You want to write smarter web copy to attract better organic search engine results. You want to know how to write blog posts and website copy that is optimized and makes it easier for prospective customers to find you. You want to be a good at SEO copywriting. But the layers of technology knowledge you assume you need are intimidating. So where do you begin?

Here’s a quick way to get started with smart SEO copywriting without having to know a lot about search engine optimization. Let’s start simple. Drop your website’s URL into the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool to see a list of what Google thinks your website is about. (Don’t worry with what this tool is supposed to be used for. That’s for another blog post.) What you’ll see is a listing of keywords, grouped by major subject, that Google thinks represents the content on your website. Some of them will be spot-on. Others will be a little off.

A keyword report for Social Media Explorer, for example, returns these subjects, with lists of suggested keywords in each subject:

how to make (6), public relations (28), social media (13), email marketing (13), a blog (8), bulk email (6), blog (31), email (13), marketing (6), social (5), money (10), pr (14), blogging (7), blogs (5)

I’ll toss out “how to make” “bulk email” and “money” because they aren’t really relevant, combine the similar ones and I’ve got the following general content topics for my blog:

  • Public Relations
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Blogging

Sample Keyword Glossary for simple writing for SEONot too bad considering social media and public relations are my two largest subject matters here. I’ll continue to write about advertising and marketing and even search marketing. Remember this is what Google thinks your site is about, not necessarily what it is about or you want it to be about.

Now, make a list of the major groups which accurately represent the content on your website or the products or services you sell. Go through the keywords Google suggested under those topics and pick out 5-10 keywords or keyword phrases from each grouping. Put those keywords in a spreadsheet or list under the appropriate heading. (See my sample one on the right hand side of the page.) Print that out and keep it handy when you’re writing. Refer to this keyword glossary to remind yourself of the keywords you wish to win and that you need to incorporate them into your content.

Obviously, this is a very simple approach to SEO copywriting and there are many more tricks of the trade to learn. As you target a more broad base of keywords or are writing content for a more well defined topic, you’ll adjust your writing and keyword focus accordingly. But this is a good start for someone who doesn’t have time or inclination to dive into learning SEO but still wants to improve their content’s chances of being found by the Googley Googs out there.

For more advanced techniques and education around search engine optimization and SEO copywriting, I recommend SEO Book from Aaron Wall. By signing up to the subscription learning community, you have access to more knowledge about search engine optimization than you’ll know what to do with. It’s not cheap, but worth every dime.

Disclosure: The link provided here and the ad below are affiliate program links. I subscribe myself, recommend and endorse it for others and present it here as a qualified product you should consider.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • iancleary

    Hi Jason,

    I like the idea of grouping your top subjects and picking out keywords in each of the area. It's a good idea also to have these handy when writing blog posts!

    Google will also find your content easier if the URL for your blog post is descriptive and contains the appropriate keywords. Most blog software allow this but it's not always set up this way be default.

    All the best,
    Ian

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Ian. There are tons of tricks of the SEO trade, of course. Just
      hoping to make it easier to start doing it for folks. You're right, though.
      If the primary keyword you're shooting for is in the headline, it juices the
      post all the better. Thanks for that.

      • http://www.elithavuzculuk.com.tr havuz

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        • http://www.perukk.com peruk

          Sometimes I wonder if SEO folks make it overly complicated to create a self-perpetuating need. (Kidding) Thanks for simplifying it and providing some guidance everyone can understand and follow.

  • http://www.rebeccahaden.com/ Rebecca Haden

    Keeping a list of your keywords handy when you write is a great idea. If you really don't know anything about SEO, you could get a pro to research and develop that list for you, and then post it by your desk for when you're writing your press releases, blog posts, and site updates. When you've got the right keywords, it's easy to use them naturally, and that little reminder would be enough.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Absolutely. In fact, if you already have someone doing paid search for you,
      ask them for the list of keywords and get them to identify the ones that are
      the highest converting keywords. This way you're not just using smart
      writing, but hitting the keywords that convert better. Thanks, Rebecca.

  • http://www.socialtality.com dmattcarter

    Sometimes I wonder if SEO folks make it overly complicated to create a self-perpetuating need. (Kidding) Thanks for simplifying it and providing some guidance everyone can understand and follow.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Matt. I'm sure there are some out there who sell it as razzle dazzle,
      but most of the SEOs I know prove their value on the much higher level work.
      This is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm learning more about SEO everyday
      and know it can be very complex work, particularly with large brands and
      specific goals. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    I don't think I could get through my day without Aaron's SEOBook toolbar. I'd be effectively screwed…and add hours to my day.

    Another thing I've been playing with? ScribeSeo.com from Brian Clark…awesome for introducing novice bloggers to SEO (and cutting down on headaches). Have been using on http://thenextgreatgeneration.com to great effect :)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Just used ScribeSeo for the first time yesterday, Stuart. It certainly makes
      it easy to start understanding SEO copywriting. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • http://innovationsimple.com/ George

    Nice writeup, many does not still know seo copywriting. It's good to have blogs like that for beginners.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks George. Getting the basic stuff out there from time to time is
      useful. Appreciate the comment.

  • scotttownsend

    Jason,

    Thanks for sifting through the mumbo jumbo and reducing the learning curve where SEO is concerned for small businesses.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Glad to be useful, Scott. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.ibrahimhusain.com Ibrahim Husain

    Finally, an approach for the less SEO-intelligent man. Thanks pal!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      You're welcome. Thanks Ibrahim.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Glad to be useful, Scott. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thanks George. Getting the basic stuff out there from time to time is
    useful. Appreciate the comment.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Just used ScribeSeo for the first time yesterday, Stuart. It certainly makes
    it easy to start understanding SEO copywriting. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Just used ScribeSeo for the first time yesterday, Stuart. It certainly makes
    it easy to start understanding SEO copywriting. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thanks Matt. I'm sure there are some out there who sell it as razzle dazzle,
    but most of the SEOs I know prove their value on the much higher level work.
    This is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm learning more about SEO everyday
    and know it can be very complex work, particularly with large brands and
    specific goals. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thanks Matt. I'm sure there are some out there who sell it as razzle dazzle,
    but most of the SEOs I know prove their value on the much higher level work.
    This is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm learning more about SEO everyday
    and know it can be very complex work, particularly with large brands and
    specific goals. Thanks for the comment.

  • bencurnett

    Appreciate the tip, Jason. I've been trying to use spreadsheets more and more to help with content strategy. This should fit right in.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Glad to help, Ben. Enjoy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmctigue John McTigue

    One tip I would add is to create a blog publishing schedule based on your spreadsheet of keywords. That way you systematically work through your list and keep yourself organized. Let's you think ahead a bit too so that your blogs are well thought out and not too obviously seo-centric.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Well said. Always good to plan beyond this example of blog writing.
      Appreciate the reminder, John.

  • http://www.webmarcom.net Jody Raines

    Jason,
    You have an excellent way of taking something complicated and making it clear. I love the fact that you've incorporated Google's tools into your system. Without getting into how much competition there may be for any particular keyword, this is a system that can help focus content. Perhaps it may be of value to also suggest the same exercise can be conducted on the competition's site? (Just to find some 'keywords' that may have been overlooked…)
    Thanks, and keep 'em coming!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Great suggestion, Jody. There are lots of ways to research keywords and
      scouting the competition certainly is a big one. Thanks for the additional
      thoughts and for the comment.

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  • http://craigdeakin.com/ Craig Deakin

    I seen this post in my rss reader and decided I would bookmark it in my browser, I'm glad I actually stopped to read what you had to say Jason. I was thinking a few days ago about what keywords my blog was listing for, as it's only a few months old. I knew about the keyword tool but never thought of trying what you suggested, and I have to say it's the best thing I've done. It's gave me ideas of what I could possibly write about for future posts.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Glad I could help out, Craig. Thanks for saying so.

  • http://craigdeakin.com/ Craig Deakin

    I seen this post in my rss reader and decided I would bookmark it in my browser, I'm glad I actually stopped to read what you had to say Jason. I was thinking a few days ago about what keywords my blog was listing for, as it's only a few months old. I knew about the keyword tool but never thought of trying what you suggested, and I have to say it's the best thing I've done. It's gave me ideas of what I could possibly write about for future posts.

  • http://www.riverwoodwriter.com/ RiverwoodWriter

    Excellent primer, Jason, and a very clear, sensible way to add SEO value to a site or blog. Now that you've let me “get my feet wet,” I'll be less intimidated by learning more about SEO.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      If my post can help reduce that intimidation, then it accomplished a
      good goal. Thank you for saying so.

  • http://twitter.com/nurtay nurtay

    Thanks!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      You're welcome!

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  • http://www.blue-ferret.com/ BlueFerret

    One thing I'd like to add is to get a hold of your intended audience in some way. This can take some more effort (e.g. searching on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn, sifting through forums, even *gasp* calling people!). But if you can get some customers talking or eavesdrop on conversations they have online, they'll tell you which key phrases they use. And your work is that much sharper.

    Still, always keep those keywords handy!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Awesome. Thanks for the thoughts. Certainly, arousing some curiosity helps
      the cause. Well said.

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