Christian writer learning simple SEO

SEO for Christian Writers: A Practical Way to Glorify God & Bless Your Readers

SEO is one of the most practical and enjoyable ways to glorify God, bless your readers, and grow your platform as a Christian writer. Here are 7 benefits.

I know some of you saw “SEO” in the title of this post and immediately assumed it’s not worth your time. Maybe it even tempted you to tackle that looming pile of laundry instead. I get it because I used to react the same way, but I promise not to bore, confuse, or overwhelm you! My goal with this post is to encourage you and show you why SEO is one of the most practical and enjoyable ways to glorify God, bless your readers, and grow your platform as a Christian writer.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the process of developing or improving your website (or blog post) to increase its visibility in search engines (like Google Search). A website optimized for search engines is more likely to appear in search results than a website designed without any thought of SEO.

For example, imagine two websites designed to sell pens specifically for Christian writers—one developed with SEO and the other without SEO. Both attractive, professionally-designed sites sell the same competitively-priced, high-quality product that meets a real need in the Christian writer’s market. 

When a Christian writer searches online for “pen for Christian writers,” the SEO site ranks in the top spot on the results page, but the site without SEO is nowhere to be seen, despite selling the same product at the same price.  

Can I actually do SEO? 

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to effectively use some SEO strategies and see results. SEO is a huge topic, including some technical components. However, any writer can successfully implement some simple and easy SEO techniques.

7 Benefits of SEO for Christian Writers

Christian writers commonly believe that SEO is dry and formulaic, robbing our writing of the art and heart behind it. We rightly resist the idea of turning our heartfelt written words into something technical. As writers for God’s glory, we want our words to truly connect with our readers and to have an eternal impact—not to merely fit a strategic mold for the sake of numbers or strictly to follow what the experts tell us to do. 

Our initial resistance to SEO as Christian writers comes from myths and misconceptions about the method. My SEO experience convinced me it’s a valuable tool to further the kingdom of God, to bring him glory, and to serve our readers better. Here are a few reasons I firmly support the use of SEO for Christian writers.

1. SEO allows us to make Jesus known to more people

As Christian writers who desire to glorify God with our writing, we naturally desire more people to benefit from our message—because we want more people to know Jesus! 

As I shared in my post about platform-building for Christian writers, the Bible provides many examples of God-glorifying individuals who grew a platform or developed a following to further the kingdom of God. Consider John the Baptist: He grew immensely popular and used his popularity to lead many people to know Jesus as their Savior. 

In the same way, if our writing points readers to Jesus Christ, we naturally desire more readers. SEO helps us to make Jesus known to more people by connecting us with searching readers who might not otherwise find our words.

2. SEO is one way to serve our readers well 

Imagine that you’re the mother of a prodigal daughter. After decades of praying and hoping for your daughter to return home and to the Lord, your heart remains heavy, and you doubt your prayers are worth the effort. In desperation, you Google “how to persevere in praying for your prodigal.” The first page of search results brings up a few fluffy listicle articles that might have encouraged you 20 years ago, but you find nothing new or that you can relate to today. These Google search results add to your discouragement. 

Now imagine you’re a Christian writer who persevered in prayer for your prodigal for decades. You skillfully wrote your story in a way that engages the reader, doesn’t shy away from the tough reality, yet points to our hope in Jesus Christ. Your content equips and encourages moms of prodigals to persevere in prayer by presenting them with practical tools. Your website even offers an active community of other praying moms of prodigals for support. Naturally, you desire that desperate mom to find your website through her Google search. That’s a genuinely loving desire because you know your content can minister to her aching heart in a tangible way. 

Before that desperate mama can receive the encouragement your website provides, she needs to find your website. Unless she learns about your website from someone else, how will she find it? If your website is optimized for search engines using simple SEO techniques, she can find it through her Google search.

SEO is one of the ways we, as Christian writers, can fulfill our calling to love and serve others well. It’s one way we can look not only to our own interests “but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4) by developing our website in a way that draws in the people who genuinely need what our website provides. We help our audience find what they’re looking for. 

3. SEO enables us to build a platform without prideful self-promotion

More than other writers, Christian writers have a continual battle over platform-building. We understandably resist self-promotion because it opposes God’s desire for humble hearts. We’re uncomfortable with marketing ourselves or our products, and we cringe at the idea of using salesy techniques or anything that hints at pride or self-centeredness.

SEO is a solution to this conundrum. It’s a marketing tool Christian writers can use to promote our work without feeling salesy or self-promotional in any way while protecting ourselves against pride and self-centeredness. It’s a completely unobtrusive and legitimate way of getting our work in front of the people who will really benefit from it.

4. SEO can be free 

Unlike other marketing methods, such as advertising, we can effectively implement many SEO techniques for free. 

5. SEO can be easier & more effective than social media

Word of mouth is a great way to grow your audience, but it’s unpredictable and typically slow. Other ways to grow your audience—like social media, being a guest on a podcast, guest writing for other websites, etc.—are highly effective but also labour-intensive and time-consuming. 

Alternatively, effective SEO can generate a significant amount of your website traffic with comparatively less effort. Statistically, social media’s conversion rate is extremely low (less than .1%). SEO, on the other hand, drives about 1,000% more traffic than social media

6. SEO can bear lasting fruit

SEO is a one-and-done approach to a certain degree. Eventually, you must revisit your content and your website to review your SEO, but every website requires maintenance and upkeep. Unlike advertising or social media, an optimized website can serve you well for a long time without needing constant revision and attention. An effective SEO strategy can produce the desired results for years to come. 

7. SEO reaches the most people where they need us

Did you know that 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine? And over 53% of all website traffic comes from organic search. If, as Christian writers, we desire to bless and serve more people for the glory of God, it seems wise to meet those readers where they search for content. 

Less than 1% of Google searchers click on results from the second page, so if we want searching readers to find us, we must ensure they find us on the first page. How do we do that? We use search engine optimization.  

How does SEO fit with the spirit behind Christian writing?

Admittedly, a lot of content written for SEO is dry and formulaic—probably more now than ever before with the adoption of AI-generated content. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When we craft SEO content with heart and attention to the art of writing, it ultimately proves more effective than the dry, formulaic stuff. 

One of the most positive changes in Google’s search algorithms in recent years is attention to the quality of the content. It no longer works to stick to a formula that includes all the right technical aspects but remains painful for readers to read. 

One way search engines measure the quality of a page is by how long people stay on the page. If people start reading and grow bored, they won’t stay long. But if they keep reading and stay interested to the end, they remain on the page much longer. This tells search engines that the content is genuinely helpful and, therefore, good quality. 

This encourages Christian writers to continue to hone our writing skills and to really know and understand our readers so we can love and care for them more effectively. It prompts us to question how to serve them best. We can ask, “What is my reader looking for? What questions do they have that I can answer? How can I best provide what they need?” This sets us apart from those who develop content strictly for the sake of a bigger platform or higher visitor counts. To us, our readers are more than numbers. We genuinely care about their needs and hearts, and SEO helps us serve them more effectively in that regard. 

You Can Learn SEO for Christian Writers!

If you can write, you can learn SEO. In my Simple SEO for Christian Writers course, I take you step-by-step through my proven process of on-page SEO. It’s like you’re sitting beside me at my desk as I implement simple and easy SEO strategies to write a blog post. You’ll see in real-time how to use SEO in a natural, manageable, and effective way. Join me!

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