fbpx

Create the most detailed data-driven content briefs to ace your content strategy

Automate SEO content brief creation using advanced data analytics, SERP analysis, and AI guidance.

Create SEO outlines

Search through SERPs, map keywords and important NLP terms, find relevant PAA questions, and use the easy drag-and-drop builder to create SEO-optimized outlines.

Group 1
Group 2

Auto-generate research for each outline

With one click and just a few seconds, find all the facts and important information to include in each outline.

Personalize content briefs with templates

Create personalized templates with AI controls to automate the creation of content briefs - as detailed and as automated as you want.

Group 3 1
image 2022 06 13T04 31 53 564Z

Take your briefs from good to great

Find granular SERP information like titles, descriptions, competitive intelligence, keywords and clusters, NLP terms, and everything a content strategist needs to outrank the competition.

What is an SEO content brief?

An SEO Content brief is a document with comprehensive details about what goes into your content. It includes an SEO cheat sheet, outlines, topics, keywords, meta, SERPs, infographics, videos, and many details that allow content writers to create well-researched and comprehensive content. A good SEO content brief ensures content produced is of quality and with high ranking potential. 

Types of content briefs

  1. SEO article brief
  2. White paper brief
  3. Creative content brief
  4. Video production brief
  5. Homepage brief
  6. Product page brief
  7. Local SEO optimization brief
  8. Existing content optimization brief

Benefits of SEO article briefs

Having an SEO cheat sheet in your content briefs is vital because writers may have varying levels of SEO expertise. It’s essential to determine what’s necessary for your unique situation to avoid SEO pitfalls and keep your teams working in sync

Who should use content briefs?

Anyone who wants to produce quality content should use a content brief. This includes marketing strategists, copywriters, and editors. Content briefs help prevent back-and-forth between the client and the writer or between teams, and they ensure that everyone involved in the content project is working in harmony.

Content briefs can also be used as a milestone for review. They provide an effective way to get feedback from clients or reviewers and ensure that all stakeholders are happy with the final product.

Typically content briefs are used/created by:

  1. SEO manager
  2. Content manager
  3. Editor
  4. Writer
  5. Graphic/media designer
  6. Web developer
  7. Content strategist

Why are content briefs important for marketing?

Content briefs are stepping stones to great content. Besides allowing you to craft a plan that will bring a return on investment from your content, it allows you to write content that connects with your audience and triggers emotions. This can then lead them to a deeper connection with your product.

#1. They aid in the creation of high-quality content

Content briefs are a great way to help your team work together. They help everyone involved in content creation understand what’s expected of them and how their success will be measured. Content briefs are also a great way to ensure that you’re delivering content that’s valuable and relevant to your audience.

#2. They allow explicit direction and approval

Sharing the content briefs with everyone, such as the writer and client, improves communication and understanding between all the parties involved in the project. The marketing teams will be able to create content that stands out and is aligned with your goals. Everyone can keep track and monitor the outcome of the project without losing sight of the specific task at hand.

#3. They prevent rewrites and reduce revisions

Content briefs eliminate misunderstandings among the involved parties and limit endless rewrites and revisions. Marketing teams can carry out their specific task without disagreements about the content format. Furthermore, you can create quality content with minimum errors within a shorter time frame when all the instructions and expectations are laid out properly through a content brief.

#4. They serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for your team

Content briefs remove writer’s block and motivate your teammates to take action without supervision. It inspires the writers to get started since the process for producing the content is all laid out. In addition, it states the resources available for the project and where to find relevant information.

#5 Content briefs help with planning a well-rounded content strategy and achieving business goals

One of the most important aspects of content marketing is planning. Without a plan, it’s easy to wander off course and produce content that doesn’t serve any purpose. Creating well-rounded content requires coordination between different teams within an organization. A good content brief can help to bridge the gap and keep everyone on track.

What to include in your content brief

How to Write Content Briefs: 17 Key Elements and 5 Tips - Outranking

1. Due date or delivery deadline for the project

Marketing strategists should give a specific date for when they need to have the content finished. There should be some wiggle room for editing before it is uploaded or sent to a client.

2. Target customer, audience, or buyer persona

The content brief should state the target audience and their pain points. Never assume that your writer knows everything about your company or users.

3. Recommended content length (word count)

Some topics need to be explored in-depth, while others don’t. In order to find the ideal content length, we recommend using SERP analysis. Outranking does this and suggests the number of words you need to target to outrank the competition.

4. Content type

When it comes to creating SEO content, identify the format that will work best for your keyword. Check out the top-ranking pages for your keyword to see what type of content is most popular. If the results are dominated by listicles or how-to articles, create list-type blog posts or pillar pages, respectively.

5. Tone of voice

Think about the language you want to use on your blog and what type of tone you would like to project. The tone can be friendly, persuasive, or informational. It’s important to get this right so that your readers feel comfortable and interested in your content. Decide who your target audience is and how you want to define your brand voice.

6. Meta title or page title

The meta title is a crucial on-page SEO element. A good meta title is descriptive and contains keywords relevant to the page’s content. Meta titles are also a major factor in determining a page’s click-through rate (CTR) from SERPs. Therefore, optimize your meta titles for both users and search engines.

7. Meta description

When you create a page, the meta description may not be the first thing you think of. However, even if Google decides to not show the meta description you write, it is an important element where you can target more keywords

8. H1 headings

The ideal H1 is similar to the meta title, but it gives you a bit of space to vary your language. The H1 tag should ideally try to target different but semantically related keywords. For example, if you’re targeting an “SEO content brief,” your H1 could be “How to Write an SEO Content Brief – The Ultimate Guide”.

9. Outline (H2 and H3) and key points

An outline is a key element of your brief. A good outline gives clues about a web page’s main content and topics to cover. Different content types are structured differently, so it is important to analyze the heading structure of similar pages before writing your own. This process is part of SERP analysis, which we discussed in detail in a related post.

10. Questions from your audience that you should answer in your post (PAA questions)

By answering the People Also Ask (PAA) questions from Google, you can engage your readers and build relationships with them. By using questions from the PAA box, the related keywords and popular questions customers ask can guide you to improve their experience.

Customer satisfaction is key. If you can help solve problems and answer questions, you’ll be well on your way to winning over hearts and minds.

You can gain more exposure for your content if you rank in PAA or featured snippets. Outranking can suggest a list of questions from PAA, as well as keywords and questions from competing web pages. Select the best ones and add them to your brief.

11. Topic research using Google NLP

Topics are entities extracted from top-ranking pages by using AI to understand the important phrases that make up the user intent. Covering topics comprehensively in your content can improve your chances of ranking on that first page. Data is everything when it comes to topic suggestions.

12. Suggested related keywords to target

Keyword research is important when writing briefs. Outranking automates the entire process of collecting keywords to include in your brief. Target all keywords that Outranking suggests.

13. Internal and external links with anchor text

Internal linking refers to linking your site’s pages or blog posts to other articles or pages on the same site. It’s a good way to help Google understand your website structure, and it can also help visitors find related information on your site.

External linking involves including links to other websites in your content. This is another great way to show Google the breadth and depth of your knowledge on a topic. If you include anchor text with those links, you can improve your SEO even further.

You can add your sitemap.xml file to your Outranking account and then use our AI to locate the ideal links to include. The platform can also suggest external links and links with static anchor text.

14. Competition and their URLs

To determine the competitiveness of a niche, search for keywords related to the topic and look at the top 10-20 results. Compare similar content that is already published on competing websites. You can review the first page of the search results to get an idea of the competition’s approach and suggest some URLs to use as inspiration for your content.

You can use a tool such as Outranking to find important keywords for your content. The URLs of the top competing web pages can be found in the SEO content editor, and you can add all details with one click. The information contained in these URLs can be used as part of a content brief.

15. Rich media: Images and videos

Adding images and videos to your content can help break up the text, add visual interest, and make your content more engaging. However, it’s important to use high-quality images that are relevant to your topic. Be sure to use descriptive alt text for all images so that readers who are unable to see them still know what they represent.

Outranking can suggest videos from YouTube or your channel, alt text, and the number of images to include in your brief.

16. Examples of content you like with URLs

When creating a content brief, it can be helpful to provide examples of the type of content you’d like to see. This helps give the writer a better idea of what you’re looking for and how they can improve their work. Feel free to add URLs from YouTube, different blogs, and even PDFs that give a sense of the type of content you desire.

Outranking can even suggest videos that might be relevant to the topic you are writing about.

17. Calls to action (CTAs) – The whole purpose of writing the content

For an article to achieve its purpose, there must be a call to action (CTA). This is a marketing term that refers to persuading your reader to perform a specific task. It could be signing up for a free trial, purchasing a product, or joining a training group.

Links are embedded in the text to direct the reader to take one of these actions. For your readers to take action, the content must trigger some emotion and potentially raise the fear of missing out on the benefits your product offers.

How to write a content brief – 6 tips

1. Plan your content team workflow

When working in a complex team environment with multiple stakeholders involved in the content creation and publishing process, it is important to establish a common SEO content workflow to align the teams. Having a standard procedure manual that everyone can follow can help tremendously in making sure the content briefs created are of supreme quality.

2. Approach content strategically

Many times, different teams have different priorities. The product team might want to publish the content they are producing and need briefs, while the marketing team might have different goals to meet. Re-prioritize your editorial calendar on a regular basis and share it with the broader teams. When you do this, outline why you prioritized one item over another. This will allow you to focus on content strategically, with everyone on board and with as little friction as possible.

3. Customize your content briefs and templates

A mature organization might have a very well-defined format with all the guidelines team members need to follow. Templates need to help your team prepare thorough content briefs and include most of the information mentioned in the previous section.

You can start by using a list of all the information you need, then manually research the SERPs and add the details. Alternatively, you can create a template in Outranking to build these briefs, with many steps of the process automated.

4. Invest in a tool like Outranking to help you with the brief creation process

Creating a good content brief can take days of research and curating SEO suggestions. Using a platform like Outranking can reduce the time to 1/10 while providing superior data to make sure that your content makes the most impact in the search engine and for your target audience.

5. Apply a style guide for consistency in tone and voice

The style you use depends on your brand and goals. Knowing your target audience will help you adopt the right tone for the content. You can tailor your content to different audiences by using different tones of voice.

6. Score your content once the brief turns into a first draft

It’s important to score your content once you produce the first draft. In many cases, you can also do this after the final draft. This will create an avenue for you to improve and finalize the draft. The writer should create the first draft as quickly as possible because the final draft takes longer to complete and can require many revisions for accuracy.

Scoring content with Outranking ensures that you meet all the SEO guidelines, optimizing your content for featured snippets and PAA suggestions, as well as making sure all the important topics are covered. If you want your content to make the most impact, this step is mandatory.

Content brief example

Content brief example

Enterprise, Agencies and Entrepreneurs create
1000s of blogs on Outranking every day!

Join the community of writers from 100+ countries using
Outranking to create content in 13 languages