Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Search engine optimization isn’t the mysterious stranger in the corner nowadays. In fact, a lot of SEO is done automatically if you use platforms like WordPress. So, is it a requirement to learn SEO before you start your blog?
That really depends on the purpose of the site and how much effort you plan on putting in.
In reality, you can start a blog today and simply learn as you go. And thanks to the slew of information at your fingertips, it doesn’t take long to grasp the basics.
Do You Need to Learn SEO?
In today’s world, it’s all about delivering the best answers possible to search queries. Search engine optimization helps you get content in front of more people when they look for that information.
However, it takes more than just proper keywords and phrases to be seen on the front page of Google.
In the end, there are a lot of different gears turning for proper optimization. Everything from the content you write to the speed of your site will contribute to driving traffic to your blog.
But the vast majority of elements of SEO all center around the visitor experience. If people love the content, can navigate your site well, and spend time reading more than one post, your numbers will soar.
But, it’s not going to be an instant growth. There are a lot of variables in play that dictate whether a blog will be successful at driving traffic beyond SEO.
What is the Purpose of Your Blog?
If you are trying to build a blog to replace a full-time income or to promote a business, then, yes, you’ll need to learn SEO. However, you don’t need to jump right into optimization courses before you set up the site.
Using the best practices will vastly help you grow your blog in terms of visitation. But, it’s not a requirement to get started.
I’ve seen a lot of people create a great deal of success for themselves without really putting in a lot of effort into SEO. Outside of the basic elements I’ll go into in a moment, some of them simply write content people love to read.
And if you can get a lot of people to follow your blog, it only fuels how your pages will appear on sites like Google.
This is one reason why I suggest using as many social media platforms as possible. It gives you a variety of channels you can use to grow an audience. It just creates a lot more work because you have to be “social” in order to correctly market on those sites.
Learn SEO as You Go, On Your Own Time
The odds of attracting a massive audience from search in the very beginning are slim, even with the best SEO practices in play. Part of this is because of how long it takes for a post to get indexed and gain traction on sites like Google.
In reality, it can take anywhere from three to six months in an ideal setting for a new blog to start pulling in traffic from search.
Although it’s true that implementing what you learn about SEO will vastly improve your chances, time is still a relevant issue. Regardless, you shouldn’t expect to become instantly viral even if you write amazing content.
What all of this means is that you can start a blog today and simply learn SEO strategies as you go. This is because every site will have a unique audience.
It’s All About Your Target Audience
A target audience are those people who are more interested in your content, whether it’s a blog post, video, or a consumable item. It’s the target audience who is more likely to interact with your content, make purchases, and follow your social media profiles.
The strategies you use for proper SEO will change depending on the people you’re trying to target. And I’m not just talking about keyphrases and word usage.
- Does my audience want a lot of imagery on each post?
- What kind of methods should I use for monetization?
- Will the readers want fun bells and whistles in the sidebar?
- Would they interact with embedded video for blog posts?
These are just a few questions that will ultimately affect the performance of your site. Because each one of these I mentioned will impact the loading speed.
This, in turn, affects how Google indexes your website for search.
See what I mean about how you will learn SEO as you go? Your strategies will ultimately change over time.
3 Keys About SEO You Absolutely Should Consider
If you’re truly trying to make something of your blog, there are several things you need to consider right off the bat. In a way, these are the very basics of SEO that every site owner needs to implement.
Without considering the following, your site will have a far more difficult time attracting a target audience.
1. Submit the Sitemap
The first thing you need to do is submit a sitemap to Google. This will tell the search engine where to find your content, how it’s structured, and help it get added to search results pages.
Think of your sitemap as a way to submit your address to the Post Office. If no one knows how to find you, no one can visit.
Sure, visitors may still be able to find you without a sitemap. But, it makes the process a lot easier and quicker than simply going without one.
2. Keep the Site Fast and Efficient
No one wants to visit a slow website. In fact, more than half of the people visiting will abandon your content if it takes longer than three seconds to load from a mobile device. Keep in mind that mobile devices make up more than 50% of the traffic on the Internet.
This hurts performance for both human visitors as well as Google’s algorithm.
Be mindful of the themes you use, the plugins you add, the size of image files, and the web host. All of these will affect your blog’s efficiency.
3. Write for Search Intent
Any blog, whether it’s new or old, needs to focus on the intent of the target audience. As I mentioned before, it’s all about knowing who your content is going to help and how they will find your posts.
Keep in mind that there are millions upon millions of pages of content on the Internet. Writing for your specific audience will help you rise to the surface of all that material.
Yes, certain keyphrases are necessary for people to find your posts. But, it’s how you put all of that content together that really matters.
You Don’t Need to Learn SEO, But it Helps
So, the short answer is, no, you don’t need to learn SEO before creating your blog. However, every bit you learn will vastly improve how quickly you’ll reach certain goals you set for yourself.
But, if you follow the three keys above, you’ll easily hit the ground running.
For more information about SEO and making improvements to your site, I frequent SearchEngineLand.com and several others. It’s definitely worthwhile to subscribe to some of these blogs for weekly updates.
With how often Google updates its algorithm, keeping your thumb on the pulse of the largest search engine in the world will be of great help.
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