As a new Christian blogger, you might be wondering where you should be focusing more effort – learning SEO or learning Pinterest. The truth is that both of these are important for the overall growth of your blog. But learning SEO far outweighs Pinterest for long-term growth.
BE SURE TO PIN ME FOR LATER!
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SEO Will Provide Long-Lasting Results
SEO isn't something Christian bloggers should stray away from. If your goal is to truly minister to those across the world and/or to generate consistent income, you must learn how SEO works and implement it on your site.
SEO doesn't start with choosing a keyword for a blog post. Yes, that is an important part of it, but SEO actually begins before the blog posts start going out. Laying a solid SEO foundation for your site will enable search engine crawlers to more easily index your content so that it can retrieve it when someone types something into that Google search box.
Learning SEO doesn't just mean getting the green light on the Yoast plugin. It means learning how to pick the right keywords and how to format your posts for search engine crawlers to easily read it.
Keep in mind that I'm not saying you shouldn't focus on Pinterest. What I am saying is that SEO should come first. I've had other Christian bloggers tell me they get plenty of traffic from Pinterest so they don't worry about trying to learn SEO. But imagine how much more traffic you could be getting – and getting with consistent gains each month – by learning and implementing SEO!
- The Importance of Implementing Backend SEO
- Picking the Right Keyword for Your Blog Posts
- How to Properly Format Your Blog Post for SEO
1 – SEO is Better for Long-Term Growth
Pinterest is a new blogger's best friend as far as generating substantial organic traffic to a new blog before SEO takes effect. Before a post even makes it into the Google algorithm, Pinterest can send you thousands of monthly visitors.
But when you look at your long-term strategy, starting your blog by focusing on SEO will enable you to have even bigger gains from month to month.
The image below shows the traffic for Kingdom Bloggers in the first 10 months after going live.
We launched with the blog on December 3rd, 2018. During the first 5 months, had over 22k users referred from Pinterest during that 5-month period. During the next 5 months, we received had just over 25k referred. The increase from the first 5 months to the second 5 months was only 10.27%.
Google referral traffic, however, shows a much larger growth over the same period. During the first 5 months, we had 1220 users referred from Google. But in the second 5 months, it jumped to over 14k! That is an over 1000% increase from the previous period! (And we also saw an 800% increase in Yahoo traffic and a 530% increase in Bing traffic compared to the previous 5-month period.)
While Pinterest was great for that first 5 months in getting Kingdom Bloggers out there, the fact that we focused the entire site around SEO definitely paid off in this last 5 months!
Here are some results from Erin who blogs over at Lullaby Lark. She really got serious about SEO during the summer and enrolled in the SEO Boot Camp class. These results show her traffic sources for the five months prior to the course compared to the 5 months after implementing everything she learned. Where Pinterest was her primary source of traffic before, it has increased by only 27%. But her organic traffic from Google, Bing, and Yahoo combined have increased by over 1400% for the same time period!
2 – SEO Traffic is Easier to Maintain Than Pinterest Traffic
With Pinterest, you have to be consistent in your pinning. That means pinning other people's pin as well as creating and adding new pins for older content. While this will help you in getting traffic, what happens when you, for whatever reason, don't do those things? What if you have a family emergency that prevents you from being active on it? Or you simply don't have the time to create those new images? There are a lot of reasons why you might not be able to get in their and schedule pins out or create new ones.
With SEO, however, it is a completely different story. When you have focused your content from an SEO perspective in the beginning, there isn't much else you need to do except continue with your regular writing schedule and write about similar topics. Once your content gets indexed and is sending organic traffic based on the keywords chosen for each post, there isn't much else you have to do to maintain that traffic.
If I, for whatever reason, was unable to publish a new blog post for a month (or longer), my organic traffic from search engines wouldn't be impacted. With Pinterest, however, lack of consistency in pinning and adding new content will result in a drop in traffic.
3 – Social Platforms Are Flaky
You may remember last year when Facebook decided to make drastic changes to its algorithm and now, you see less actual engagement on your Facebook page (unless you pay to play). Facebook and other social platforms are constantly updating and changing how they operate (as a 3rd party). Pinterest is notorious for making changes that cause significant drops in referral traffic throughout the year. It is so bad that it is a “not-so-funny” blogging joke where we wake up and wonder if Pinterest is going to raise our blood pressure today!
Although Google and other search engines do periodically make updates to their algorithm, for the most part, these are minimally impactful to most Christian bloggers. While it is important to utilize Pinterest (and other social platforms) to generate traffic, you have a much higher return on the time you spend focusing on SEO.
4 – SEO Has a Wider Reach
Recent data indicates that people search on Google somewhere around 168 billion times each month. That number is just for Google and doesn't include searches using other search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is currently seeing around 250 million searches per month.
As a Christian blogger, you have the ability to reach a LOT more people with your Christ-filled content when you optimize your content for Google and other search engines. Google is the number one search engine used across the globe but not everyone uses Pinterest.
SEO Really Does Matter!
SEO is the one thing you really need to invest time in learning. The more effort you put towards SEO on your site, the better the long-term growth will be for your ministry. SEO enables you to reach people across the planet on a more consistent basis.
Again, I don't want to make it sound like Pinterest is a waste of time because it is definitely NOT! Pinterest is definitely a tool you need to utilize for generating traffic to your Christian blog. But it shouldn't be the only thing you focus on. SEO has a much wider reach and a much longer impact than Pinterest when done correctly. And, as you can see in the images I shared earlier, the overall growth from month to month will be much, much higher from SEO.
If you are struggling to understand how SEO works, you can read through all of the SEO tutorials I have here on the blog. You can also enroll in my SEO for Christian Bloggers course which will walk you step-by-step through laying the SEO foundation for your site and how to write content that will be indexed in search results on Google and other search engines.
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