How Non-Writers Can Create Effective Content For SEO

man using a typewriter but is having a writer's block
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Everyone has a fear, and some of them are more common than others. For example, if you gathered a group of people in a room, chances are someone there hates having to speak publicly. Something else that is a common skill people hate having to use is writing. Maybe it brings up some bad memories of English class, but writing is a skill that has often been lamented as being absent in the workforce. At the same time, every business needs written communications and web copy.

With the recent changes Google made to its Broad Core Algorithm in August, there are even more reasons that people may be concerned. At the time, I mentioned since that Google didn’t explain the specifics of the changes (in typical fashion), I recommended refocusing on the basics, which mean keeping your site mobile-friendly, getting backlinks, and putting out regular quality content.  For those who aren’t writers, that last part may sound terrifying, but don’t worry, there are ways non-writers can still compete and excel.

Setting Yourself Up For Success

As a start, it’s important to remember the fact that creating good SEO content starts well before you start typing a blog or web copy. It all begins with planning. This occurs in a number of different ways.

1. Knowing your audience.

The goal of your content is to come up with topics and a style that matches what your audience will want to read. For example, if your business is a daycare center, you may want to take a more lighthearted tone, and cover topics that relate to childcare and fun activities parents can do with children on their own. In addition, you may want to cover topics that suggest why a daycare is a good thing to work on.

2. Putting together an editorial calendar.

Right up there with putting up good content is putting up regular content. If you put out that you’re going to put out a blog every week or at any other sort of interval, then go back on it, this gives the impression that your business is untrustworthy or unorganized. You’d be hard-pressed to find two words that you want to be associated less with your business.

person writing content using his laptop

Put these two things together, and you should have a list of good SEO content topics and a schedule before them before you even have to worry about the actual act of writing SEO copy. However, there are plenty of tools and options you have to take the fear out of this step.

Tools That Can Help

One benefit that any non-writer tasked with writing has is that they are already standing on the shoulders of giants. Anyone can do a quick search on businesses in their niche and see what the top rankers are doing in terms of their writing. What type of topics are their blogs covering? What type of tone do they strike in their web copy? The goal here is not to try and imitate what they are doing, but try and learn more about what goes into successful SEO writing. In addition, there are also many professional writers who regularly blog and even write books/e-books on what they do to succeed. If you have the time, there’s nothing wrong with investing in a little professional development.

A site like Copyblogger is a good place to start if you’re a complete writing novice due to the sheer volume of contributors and content that’s on the site. For example, if you need help drafting a marketing email? There’s probably an article for that. Are you trying to get more conversion for a landing page? There’s material for that too.

close up shot of old typewriter

When it comes to the writing itself, there’s one other thing that bears mentioning. The vast majority of consumer-facing copy out there is relatively simple to write, at a 5th-grade level or somewhere similar. Why is this? Because the point of most web copy is to be accessible as well as informative. Depending on your niche, this may change, but you don’t have to write complex copy to write good copy, which is good news for non-writers. One great tool to help you keep track of things like this is the free Hemingway app. Not only does it keep track of the reading level of your drafts, but also helps you target and change parts of your writing that may be too wordy or complicated. This is a huge benefit to subject experts who know their niche up and down, but aren’t sure how to explain it to others.

Keeping Your Eyes On The SEO Prize

In addition, it bears mentioning that well-written content is only part of what makes content effective online, especially when you bring SEO into the mix. Creating SEO-optimized writing requires both content that people want to read, but also with well-implemented and chosen keywords. There are a few ways that you can get around this issue if you’re a novice. For one, there are platforms like Ahrefs specifically designed to help you test out different keywords and see how they will help your pages rank in Google. However, there are also free options  like the free Yoast plugin for WordPress users that can help you determine exactly how well your pages are in terms of both SEO and writing quality. The two are intertwined, after all.

If you’re worried about trying to implement writing on your website or in your business’s marketing, take a moment to remember that there’s a big difference between the academic papers you may dread and effective web/SEO copy. There are a variety of resources out there to help you hone up on your skills to bridge the gap, as well as professionals to outsource to if you’re not ready to take that step.

About the Author

Paul Teitelman - SEO Consultant

Paul is a well-respected Canadian SEO consultant and link-building expert with over 15 years of experience helping hundreds of companies rank for competitive keywords on Google. He is a Toronto-based SEO consultant who is passionate about search engine optimization and link building. Over the years, he has made a reputation for himself as a leader in the industry by consistently delivering phenomenal results to his growing client base.