can certainly be frustrating to produce content, only for no one to see it.
While having a blog is a great step in bringing more traffic to your website, it’s not enough to simply create content and post it. In fact, there are a few mistakes that many people are making with regards to SEO that, if fixed, can significantly impact the effectiveness of your content marketing techniques. The following are three of the most common SEO mistakes you probably didn’t realize you were making.
Having a blog, but not posting on a regular schedule
Having a blog allows you to connect with your audience, as well as drive traffic from search engine queries relevant to the content you write about. It’s the best way to keep your website content fresh and relevant, as most of your site’s pages are probably pretty stagnant and never change.
However, if you’re not posting regularly, you’re missing out on a substantial percentage of the potential benefits.
Posting regularly is useful because it gives your audience a regular expectation of when to check for new content. However, the more significant benefit (at least as it relates to SEO), is the fact that Google’s (and other search engines) ranking algorithms track how often new content is posted. By regularly posting on your blog, you’ll automatically receive a ranking boost from Google over time.
If you can produce enough content, posting every day isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Posting a daily devotion is a great way to stay consistent on a daily basis.
If daily isn’t something you can support, then strive for two to three posts per week. Start by taking content from the Sunday sermon. You’d be surprised how much content you can produce from one sermon:
- Recap the sermon in a short blog post
- Pull out bullet points as their own post
- Share your pastor’s sermon notes
- Create a collection of the top 5 quotes from the sermon
- Pull clips from the sermon, and post them as individual blog posts with short descriptions
Not researching keywords
The second most common SEO mistake people make with their blogs is not utilizing keywords throughout their titles and posts. But it’s not as simple as just stuffing your posts with words you think people are searching for – in fact, Google will penalize you and not show your posts in results if it thinks you’re trying too hard to manipulate it.
You need to research which keywords make the most sense for you to use. Researching keywords means looking at the number of monthly searches a particular keyword or keyword phrase has, so you know which keywords have the greatest traffic potential. In addition, keyword research involves tracking how difficult it will be to rank for a keyword, based on factors such as the authoritativeness of the sites currently ranking for that keyword. This type of research is fundamental to getting the most out of your SEO efforts.
Try Google’s Keyword Planner to find this info.
Not having title tags and meta tags
And lastly, one of the simplest SEO mistakes people often make is neglecting their title tags and meta tags. These tags give potential readers a sense of what the content will contain before clicking on the link on a search results page. Just as importantly, title and meta tags help Google determine what your content is about and rank it accordingly. Without that information, Google has less information to work with and will give preference to the websites that have gone through the effort to create title tags and meta tags.
If you have a WordPress site, these tags will likely automatically be added for you or you can download a number of SEO plugins to help you add this information to each post.