Content definitely still reigns as king (or queen 👑) in 2024. But breaking through the rankings of search engines can be challenging. How can you ensure the content you’re posting will actually lead to more organic-sourced revenue, and will help your business reach new heights ?
When it comes to B2B content marketing, it takes a targeted, strategic approach to end up with content that converts. Whether you’re looking to educate future clients, stand out from the competition, or turn your website visitors into paying customers, content marketing can definitely help you get there.
But it’s not enough to just let your writers loose, armed with nothing but a headline and some keywords. Instead, you can supply them with a supercharged 🚀 SEO content brief, which acts as a tactical blueprint for crafting content.
That way, you end up with content that’s not just keyword-rich, but that’s also answering your customer’s deepest questions, adding to your backlinking strategy, converting into specific business goals, and meeting customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Here’s everything you need to know about creating the perfect SEO content brief.
Why Focus on SEO Content Anyway?
If you’re here, it’s probably because you know at least a bit about the value of B2B SEO content, or you’re interested in learning more. But in order to understand why a SEO content brief can make all the difference in the quality of work you receive from your writers, it’s important to understand the value of a content marketing strategy.
SEO content (which stands for “search engine optimized” content) refers to content that is specifically designed to rank as highly as possible in search engines. That way, when customers search a keyword or query, your brand pops up, and they end up reading content that your business has crafted.
We already know that organic search can be a business’ most profitable digital marketing channel (nearly half of all marketers say this is the case), while SEO statistics show that SEO drives 1000% more traffic than other channels (like organic social media).
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because SEO content can do far more for a business than simply help pages rank highly in search engines: it can also allow brands to reach new heights, achieve some of their dreamiest business goals, and can make it far easier for customers to find you.
But in order for that to be the case, content has to be done right.
What’s the Deal with Content Briefs?
There are many nuances and technicalities to SEO content, which play a large role in its abilities to deliver on business goals.
This is important, because content can’t just exist for the sake of existing: it has to rank as highly in the search engines as possible in order for it to lead to more closed deals. Data shows us that the first five organic results in a search engine get almost 70% of all clicks, while just .63% of people click on the second page of Google.
And whether you’re working with a team of internal writers or outsourcing to freelancers, the same SEO protocols are required. So, how can you ensure content is being created that checks all of the boxes necessary for pushing content through the noisy search engines?
The answer is by using comprehensive SEO content briefs.
What exactly is a SEO content brief?
It’s essentially an outline for a piece of content that acts as a roadmap for writers, which covers everything from competitors to beat to internal links to use. It also typically includes keywords, phrases, and subheadlines that should be included in the piece.
The purpose of a SEO content brief is to make sure your content is actually going to perform as intended. Because as we know, there’s a lot more that the search engines take into account aside from keywords, when it comes to how a content ranks.
What Should be Included in a SEO Content Brief?
A SEO content brief is like a North Star for writers, which allows them to craft the most strategic content possible. Because of this, there are a few elements which should be included in a content brief:
- Primary keyword focus: This is the exact SEO keyword string (or strings) that should be included in the piece.
- Example competitors to beat: This can include links to similar content which is already ranking in the search engines for the keywords you’re targeting.
- Internal links to use: Using internal links in your own content is part of a link building strategy, which is designed to strengthen domain authority and create content pathways, which your audience can flow through.
- Title tag, meta description, word count: These technical aspects of the content show your writers exactly what their focus should be, and how long the piece should be,
- Related keywords: While not always supplied, related keywords can be adjacent topics that users often Google.
- Headings: H1, H2, and H3 headings give your writers structure and direction. Depending on how thorough your brief is, you might also include specific callouts or subjects to cover in each heading.
- CTA: Content typically has a “call-to-action,” or next-steps that a reader should take. This CTA will differ depending on where in the buyer’s journey a piece of content falls, but can include actions such as “contact us” or “buy now.”
Tips for Crafting the Perfect SEO Content Brief, Every Time
Creating SEO content briefs might sound pretty straightforward, but these little briefs can have a big impact. That’s because they very much dictate how your writers approach your pieces, and play a large role in if your SEO content is able to achieve your business goals.
With that in mind, here are some tips for creating a picture-perfect SEO content brief.
- Start with research
Every excellent SEO content brief is rooted in thorough research. You need to dive deep into the topics that the content is about, and understand how your content can approach these subjects. You should also conduct competitor analysis by seeing who’s currently ranking in these topics, and where their strengths and weaknesses are. Additionally, you can look out for useful sources and fresh perspectives.
- Understand your audience, goals, and intent
There’s a few technical boxes to tick when it comes to a content brief. You need to identify who your audience is (for example, if they are a CEO or an individual contributor). You also need to determine the goals of the audience. What is the pain point they’re looking to solve? What questions are they looking to have answered?
Maybe most importantly, you need to connect your content to your buyer’s journey. This means that the content is designed for customers who are at specific stages of a journey with your company, who have certain pain points, and who are at different levels of consideration and awareness. This means you have to have a clear understanding of what your buyer’s journey looks like, and create content around it.
- Turn to industry standard SEO tools
When it comes to creating star quality SEO content briefs, you don’t have to go at it alone. There are plenty of tools which are available to help you along on your content brief journey. Some of our favorite tools here at RevenueZen include:
- Content Harmony: Content Harmony gives you entire content workflows, designed to match “how you actually build content.”
- SurferSEO: SurferSEO gives you workflows, and includes Surfer AI, which can “produce top-quality, well-optimized articles in 20 minutes.”
- Moz: Moz is “SEO software and data to help you increase traffic, rankings, and visibility in search results.”
- Semrush: Semrush supports SEO, content marketing efforts, and competitor research.
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is an “all-in-one SEO toolset” which helps you analyze your competitors, audit and optimize your website, explore keywords, and discover content ideas and link opportunities.
- Know your writers
When you have a regular rapport with writers, you know what they do or don’t need for a SEO content brief. For example, when you have long-time writers who are familiar with your brand voice and previous content, you might entrust them to create their own backlinks, or to fill out the bullets of a H2. But if you have newer writers, or writers who need more guidance, you might send them more fleshed-out content briefs.
SEO content briefs are the secret sauce to all-star content
Great content doesn’t just happen on its own. It requires expert guidance, which can come in the form of really great SEO content briefs. And when these briefs are done right, they lead to content that can take your business to the moon.
If writing SEO content briefs seems like a job in itself, that’s because it definitely is. And if you have enough on your plate, let us take it from here. Here at RevenueZen, SEO-obsessed content marketers, and we can supply your business with the SEO content briefs it needs to move the needle of search engines.
Contact us today to find out more.