Search Engine Optimization Copywriting: What Is Themed SEO Content, How It’s Different from ‘Ordinary’ Content & Why SEO Writers Need to Know About It


The following is a guest post by John Coutts of

If you’re an SEO copywriter, you are most likely quite familiar with the idea of ordinary SEO content in the form of an article. The information in these types of articles are usually based around a main keyword or keyword phrase, and the article is generally around 400 to 500 words in length.

Where Keywords Should Appear When Writing for SEO

The main keyword is used in the title, once in the first paragraph, and again three or four times throughout the article in order to tell to the search engines what the article is about. This works well. It provides useful information if the article is well written, and it can provide a valuable back link to a web site through a linked piece of text in the body of the article, or in a resource box at the end of the article.


The reader receives a benefit (the information), the writer receives a benefit (the writer is paid) and the person who is responsible for having the article written also receives a benefit (the back link to the web site). Everyone wins.

Article marketing has taken this form since its inception. Why, therefore, should you consider changing to themed content? And what is themed content anyway?

Search Engine Optimization Copywriting: What Is Themed SEO Content?

Themed content changes everything. While an ordinary article can be found in the search engines for its main keyword, and may even rank well for it, it is still just one keyword/keyword phrase. You can enhance that situation by including two or three secondary keywords and even a few tertiary keywords, but the article will still typically only rank in the search engines for a mere handful of keywords at best.

Writing for SEO: How Themed Content Is Different from Ordinary SEO Content

Themed content can typically rank for a hundred or more keywords. Yes, you read right.

An article that is properly themed will still have a main keyword, but it will also contain all the words and phrases that Google has already shown to be important – no, vital – to the particular topic of the article. These words and phrases will be synonyms of the main keyword, alternative meanings, closely related terms, and so on. They are the kind of words and phrases that we would expect to find in any well written material on a particular subject.

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Search Engine Optimization Copywriting: A Themed Content Example

For example, suppose the topic of the article is “Fix Credit Problems.” You will find that the top 10 results in Google will all contain a majority of the following words somewhere in the text of the page: bills, borrow, card, check, clear, companies, consumer, credit, debt, denied, erasing, financial, fix, good, help, history, information, interest, issues, late, loans, mortgage, pay, payment, personal, problems, rating, repair, repayment, report, score, services, trouble.

This is no coincidence either. Google expects these words to be found in an article that deals with fixing credit problems, and the articles that include these words are rewarded by being ranked highly in the Google index.

Of course, the number of back links, the level of on-page SEO and other factors will all have a bearing on where any article gets ranked, but if the article has all the essential theme words in place, it is much better placed than ‘ordinary’ articles to rank very well.

Google goes one step further. It has a set of “authority” results for any given keyword or keyword phrase. If an article has a majority of the necessary essential theme words that Google recognizes, then the article will be included in the authority set. If not, it gets dumped in the supplemental pages.

You Try It: Themed SEO Content Exercise

Try this… Do a search on Google for the phrase, “fix credit problems” without the quotation marks. You should see about 103,000,000 results mentioned (at the time of writing) just under the search bar. That’s a lot! But are there really that many search results? OK, let’s see, shall we?

If you adjust the search settings of your browser so that Google returns 100 results at a time instead of the usual 10, you can do this much faster. When you get to page 8 you should find this at the bottom of the page:

“In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 768 already displayed.”

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Organic Search Engine Optimization Copywriting: Beat Out 768 Sites Instead of 103,000,000!

In other words, Google only shows us 768 results for the phrase, “fix credit problems,” because those are the only results that Google actually values. This is Google’s authority set of results for this keyword phrase. Your article only has to beat these 768 top results to get ranked at number one. Forget about a competition level of 103,000,000, or whatever! All you have to do is concentrate on the really important 768 authority set (in this example).

Does that sound easier? Of course it does!

This is why themed content is different from ordinary content. When an article contains the theme words that Google has already shown to be important, then it will be included in the authority set, and each authority set is only anywhere from around 400 results to 1,000 results.

Google may state that the results for a keyword are in the millions, but now we know the reality is quite different. The better themed the article is, the higher it will rank. When you add good back links to the article, it will rank very high in the Google results. This is why properly themed content is vastly superior to ordinary content. But there’s more…

Properly themed content has such a rich mix of relevant words and phrases that it gets ranked for dozens – even hundreds – of different words and phrases over time, all of them highly important to the basic topic, or theme, of the article. The ordinary article will rank for just one keyword, or a handful at best.

What Is Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) & Why It’s Important to Search Engine Rankings

In 2003 Google purchased a technology pioneered by a company called Applied Semantics. It has become known to us today as a technology called Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI. The technology achieves semantic text processing, which is a bit like how the human mind works. The press release that Google distributed following its acquisition of the technology in 2003 reads in part:

“Applied Semantics’ products are based on its patented CIRCA technology, which understands, organizes, and extracts knowledge from websites and information repositories in a way that mimics human thought and enables more effective information retrieval.”

In other words, LSI, or theming, works like the human mind. It makes associations in a similar way. It’s really a case of a robotic system copying the human mind so that humans can be served a result they feel more comfortable with, because it mimics the way they think.

Themed search engine content gives people something they are more comfortable with, and it gives the SEs exactly what they want too. There are only winners with no losers all round.

An analysis of the top pages in Google for any given keyword will show that the results at the top use more theme words than the results found towards the end of the authority set. If you take the trouble to analyze the results that are not found in the authority set, the ones that Google says it has omitted, you will find they are invariably poorly themed, if indeed they are themed at all.

This is what makes the difference between themed content and ordinary content, and it can work to make a considerable difference in your article writing efforts too. Forget about keyword density, secondary keywords and where to place them all for the best effect. Think theming instead.

The recent Panda update by Google, also known as the Farmer update, has surely shown anyone who knows anything about web content that Google only wants the highest quality content in its index. And there is no higher quality web content than properly themed content, in Google’s opinion.

Test any authority set for any keyword yourself, and you will see that the very best themed content is right up there at the top. The number and quality of back links, SEO, Page Rank and other factors may skew the results to some degree, but not nearly as much as you might think.

Quality, themed searh engine content rules!

Now it’s your turn to write amazing articles…

About the Author: John Coutts is a Themed SEO Content Provider. He can be found online

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Had you heard about themed SEO content before reading this article? If so, have you gotten results with it? If not, will it change the way you think about/write SEO content. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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4 Comments so far

  1. Tom on May 18th, 2011

    This is an interesting and certainly novel approach to SEO research. However, the above methodology is incomplete. Once one has the result set of the ~ 500 sites, how does one analyze them to find the relevant secondary keywords needed to produce themed content.

    Aside from simply reading all the sites (far too time consuming), is there someday to export the results into a list and then run an analysis on that? (I.e. Load the top 100 authority sites and then determine the 15 most common words on them?).

  2. Maureen on May 19th, 2011


    I have just started using Market Samurai to try to drill down on the competitors for my SEO research: (no, I am not an affiliate…just a happy user!). And their free/trial version is pretty rich.

  3. ginaann on May 21st, 2011

    What tools help analyze themed language?

  4. SEO Writing Jobs Editor on May 22nd, 2011


    These tools are relatively new to me, as I’ve always done all of my SEO research “by hand.” But with the recent Panda Update and learning more about the things Google uses to rank pages, I now realize the need.

    I recommend SEOPressor (affiliate link). Another poster, Maureen, recommended

    Do some research and see what works for you.

    Yuwanda, SEO Writing Jobs Editor