By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning nonprofit content writer, website publisher, and author of 9 books.
An online devotional for writers
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.
“My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” (Mark 10:51, NLT)
70% of internet searches are for a long-tail keyword – a very specific term or phrase comprised of 2-6 words.
Specificity produces better results. I know this from my own googling habits. For instance, when I was planning a vacation trip to the southwestern US and discovered photos of a swirling, red sandstone geologic slot formation in northern Arizona, you bet I wanted to know more.
I googled “Antelope Canyon” which returned dozens and dozens of results. To narrow down options, I typed “Lower Antelope Canyon.” Finally, I keyed in “Hike in Lower Antelope Canyon” – a 5-word long-tail keyword – and got the information I needed.
Writing with specificity is not new. Neither are long-tails.
Mark used specifics in his gospel. For instance, in chapter 10 he recorded that Jesus and his disciples headed out of town – Jericho, to be specific. They spotted a man: “a blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus).” How’s that for a descriptive long-tail keyword?
Then Bartimaeus called out to Jesus twice with his own long-tail term: “Son of David.” And Jesus told Bartimaeus to be specific: “What do you want me to do for you?”
Mark offers a model for writers to follow in being specific with our readers.
And by the way, Bartimaeus was healed. Instantly. After he told Jesus (specifically) that he wanted to see.
Write with specific words and terms.
You are a God of detail. Let me follow that model and give my readers the specific information they need.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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