There’s been a lot of good discussion on Google+ lately in regards to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Catholics over the last week. Craig Berry then came out with a great post “Catholic SEO: A Failing Grade?” When it comes to how search engines and discovery works on the internet a lot of people get very confused. I will confess, I am not as technically savvy as people like Craig in terms of this. I know what has worked and not worked in regards to exposure in the business arena. But it can be a bit different in the religious world and exposure.
As Christians, we know (or should know) that one of our primary purposes is to share the Good News of the gospels with the world. The internet has provided us amazing new ways to reach out to the world through social networking and social media. One of the primary ways people have endeavored to do this is through blogs. Blogs are pretty simple to set up. Most can write short compelling posts. But like any media we put out, we want people to read it and hopefully engage in conversation. Exposure becomes very important, and many are getting frustrated as to how to capture that exposure amongst the sea of bloggers out there.
During the conversations I previously mentioned, several people brought up their blog and wondered why they are not getting noticed as much as they thought. I looked over several of them and found that many (if not all) were missing a lot of opportunity regarding the use of “tags” in their blog posts. If you are not familiar with “tags” in a blog post or have seen them and couldn’t understand why you were putting anything in the field prior to posting, they matter.
Tags are short words or phrases that you want associated with the post. You can have almost as many as you want. The importance is that they do play a role (not the only one, but a role) in search engine exposure. What I find often getting missed with search in general is that people fail to realize that people search a lot of ways for things. You would be surprised as to how many people actually search for ‘Google.com’ to find Google for example. When it comes to religion, Craig’s article demonstrates that there is a lot of searching going on for ‘Christianity’ and ‘Jesus’; but the blog tagging for Catholics rarely use ‘Christian’ or ‘Jesus’ types of wording. It’s mostly simply ‘Catholic’. So it leaves me wondering how many people bloggers are missing by not making better use of blog tags strategically. We’re Christians and we love Jesus, so why aren’t we tagging posts that way?
Granted, tagging will not be 100% solution to blog exposure issues. If you are writing, tagging well, and then leaving it up to search engines . . . you are always going to have exposure issues. You have to do the work to put your work out in front of others and inserting yourself into the conversations. Plus other exposure strategies. But making better strategic use of tags can help too.
What are your thoughts?