How To Write For Search Engines Without Knowing SEO

by Jason Falls |

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.

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls 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 Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).