Categories
Reflections

This Is Why I Made SEO ‘Someone Else’s Obsession’

The crescendo had been building and the clash was deafening. It reverberated through my mind and deep into my soul. I’d been dancing with opposing ideas which could no longer coexist. I needed to choose. Was I going to submit to man’s wisdom or God’s? It could not be both.

Excuse the dramatic introduction, but this is what it had come to. From the beginning I knew God wanted me to put people first in my blogging. And yet I was strangely romanced by the idea of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and increased visibility on Google. A collision was inevitable.

This is why I made SEO ‘Someone Else’s Obsession’

I could do both, right? I mean, what would be the harm of optimizing my people-first blogs so they could be discovered and read by more people? If this is your approach, I am certainly not saying there is anything wrong with it. But it isn’t for me.

I wrote the title for this blog 9 months ago. That is how long it’s taken me to surrender to it. Since then, I’ve been trying to write the encouragement God has given me to share, while at the same time making little optimizing and self-serving tweaks to the messages.

There is a lot of advice on SEO. I’ve read it, I’ve saved it, I’ve experimented with it. I’ve intended to put it all together “one day”. And it has become a gate, of sorts, through which my writing passes as it leaves my head on its way to my fingers.

A brainstorm bubble about SEO
Photo by Tobias Dziuba on Pexels.com
SEO vigilance is literally a full-time job for some people!

Posting schedule, number of words, trending keywords, proper format, headline length… all this effort offered on the altar of the almighty search engine. And for what? For popularity, to be noticed, and yes – to get my message to the masses.

Human wisdom says SEO. You know what God says? 3 things come to mind.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

Ok, this scripture isn’t talking about optimal google rankings, but it is saying that God knows what I need. And if I seek Him first, He will make sure I have it.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Matthew 6:24

I can’t be completely devoted to both God and any temporal offering of this world. Not money, not fame, not glory, not success.

I like a definition I recently read for the word “despise”. It means “to have it in for”. Yes, when two things battle for supremacy in my heart, one will get the top spot and the other is going down.

Well, SEO, I have it in for you. As far as I’m concerned, from now on you will be Someone Else’s Obsession. I will write what God puts on my heart to say. I will write it when it needs to be written in the way it should be said. I will not abide by your rules or give you any power over my blog anymore. I do not write for you.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”

Colossians 3:23, 24

Writing for Google or any other search engine is no longer an enticing idea for me. I’ve laid it down, put my priorities in order and solidified my resolve to blog for the Lord with all my heart. The rewards He offers will be my fixation instead.

My dear reader, I’m not telling you how to manage your blog. But some of you may need to hear this. You may need someone to tell you what you already know. If God is nudging you the way He has been me, it’s okay – it’s wise – it’s imperative and necessary to make SEO Someone Else’s Obsession!

Categories
Devotions Reflections

Wait, one more thing!

He closed the front door and I started toward the car. My husband said I should have taken a photo of him in the doorway, so I called his cell from the driveway, “Wait, one more thing!”. He indulged his mother and came back to the door. Smile! Click, click. “Thank you! Okay, bye for real now!” Another smile, a wave, and the door closed again. I got all the way into the car, and we drove away. Our son was in his new house, moved completely out of our home. We were making the return trip without him and it was strange. I felt proud and hollow at the same time.

He is not the first of my kids to come of age and move out. I’ve felt this way before, so I knew I’d eventually adjust to the new and different normal. I settled in for the long ride with my husband at the wheel. I opened the Bible app on my phone and read Proverbs chapter 3.

The first two words, “My son”, caught my attention in a unique way, given the circumstances. As I read further, I started forming a series of “Wait, one more thing!” posts, in my heart and head. They are written with my son in mind, but they could be for any of my children. In fact, I’m someone’s child; they are for me. If you’re someone’s child (and I’m certain you are), they may be for you too.

Proverbs 3 was written by King Solomon, who ruled Israel after his father, King David. He is known as the wisest man who ever lived. 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 tells us that when God promised to give Solomon any gift he wanted, he asked for wisdom and knowledge. God was pleased because the request was not for wealth or power, so He granted it all. Proverbs is filled with nuggets of wisdom and chapter 3 is one of many written specifically to posterity.

I told my son, “Wait, one more thing!” and now I am going to say it to him, and me and you, every Monday for a while. I hope you will indulge my sentimentality and allow me to love on you with thoughts from this chapter in Proverbs. I could sure use some solid wisdom these days, especially at the front end of my work week, couldn’t you?

“Wait, One More Thing!”, the series, will be posted to the Back Porch on Mondays and you’re invited! I’m saving a cushioned seat (so to speak) for you!