22.12.2022

SEO

Free SEO Content Brief Template: How To Create High-Ranking Pages
  • / Introduction
  • / 01. Understand search intent and page type
  • / 02. Understand your target audience
  • / 03. Find the best keywords
  • / 04. On-page optimisations
  • / 05. Structure your page content
  • / Summary (and link to template)

Over the years, I’ve used the following content brief template to rank multiple websites on the first page of Google.

Bringing in organic sessions in the thousands.

It covers all angles to ensure your new page has the best chance of ranking high on Google.

And best of all, anyone can do this research. Just follow the steps and then pass it to a copywriter, or write it yourself.

It’s broken down into 5 stages:

  • Understand search intent and page type
  • Understand your target audience
  • Find the best keywords
  • On-page optimisations
  • Content structure

(You don’t have to follow the steps in that exact order, but you do have to tick them all off)

Here’s a quick look, and you can find a link to the template here.

This template can be used for any new page type you want to add to your website that you want to rank well on Google. Or, you can re-do one of your current pages.

Let’s dive in…

1) Understand search intent and page type

Are we creating a service page? Or is this going to be an in-depth guide?

If we understand the search intent, we’ll know the answer.

Search intent is the practice of looking at the search results for a certain keyword and seeing what content Google is favouring.

Taking a look at the keyword “b2b seo agency” we can see that the results are agencies offering their services. The intent of this keyword is commercial. People want to find and buy from an agency.

But when we look a “b2b seo strategies” all of the results are long-form guides, not agency service pages. This is an informational term. People want to learn from any website possible.

To rank for the strategy-related keyword, we need an in-depth guide. For the agency-related keyword, a service page.

Different keywords have different intents. You need to figure out the intent and then decide what type of page you need to design to rank for that.

(2) Understand your target audience

Next, we want to add more information about the audience we’re trying to reach. Filling in the Persona this page is for and the Tone of voice.

If you’ve nailed down your positioning and know your customer well, this will essentially be a copy-and-paste exercise for you.

We want to outline exactly who the person reading the article will be. So we can gear the language and format to them.

Copywriting tip… it helps to think of one singular person when writing so you can gear the page towards them. That’s why personas help when producing content.

And then we like to fill in the Think, Feel and Do sections. To give a better idea of what we want the user to come away with when reading our page.

The most important is the Do section. In short, what is the call to action (CTA) for the page?

(3) Find the best keywords

Ahh, this could be a guide in itself! But I’ll try to keep it brief here.

Before deciding to create this content, it’s likely you carried out some keyword research. Or, you had an idea for a topic (or got one from a customer).

Now, you want to dig into this idea further and uncover more keywords.

We break this down into target keywords and secondary keywords.

Target keyword: This is the main keyword that you want your content to rank for. This will be featured in the title, meta description, copy etc. more on this in step (4).

Secondary keywords: These are additional keywords to support the target keyword. Featured in your page copy – within a section or as a section in its own right.

These could also be questions you find in the People Also Ask boxes for your topic.

 

This next section assumes you have access to Ahrefs or SEMrush. Or, you can use Ubersuggest (not as good, but 3 searches a month and cheaper than the others).

To find keywords on any topic, as a minimum, I do the following:

  • Google the keyword or phrase you want to rank for
  • Take the 1st, 2nd and 3rd organic URLs (NOT the featured snippet)
  • Run these URLs through Ahrefs or SEMrush
  • Filter for keywords in positions 1 to 5 (1 to 3 if you have lots of results)
  • See all of the keywords those URLs rank for

You’ll see something like this…

The aim here is to find and pick a target keyword for your page. Usually, this would be the most relevant keyword with the highest search volume. As well as taking into account the keyword difficulty (KD).

In the example above, I would pick “b2b SEO strategy” as my target keyword. It’s more specific than “b2b SEO” and when you search for “b2b SEO” and “b2b SEO strategy” you get near-identical results, meaning Google treats them the same so either option is fine.

(4) On-page optimisations

Next, some good old SEO 101 – adding keywords to certain parts of our page.

You want to add your target keyword to your URL, title tag, H1, Meta Description, and so on. And we use a search result simulator to see how our listing will appear in the results:

The aim here is to make sure our listing is enticing to click on.

Enter your target keyword into Google and look at the top 10 results. You can get a sense of what is working and then try and make your result stand out more.

(5) Structure your page content

Now we start creating a structure for our page. This is the most important step.

I like to do this by researching the top 10 results and then adding my own twist.

First up, satisfy the search engine overlords.

What are they expecting to see on the page?

There will be similarities across all the top 10 ranking pages for your target keyword. And, if Google is ranking those pages, it’s likely for a reason.

For example, using our B2B SEO Strategy page as an example. Every single competing page says “What is B2B SEO?” and something like “The

Difference Between B2B SEO and B2C SEO”.

Because of this, we’ll want to include these two sections on our page.

This step gives you a great place to start. However, one caveat, don’t blindly copy the other pages without adding your own touch. Or without doing your own customer research.

Next, how can you better these pages and add your own touch?

User experience and SEO are closely related. So how can we improve on what the competition has?

For example, if a competitor has…

  • …10 examples. Can we show 15?
  • …no checklist. Can we add a checklist?
  • …misses out on an important step? Can we add it to ours?
  • Or do we have a unique take on this topic?

In general, how can we make our page better than what’s out there already?

A better page results in a better user experience and is likely to gain more links.

It’s worth the extra effort!

Summary (and link to template)

There we go, the 5 steps we follow when filling out our SEO content brief. This will give you the best chance of ranking high up on Google for your target keywords.

They were:

  • Search intent and page type
  • Target audience
  • Keyword research
  • On-page optimisations
  • Content structure

To get access to our content brief template for free, click on the link below:
https://growth.spaced.digital/seo-content-brief-template

Post Author
Stephen White, Director

Stephen started his career as an SEO, learning his craft at web design agencies and multinational media agencies. Working on household names such as Huggies, Old El Paso, and Birkenstock. In 2018, he took those years of experience and founded Spaced. A B2B marketing agency that helps marketing teams generate more qualified leads, to fill their pipeline, and ultimately grow revenue.