You’re determined to dominate the digital world with your top-notch writing skills.
But, despite pouring your heart and soul into crafting the perfect piece, it fails to generate any buzz online — and you’re not alone, as 90% of web pages get zero traffic from Google.
You may have overlooked one crucial element: an SEO content brief template.
In today’s competitive landscape, simply being a great writer isn’t enough; you need to create content that search engines love, too.
Enter the life-saving SEO content brief template – your ultimate guide for producing engaging, informative, and search-engine-optimized masterpieces.
Let’s define what is an SEO content brief template and unlock the secrets of creating SEO-focused content that will drive traffic and conversions like never before.
Table of Contents:
- What is an SEO Content Brief Template?
- Benefits of an SEO Content Brief
- Who Needs a Content Brief?
- What Should Be Included in an SEO Content Brief Template?
- How to Write an SEO Content Brief
What is an SEO Content Brief Template?
A content brief template is your secret weapon for creating high-quality, SEO-optimized content that engages readers and ranks well in search engines.
This document provides your content writer with a full set of instructions on how to produce a rank-worthy blog. It should include target audience details, keyword research findings, goals and objectives, timelines for completion, and resource allocation — everything your writer needs to write compelling copy.
Why is it important to write a content brief?
Let’s look at your current workflow. As head of your content team, you tell your writer that you want an article on container gardening tips for beginners. But your super enthusiastic newbie goes off tangent and discusses soil testing for almost half of the article.
The result? A total rewrite.
How do you avoid these time-wasting revisions?
By writing a content brief.
Providing clear instructions through a content brief is the not-so-secret key to keeping content projects on the right track and avoiding frustrating rewrites.
A well-crafted template serves as an invaluable communication tool between clients, editors, and writers who need clear guidelines on what’s expected from each piece of work.
A content brief example from Content Harmony
Benefits of an SEO Content Brief
- Clarity and focus: Content briefs provide a clear understanding of the objectives, target audience, and desired outcomes for the content. This clarity helps writers and content creators stay focused and aligned with the overall SEO strategy.
- Improved SEO performance: By including target keywords, SEO content brief templates guide writers in optimizing their content for search engines.
- Consistency and branding: Content briefs outline the desired tone, style, and messaging, ensuring consistency across all content pieces. This consistency helps build a recognizable brand voice and fosters a cohesive user experience across different channels.
- Time savings: With clear instructions and guidelines provided in the content brief, writers can save time on research and brainstorming. They can focus on content creation and optimization, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.
- Alignment with audience needs: Content briefs typically include information about the target audience, such as demographics, interests, and pain points. This knowledge allows writers to tailor their content to meet the specific needs and preferences of the intended audience, increasing engagement and relevance.
- Streamlined collaboration: Creating content briefs serve as a reference point for all stakeholders involved in the content creation process. Whether it’s writers, editors, designers, or SEO specialists, everyone can refer to the brief to ensure they are on the same page and working towards a common goal.
- Scalability and repurposing: SEO content briefs provide a framework that can be replicated or repurposed for similar topics or content formats. This scalability enables the efficient creation of content assets across different channels or platforms while maintaining consistency and SEO best practices.
- Performance tracking: When SEO content briefs are tied to specific goals and KPIs, they enable better tracking and measurement of content performance. This data can be used to identify areas for improvement and inform future content strategies and briefs.
Overall, SEO content briefs act as a roadmap for content creation, ensuring that content aligns with SEO goals, engages the target audience, and drives results. They facilitate efficient collaboration, consistency, and optimization, ultimately leading to improved search rankings, organic traffic, and conversions.
The top reasons why 82.7% of content marketers work with a content brief
Who Needs a Content Brief?
The content brief is primarily for the content creators, such as writers, editors, and designers, who will be responsible for producing the actual content. It serves as a guide and reference document to ensure that the content aligns with the SEO strategy, meets the objectives, and resonates with the target audience.
However, the content brief can also be beneficial for other stakeholders involved in the content creation process, such as project managers, SEO specialists, and marketing strategists. It helps them understand the goals, target audience, messaging, and SEO considerations, allowing for effective collaboration and alignment across different roles and departments.
Ultimately, the content brief serves as a communication tool to convey important information and guidelines, enabling all involved parties to work together toward creating high-quality, optimized content that achieves the desired outcomes.
What Should Be Included in an SEO Content Brief Template?
A content brief typically includes essential information and guidelines that help writers and content creators understand the requirements and objectives of a particular piece of content.
While the specifics may vary depending on the organization or project, here are some key elements that should be included when you create content briefs:
Objective or Goal
Clearly state the purpose of the content. Is it to inform, entertain, persuade, or educate? Define the desired outcome or action you want the content to achieve.
Identify the specific audience or target demographic for the content. This includes demographic information such as age, gender, location, interests, and any other relevant details that can help shape the content’s tone and messaging.
Topic or Focus
Clearly define the subject matter or topic that the content should cover. Provide any specific angles, themes, or perspectives that should be incorporated.
Outline the main points or key messages that the content should convey. These are the core ideas or information that you want the audience to take away from the content.
If the content is intended for SEO, include a list of target keywords or phrases that should be incorporated organically into the content. Provide any additional SEO guidelines or considerations.
Tone and Style
Specify the desired tone and style of the content. Should it be formal, conversational, authoritative, or casual? Provide examples or references to help convey the desired tone.
Content Format and Structure
Determine the format or structure of the content. Will it be a blog post, article, infographic, video script, or something else? Include any specific requirements such as word count, headings, subheadings, bullet points, or sections.
If any specific visual assets, images, or examples should be incorporated into the content, describe them in the brief. This can help guide the creative direction and ensure consistency with branding or design guidelines.
Deadline and Deliverables
Clearly state the deadline for the content and specify any additional deliverables that are expected, such as meta descriptions, alt text for images, or social media captions.
Include any other relevant instructions, guidelines, or references that can help the writer understand the expectations and requirements for the content.
Remember, the content brief should provide enough information for the writer or content creator to understand the project’s scope, objectives, and target audience while allowing for their creativity and expertise to shine through.
What marketers prioritize in a content brief, according to a Semrush survey
How to Write an SEO Content Brief
Writing an effective SEO content brief involves careful planning and attention to detail. Here are the steps to follow when writing an SEO content brief:
1. Establish Clear Goals
First things first, you need to set clear goals for your content brief template to keep everyone on the same page.
Your goals should align with your business objectives and could include increasing organic traffic, improving search rankings, or boosting conversions.
Create SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Specific: Be precise about what you want to achieve.
- Measurable: Set quantifiable targets so you can track progress.
- Attainable: Ensure your goal is realistic based on your available resources and constraints.
- Realistic: Align your goal with broader business objectives or industry trends.
- Time-bound: Assign deadlines to ensure the timely completion of tasks.
Remember, well-defined goals are crucial for the success of your content brief template and ultimately, your SEO strategy, so take the time to get it right.
2. Know Your Audience
Before you start writing, you have to know who you’re writing for. Create a detailed buyer persona to identify your ideal customer, including demographics and interests. Then, in your content brief, you can refer to this persona to help guide content creation.
But don’t stop there. You have an opportunity to create a deeper resource for your writers that they can use alongside content briefs to create truly targeted content.
Dive deeper into your audience’s pain points and challenges to create content that resonates with them emotionally, and include what you discover in your persona.
Gather information through surveys or analytics tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Audience Insights.
When you create content:
- Address their needs and concerns directly to engage them emotionally.
- Communicate in a style that resonates with your particular target audience.
- Incorporate visuals like images or videos to make your content more shareable.
- Mix up different types of content to keep things fresh.
Remember, building trust with your audience through valuable content leads to higher conversion rates and long-term brand loyalty.
So, get to know your audience and create content that speaks directly to them.
3. Set Timelines
Deadlines are crucial for keeping your content creation process on track and ensuring timely delivery.
A timeline that is properly structured can help you stay organized, prevent delays, and maintain uniformity in your SEO campaigns.
To create an effective timeline, break down the entire content creation process into smaller tasks.
- Task 1: Keyword research – Identify relevant keywords that align with your target audience’s search intent.
- Task 2: Content ideation – Brainstorm ideas based on keyword research findings and audience needs.
- Task 3: Content outline – Create a detailed structure for each piece of content to ensure it covers all necessary points effectively. At this point, you might simply create a content brief and hand it off to a writer, who will then do the detailed outlining and drafting before writing and editing.
- Task 4: Writing and editing – Produce high-quality content that engages readers while adhering to SEO best practices. Don’t forget to improve readability.
- Task 5: Publishing and promotion – Share your fresh content across various channels like social media or email newsletters for maximum exposure.
Don’t forget to incorporate buffer time between tasks as contingencies for unexpected delays or revisions.
By setting timelines, you’ll stay on track and produce high-quality content that engages your audience and boosts your SEO efforts.
4. Assign Resources
Allocating resources effectively is crucial for the success of your content brief template.
Determine who will create and implement the content strategy – whether it’s a content writer, SEO specialist, or graphic designer for visuals.
Who does what at each stage? When will you create content briefs, and when will you hand them off to a writer? What tools will you provide for content creators to do their jobs more efficiently?
- Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Google Keyword Planner for keyword research
- Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics for user behavior tracking
- Trello, Asana, or Basecamp for scheduling
- WordPress or HubSpot for easy web page creation and optimization
Don’t forget to budget wisely for freelancers and premium software subscriptions to ensure the successful execution of your SEO content brief template.
5. Using AI? Your Content Briefing Process Will Be Different — and Easier
Last but not least, if you’re using AI tools in your content creation process, your content briefs and guidelines are going to look different from the norm. In the next section, you’ll find our best resources for training writers to become artificial intelligence optimizers.
As you’ll find out, creating SEO content briefs for AIO writers is much easier, as an AI writer like Content at Scale does the brunt of the work creating an optimized first draft for any type of keyword.
That means, for AIO writers, what you’ll need to focus on is creating guidelines for editing AI content with solid standards and best practices.
Free Resources to Train Your Writers into AIO
I’ve been personally training agency owners and teams and helping them convert to the AIO way. Want these? You’re in luck – we’re giving them away.
First, I wrote a full guide – a writer’s worksprint, links to our best tutorials and training, and even a job description template if you want to find an AIO writer.
Want this incredible resource? It’s called the AIO Writer’s Worksprint. Download now for free.
Free Step-by-Step AIO CRAFT Writer’s Training Course
Additionally, after months of putting AIO and C.R.A.F.T. into action (over 40M words are produced each month by our users at Content at Scale, and our Done-for-You client side is another 500,000 words/month! Talk about AIO at scale 🤯 ) – we put together a step-by-step AIO C.R.A.F.T. tutorial.
Ideal for you, your writers, and any content creator ready to adapt to the CRAFT methodology and the AIO way.
New to the idea of AIO and CRAFT? Read this to understand the innovation behind AIO.
Want a written guide that has all the CRAFT steps from the YouTube video? Your wish is our content command. Step-by-step AIO writing tutorial, blog version.
Taking the time to write an SEO content brief can be a game-changer for your content creation efforts.
With a well-structured content brief, you can define goals, set timelines, and assign resources. It helps you and your team stay focused, aligned, and efficient so that everyone understands what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed
By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can create a comprehensive SEO content brief template that leads to better communication between team members and ultimately results in more successful outcomes.
Not only does a content brief enhance your search engine optimization efforts, but it also ensures that your content resonates with your target audience, drives organic traffic, and achieves your business goals.
So, don’t overlook the importance of having an SEO content brief template for your next project!