When People Are Searching for Answers (Guest Post)

What happens 235 million times a day online? People search Google for answers to their questions.

A couple of crucial characteristics of an online search:

1. There is a level of intent behind each one.

2. They are hoping to discover something that they have yet to find on their own.

When I think of my own ministry it’s rare that those two elements are so closely connected. Either I surprise someone with spiritual content that they were not entirely prepared for, or they come to me with a question or thought for which I’m not prepared.

By taking a couple extra minutes before you hit “Publish” on that blog post you can make it easier for those searchers to find your blog via a search engine.

Here’s a couple tips to get you started:

  • After you write your post ask yourself, “If someone were looking for this post on Google, what are some phrases they might type into the search box?” Now go back through your post and look at your title to see how closely it matches the phrases. If they do not match, adjust the title to make it more search friendly.
  • Examine the first paragraph of your post: Does it clearly explain the content of your post and does it have at least one phrase that a searcher might type in? Search engines often take the first 165 characters to describe the post to the searcher.

A Quick Analysis of Search Engine Results:

SEO 101--three keys to ranking in google
Google looks at three things:

  1. URL–if someone types in shoes, then http://www.shoes.com/shoes is going to be highly ranked
  2. Title--the words that make up the title are next after the url in ranking (which is why thinking through titles is CRUCIAL to blogging)
  3. Meta–the first 165 characters in your post. Some blogging platforms, might have the option to enter in the meta description below the post. This is particularly helpful if your first 165 characters are not an accurate reflection of your post’s content.

My personal blog is The Necessary Things. If you google that phrase you will see that my blog (www.brianbarela.typepad.com) is number one on that search.

Here’s the main takeaway–Spend time refining and thinking through your titles because they affect the url of your post and are critical to helping people find your content on search engines.

Guest Post by Brian Barela: Brian is a 2000 graduate of UCLA where he majored in Ancient Greek and History. He’s now a father of three and a husband of one and the Missional Team Leader at Chico State. Brian likes Miles Davis, Point Break, translating ancient Greek, the larger Epistles, and the Bruins.

Follow Brian on his blog or follow him on Twitter at brianbarela. His preferred blogging platform is TypePad.

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