The best way to improve organic traffic to your Christian blog is by ensuring you have the best SEO practices in place. While most SEO topics revolve around picking the best keyword for a particular post, it is also important that you have applied sound SEO strategies to the backend settings of your site. Backend SEO will help you lay a solid SEO foundation for everything else on your site.
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How to Complete Backend SEO for Your Site
What exactly is Backend SEO? Honestly, this is just a term I made up to describe applying SEO to the administrative areas of your blog. This includes ensuring the settings for your homepage, blog page, about page, and other administrative pages all have a clear meta description that reflects your blog's purpose.
- Homepage – This is the page that comes up when they type in your blog URL directly
- Blog Page (if different from the homepage) – This is the blog feed page (domain.com/blog) that some themes use in which the blog feed is different from the homepage.
- Administrative – These include any other administrative pages such as your About Page, Contact Page, etc)
- Categories & Tags – Each Category and Tag has it's own administrative page to be SEO'd
The ultimate goal with implementing SEO for these pages is to ensure that, when your blog is displayed in search results, the snippet adequately reflects the blog content. It also helps lay the SEO foundation for the keywords you want your site to be associated with. This helps crawlers to better index your site and associate it with a particular purpose (keyword topic).
Complete the Yoast Section
Depending on your theme, you may or may not be able to fully complete the Yoast section for the homepage. Some themes have an actual “page” template for the homepage, along with the blog page, admin page, etc. If your theme is set up this way, you can follow these steps to SEO the homepage. If not, then you'll only be able to SEO the other admin pages.
On the left of your dashboard, go to SEO – Search Appearance
If your theme has a page template created for the homepage, you'll see it here. If not, you'll simply enter the details that you can here on this page (there should be a spot to enter your blog information but not a box for the keyword).
Click on the link for “front page” (or homepage) and it will take you to the actual page for that template. There won't be any actual content on this page. Scroll down to the bottom where the Yoast settings section is.
Focus Keyphrase – Enter your blog name as the focus keyphrase on all of the administrative pages.
SEO Title – Here you will enter your blog name If you have a simple name of just one or two words, add more to it. Add something that has keyword value for your overall site topics or area of focus. You can see in mine below, I added “Christian Blogging Tips and Resources” after the blog name. This just provides more info when your page is displayed in search results. (I've recently updated my meta description so what is showing in the first image for the snippet is different from what is shown in the second image. I just made the change a few days ago so it will take a couple of weeks for the change to reflect on the results pages).
For your administrative pages, edit the name a bit to reflect the particular page. For example “About Kingdom Bloggers – Christian Blogging Tips.”
Slug – For your homepage, you won't have a slug.
Meta Description – This is where you want to enter a good keyword-rich description of what your blog is about. This description should include your blog name in it. This should be about 2 sentences and is what will display in the preview snippet in search results when someone searches for your blog by name. (See image above.) You should provide enough words to get the green to show, but if you go over the character limit, it will turn orange. This is totally OK, just make sure the key components (blog name and major keyword) are in the first or second line of text.
After you complete this step for your homepage, you'll follow the same steps to update your blog page (if applicable), you about and contact pages, and any other administrative pages that you have. Be sure to edit the meta description just a bit to reflect each pages specific purpose.
For any images that you add to the actual blog (header image, sidebar images, featured image for the administrative pages, etc, go back to them and edit the Alt Text and Title for the image to be your blog name. Do this for all images on your site that aren't for specific blog posts. This includes the featured image for these individual admin pages.
Categories and Tags
Just like your administrative pages, your categories and tags also have Yoast sections to complete. It is important that you clean up your categories and tags and ensure you are using them in the best possible way for your site. This is very important for the overall SEO strategy for your site. Your categories and tags are very important for SEO, for search engine crawlers, and for helping your readers navigate your content better.
Backend SEO Strategies Matter!
If you are just starting out with building your site, having the Backend SEO in place will set you off to a better start for gaining organic traffic. But if you've been blogging a while and are just now trying to understand SEO, don't worry! It will just take a little longer for your edits to take effect. The Backend SEO is meant to lay sort of an SEO blueprint for search engine crawlers to be able to quickly figure out what your site is about so it can be indexed accordingly. You can watch the video below which sort of walks you through all the steps mentioned in this post to make it easier to understand.
Be sure to also read:
- Picking the Right Keywords as a Christian Blogger
- The Truth About the Yoast Plugin
- Formatting Christian Blog Posts for SEO