I have said on many occasions that my brother is never my enemy or my competition, so I am once again sharing with you what I have learned about how to get more traffic to your Christian website. I have had many question me on the fact that I give away ideas and techniques that help other Christian bloggers and webmasters. They think that by doing so, I am only hurting my competitive edge. If I was building my own empire or a name just for myself, then I would agree. However, that is not what I am doing. My purpose is and always has been to see the kingdom of God expanded here on earth and so by teaching others what I learn and what I am doing to build this website, It furthers the effectiveness of all of us to see that kingdom expanded.
I am not an expert. I did not know anything about search engine optimization, social networking, or building and running a website when I started this adventure a year and a half ago. I was just determined to find out what works so I could do my part in seeing people touched with the gospel of Jesus. So this post, like all the other posts in the Christian blogging section of this website, I am just going to share with you my thoughts and observations about how to get more people to come visit your blog or website.
In order to get more people to your Christian website, you need to determine where those people will come from.
When I was a little kid, there was a pond near my father’s house. I loved to fish and so I would go there quite often to fish. I never caught anything there and it was only later in life that I realized that the only type of fish that was in that pond was what we called “bullheads”. They are a very small breed of catfish that didn’t grow to more than a couple of inches. There were no real fish in that pond!
It is the same way with getting people to your Christian blog. You need to be fishing where people are. There are different sources of traffic and you need to decide which ones you are going to fish from.
Search engine traffic
When I am talking search engine traffic, I am primarily talking about Google. Google is the giant behemoth when it comes to the search engine websites. Almost everybody uses it for their search needs and they do so automatically without thinking about it. It was search engine traffic from Google that rocketed this website from basic obscurity to having over a half a million visitors in it’s first year. Any webmaster that wants to have new visitors every day to their website would be unwise not to do the things it takes to get traffic from Google.
That being said, I have seriously fallen out of love with Google. I liken them to a high maintenance fickle woman who always promises to meet you at the altar and then continues to change the rules every time you start to get close to fulfilling her demands. As a Christian webmaster, we need to remember that Google is a corporation and as such it is beholden to it’s stock holders. Stock holders are addicted to one thing. Profits! Google is pressured every quarter to beat the last years profits and earnings otherwise they will suffer the wrath of those stock holders.
This was evidenced just recently with Google’s Penguin Update that Google called a smashing success. It was a success for Google but it wasn’t a success for users with a horrible decline in relevance and quality in their free search listings. They decreased the quality of their free search listings and increased the amount and quality of their paid search listings and the end result was a 35% increase in revenues and a 42% increase in paid clicks from the paid search listings. There are also complaints about how Google is setting a limit on the amount of free traffic it will send to a website. This is evidenced by the picture below. Notice how every time the amount of search impressions reaches 50,000 there is a sudden drop again. This has happened during the same period of time that there have been 300 new posts on the website. There is something very fishy about this picture!
Why is this important to Christian webmasters and bloggers?
Google is in the same position as free TV was back in the 1970′s. Back then there were 3 major networks and they were advertiser supported. They controlled the airwaves. But then came Cable TV with the promise of no advertising. All of a sudden the networks had competition and they sacrificed quality of their product, which was the programming, to continue to meet or beat the stockholders expectations about earnings and profit. The end result was that they became almost obsolete and today have a very little slice of the total media market.
Google is doing the same thing. They are sacrificing the product that drives people to their website in order to meet or beat stockholders expectations. There is no reason to believe it will not end with the same results. So to invest and center in on getting traffic from Google alone is not a long term strategy that is wise in my opinion. You need to look to other sources for traffic besides just search engine traffic.
Social Media Traffic
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest combined have more monthly visitors worldwide than Google. Combine that with the fact that those 3 websites are growing while Google is remaining relatively stagnant and has failed miserably with their G+ attempt at social networking makes the handwriting on the wall. Social networking is the cable TV of the internet.
Instead of worrying about algorithms, and updates, all you have to do is engage people and attract followers. If you are writing quality content, care that you have a nice and professional website for people to visit, and doing what it takes to build a fan base, you will get traffic from these websites. A little over a month ago, I started focusing on building and engaging my fans on my Facebook Fan Page. In the picture below you will see how I have grown the fan page by just posting pictures relevant to Christianity, posting quotes from myself and other Christians, and by sharing my articles. Notice the difference between that picture and the one I shared with you from Google.
Because I have focused on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, my traffic from these sites has increased. I have seen a 124% increase in traffic from Facebook, 85% increase in traffic from Twitter, and a 169% increase in traffic from Pinterest which I just started targeting 2 weeks ago. You can do all of this without spending a penny, learning about algorithms, building backlinks ect. You just engage people. Much easier than courting Google with all of it’s fickleness.
Traffic from other Christian websites.
About 6 months ago I was asked to be a blogger on the Christian Post. At the time I thought it would be a good idea because I would be able to get backlinks from a highly authoritative site and it would help my Google rankings. What I didn’t realize is what a great source of traffic it would be for my website. The Christian Post has 7.5 million people per month visit their site. Most of them are Christians and are interested in the same things my website has. All I have to do is present a good article, and many times it ends up on their front page. When this happens I get traffic from them.
The cool thing about all this is that if you are a Christian blogger, you can now start a blog on their website. It is open to anyone. Now I know that many of you might think that you are already busy with your own website and don’t have time to start one there. You can use some of your old material from your blog over there and make it pay for you again. They have it set up that the credit goes to your original post so there is no confusion about duplicate content.
Increasing free traffic to your website takes work but it is worth it.
There is no quick fix or instant traffic solution. I get emails daily from people that want to sell me the dream of a one click solution to getting traffic. If you want a one click solution, then you are going to have pay for advertising. It does take work, patience, and faithfulness but it is worth it.
If you are like me, then the reason you started your Christian website or blog was to touch people and share your faith. I had over 4,500 people last year learn how to meet Jesus on the page I have set up for people to learn how to have a personal relationship with Him. So, for me, every picture I post on Pinterest, Every quote I tweet on Twitter, and every article I write and share on Facebook is more than worth the effort I put into it.
Be faithful in the little things and God will give you more!