Content material fuels fashionable advertising and marketing.

However creating distinctive content material that resonates and reaches your viewers is harder than ever.

How do you guarantee each bit of content material you create strikes a chord with—and even reaches—your viewers?

Begin with well-crafted content material briefs.

Professional tip: Don’t wish to create each temporary from scratch? Join SEO Content Template totally free!

SEO Content Template homepage

What Is a Content material Temporary?

A content material temporary is a doc that offers writers directions and tips for creating written content material. Similar to weblog articles, white papers, or social posts. 

The aim of a content material temporary is to put out necessary components that writers want to incorporate of their article. And guarantee that each bit of written content material works towards attaining your total content material aim.

For example, listed below are some items of knowledge you’d discover in a very good content material temporary:

  • Your audience. Info on demographics, pursuits, and ache factors to assist writers perceive who their reader is. 
  • Your major and secondary key phrases. This guides writers on which key phrases to deal with. And may recommend what number of occasions to say a key phrase or the place so as to add it. 
  • The perfect article format. Solutions on find out how to construction introduction, headings, subheadings, and many others., to finest fulfill person and search intent. 
  • The prevailing search outcomes web page in your key phrase. An evaluation of the top-ranking pages in your chosen key phrase. This conjures up writers to fill in any content material gaps and make items extra beneficial
  • Prompt meta tags. This may increasingly embrace title tag and meta description concepts that assist search engineers perceive what your web page is about and affect click-through charges from search engine outcomes pages (SERPs).

And right here’s an concept of what a short that features these factors can appear to be (generated by the SEO Content Template software):

A brief generated by the SEO Content Template tool

However we’ll get into find out how to discover all these items of knowledge later.

For now, let’s have a look at the distinction between content material briefs and inventive briefs.

Are Content material Briefs the Similar as Inventive Briefs?

Nope. They deal with several types of content material.

Content material briefs information the creation of written content material. For instance:

  • Weblog posts
  • Video scripts
  • Social media posts

Inventive briefs, alternatively, information the creation of visible deliverables like: 

  • Movies 
  • Touchdown pages 
  • Covers and infographics

So whereas they sound comparable, they aren’t the identical factor.

Why Content material Briefs Are Important

Content material briefs are necessary as a result of they preserve your written content material centered in your total marketing strategy goal. Whereas additionally ensuring your content material contains all the important thing items of knowledge.

Let’s say you personal a social media scheduling app. And your aim is to get extra signups.

Amongst different items of knowledge, your content material briefs can have:

  • A listing of related key phrases to focus on
  • A listing of options or merchandise you’ll be able to spotlight to entice extra individuals to enroll
  • A listing of internal links you’ll be able to embrace to maintain your readers in your web site

That method, mentioning your software’s options stays high of thoughts for you and your writers. Whether or not you’re writing about Twitter’s rebrand to X or find out how to schedule a put up for Instagram.

Utilizing content material briefs additionally has different advantages:

Benefits of content briefs
  • They prevent money and time. Briefs supplier writers with a transparent place to begin. This permits them to do their finest work, and minimizes the necessity for editors to make prolonged revisions.
  • They preserve your content material on model. Writers are higher outfitted to weave your model’s fashion and distinctive tone into each piece.
  • They assist guarantee each bit is optimized for Search engine marketing. An SEO content brief improves your probabilities of rating by telling writers the article’s viewers, goal key phrases, and the search intent of these key phrases.
  • They assist you to beat rivals. Writers get a information that tells them which subjects, questions, information, or ideas competing posts could have missed (or that you just take into account necessary).

However content material briefs solely work in case you have all the correct components. So right here they’re:

What to Embody in a Content material Temporary

A fundamental content material temporary can have the next components:

  • A tentative, beneficial title
  • Info in your audience and their present data degree
  • A listing of your goal key phrase and secondary key phrases
  • The search intent behind your goal key phrase
  • The recommended phrase depend
  • A listing of recommended inside hyperlinks
  • A listing of recommended exterior hyperlinks
  • A tough define that features recommended headers
  • A hyperlink to your fashion information

In fact, there are several types of content material briefs. Primarily based on a model’s content material targets and the kind of content material they wish to create.

For instance, manufacturers that wish to enhance natural site visitors (site visitors from search engines like google) by way of weblog posts will create SEO content briefs

These include goal key phrases, article size, a search engine outcomes web page (SERP) evaluation, and different info on find out how to optimize an article.

Professional tip: Don’t get too granular or inflexible along with your briefs. As writers create the content material, they’ll have to deviate out of your temporary anyway. So give them the broad strokes of what your content material completely must have. After which belief them to do the remainder.

The way to Create an Search engine marketing Content material Temporary

There are two methods you’ll be able to create an Search engine marketing content material temporary:

  1. Use your goal key phrase to shortly generate the temporary with the SEO Content Template software
  2. Manually observe all of the steps laid out under

Right here’s a step-by-step information on find out how to do each.

Take notice, Should you’re going for possibility one—utilizing the Search engine marketing Content material Template—then all it’s worthwhile to do is step 1.

1. Select the Proper Goal Key phrase

Search engine marketing is a game-changer with regards to producing organic traffic.

However not all writers are SEOs. 

So it’s necessary to point your goal key phrase proper inside your content material temporary. 

The goal (or major) key phrase is the primary time period or subject that your content material will deal with. It is the primary key phrase your put up will attempt to rank for on SERPs.

As soon as chosen, your goal key phrase influences key components of your content material temporary—like secondary key phrases, the content material define, subtopics, and inside linking alternatives.

So what’s step one to choosing the proper goal key phrase? 

Be sure that it aligns with each the targets of your put up and your total advertising and marketing technique. 

Semrush’s Keyword Overview software might help with this.

Let’s say your aim is to extend natural site visitors by rating for informational searches associated to content material advertising and marketing.

Begin by coming into a key phrase or subject concept you bear in mind, then click on “Search.” On this case, we used “content material advertising and marketing.”

"content marketing" entered in Keyword Overview search bar

The software will present you details about that key phrase. However listed below are three key items of knowledge it’s worthwhile to deal with:

  • Volume. The estimated common variety of searches a key phrase will get per 30 days. Ideally, you desire a key phrase with a excessive search quantity.
  • Keyword Difficulty (KD). How troublesome it’s to rank within the high 10 search outcomes for the key phrase. Ideally, you wish to goal key phrases with decrease key phrase issue; high-difficulty key phrases can require quite a lot of time and assets to rank for.
  • Search intent. Why the searcher is utilizing Google—i.e., do they need extra info or do they wish to work out which product to purchase? In case your aim is to extend natural site visitors from informational searches, you wish to goal informational key phrases.
Keyword Overview for "content marketing" search

From the screenshot above, you realize that “content material advertising and marketing” most likely isn’t the perfect key phrase to focus on. It has nice quantity and the correct search intent, but it surely’ll be too laborious to rank for since KD is 99%.

So scroll down and take a look at the “Key phrase Concepts” part of the web page. And click on on one of many phrases that appears to suit your standards.

For instance, “what’s a content material marketer” underneath “Questions” seems to be like a very good key phrase. So click on on that.

“Keyword Ideas” section

You’ll now get detailed metrics of the brand new potential key phrase: 

Detailed metrics for “what is a content marketer”

And it checks all of the bins. It has the next:

  • 320 month-to-month searches
  • An attainable key phrase issue of 40%
  • And informational search intent

Which implies “what’s a content material marketer” is a superb key phrase to focus on with an article. Particularly since your aim is to generate extra natural site visitors.

Now that you just’ve picked your goal key phrase, you need to use the free SEO Content Template software to routinely fill out the remainder of your temporary. 

Every template comes with beneficial textual content size, readability rating, semantically associated key phrases to incorporate, potential backlink targets, and extra.

SEO Content Template comes with recommended text length, readability score, semantically related keywords to include, potential backlink targets, and more.

2. Make a Checklist of Secondary Key phrases

Secondary key phrases are intently associated to the first key phrase you might be focusing on.

They assist present search engines like google that you just’ve lined subtopics associated to your major key phrase. And so they can usher in quite a lot of site visitors on their very own.

Let’s say your major key phrase is “what’s a content material marketer.” Your secondary key phrases might be: 

  • “What does a content material marketer do” 
  • “What’s content material advertising and marketing”
  • “Content material marketer”

There are two methods you will discover secondary key phrases:

First, use the Keyword Magic Tool to search out associated key phrases.

Begin by coming into your major key phrase and clicking “Search.” Let’s proceed to make use of “what’s a content material marketer” as our major key phrase.

“what is a content marketer” entered in Keyword Magic Tool search bar

Then, choose secondary key phrases that align along with your goal key phrase and core subject. And have a excessive search quantity, affordable key phrase issue, and proper intent.

Keyword Magic Tool results for “what is a content marketer” keyword

Second, have a look at what key phrases your rivals are rating for.

Return to the Keyword Overview web page in your goal key phrase.

“what is a content marketer” entered in Keyword Overview search bar

And scroll right down to the “SERP Evaluation” part.

“SERP Analysis” section in Keyword Overview

Plug every of these URLs into the Organic Research software. We’ll use the primary one from Semrush.

Organic Research tool search bar

You’ll get an inventory of key phrases that the article is rating for.

"Positions" table in Organic Research tool

Scroll by way of that checklist and search for key phrases that match your content material targets (i.e., excessive quantity, low KD, and informational search intent).

Bonus: Establish semantic keywords: phrases or phrases which might be conceptually associated to a given key phrase or subject. 

Semantic key phrases encourage a pure method of writing, which may enhance high quality. This will result in increased rankings and higher person engagement. 

When selecting semantically associated key phrases, use the SEO Content Template to save lots of time. 

Enter the goal key phrase for a web page and click on “Create content material template.”

"content marketing" entered in SEO Content Template

The software will analyze the highest 10 Google outcomes to offer an inventory of semantically associated key phrases (alongside different suggestions).

For instance, listed below are the semantically associated key phrases for “content material advertising and marketing.” 

Passing these on to your content material author would give them extra inspiration on which subtopics to cowl. 

Semantically related keywords for “content marketing” 

3. Conduct a SERP Evaluation

Conducting a SERP evaluation means studying from the top-ranking webpages in your key phrase. 

You’ll uncover what makes competing posts rank in your goal key phrase, and use these insights to maximise your put up’s probabilities of success on SERPs.

Then, for every top-ranking put up, take note of: 

SERP Options

SERP options are “particular” enhancements to natural search outcomes.

One sort of SERP function is the featured snippet. And it seems to be like this:

An example of a featured snippet

Different common SERP features to look out for are: 

  • Wealthy Snippets. Regular search outcomes that profit from a visible enhancement that pertains to a web page’s content material (e.g., ranking begins from a web page that critiques a product)
  • Individuals Additionally Ask (PAA). An expandable checklist of solutions to questions which might be associated to a question. Queries that set off PAA bins sometimes begin with query phrases, corresponding to: “what”, “why”, “when”, “the place” and “who.” 
  • Data Panels. A block that shows info on a particular subject, model, or enterprise. 
An infographic showing different "Google SERP Features"

The Keyword Overview software simplifies the method of analyzing SERP options. 

After trying to find your major key phrase, scroll right down to the “SERP Evaluation” part. 

From right here, you’ll see an in depth breakdown of the SERP options for the highest 10 URLs rating in your goal key phrase (amongst different helpful metrics). 

“SERP Analysis” section in Keyword Overview tool

Click on the “View SERP” button to see a stay view of the SERP in your key phrase. 

Live view of the SERP for "how to start running" search

With this info, notice the SERP options you wish to goal in your temporary and supply real-world inspiration in your writers. 

The SERP for “find out how to begin operating,” for instance, contains a PAA part full of beginner-focused questions. 

You possibly can checklist comparable questions in your temporary for writers to reply. 

This may give your put up a better likelihood of additionally getting featured within the PAA part. 

Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Pay attention to how rivals are presenting their content material on SERPs. 

For title tags, analyze how rivals incorporate major key phrases, emotional triggers, and modifiers to entice clicks. Gauge what size most appear to make use of. 

For meta descriptions, notice how lengthy descriptions are. And observe how rivals reply queries and encourage clicks.

Let’s say we wish to goal the key phrase “find out how to begin operating.”

Google SERP for “how to start running” with title tags highlighted in purple

We are able to see that the majority top-performing outcomes embrace the first key phrase “find out how to begin operating” originally of every title. So we’d wish to do the identical to extend probabilities of rating. 

Google SERP for “how to start running” with meta descriptions highlighted in purple

A lot of the meta descriptions additionally immediately reply the question: “find out how to begin operating.” 

They ship the reply in an tutorial, beginner-friendly tone and use the key phrase—or components of it—within the description. 

Utilizing the phrases of (or phrases just like) a searcher’s question could cause Google to embolden these phrases on SERPs. Which can assist draw consideration to your description and enhance click-through charges (CTR). 

Phrase Depend 

Assessing the size of top-performing content material suggests how complete your put up ought to be. 

This helps set up a goal phrase depend for writers, which defines the “scope” of your put up. It additionally indicators the extent of depth you count on from writers. 

You possibly can gauge goal phrase counts by manually analyzing the SERP on a page-by-page foundation. Or use a Chrome extension like Word Counter Plus to focus on and depend the phrases on the competing web page. 

Chrome extension Word Counter Plus showing word and character counts

Or you need to use the SEO Content Template—which routinely recommends a perfect size primarily based on the highest 10 rating outcomes. 


Take a look at how top-ranking items are structured. Then make an inventory of their H2s and H3s and see how they’re comparable. 

Let’s revisit the top-ranking for the question “find out how to begin operating.” 

Most rivals embrace H2s that supply pattern operating plans for learners all through their content material. 

So it’s clear that “operating plans” are necessary for satisfying searcher intent. And are one thing you’d wish to embrace in your put up. 

An example of a 7-week run-walk plan for beginners

Prime-ranking pages additionally provide beginner-friendly, tutorial subheads. Similar to: “Select a coaching plan.”

“Choose a Training Plan” subheading

Or “Decide a race.”

“First, Pick a Race” subheading

So we’d additionally wish to embrace H2 or H3 subheads that contact on these subjects. 

When you’ve built-in the core subjects into your temporary, analysis the way you may add one thing new to distinguish your put up. 

Tailor it to particular searchers. Or dive deeper right into a subtopic. 

The Keyword Magic Tool might help you with this by revealing associated key phrases and potential subtopics. 

Within the instance under, we will differentiate our put up by including H2s and H3s on:

  • “The way to begin operating for overweight learners”
  • “The way to begin operating for obese learners”
  • “A coaching plan for obese learners” 
Examples of related keywords and potential subtopics for "how to start running"

This provides one thing new to the subject. And it boosts your probabilities of rating for associated key phrases. 

4. Create Your Tentative Define

Give your author a jumping-off level within the type of a tentative define. Your define ought to embrace:

  • A recommended title
  • The primary H2s
  • Necessary H3s
  • Descriptions for every part

It ought to look one thing like this:

An example of a tentative outline

To create your define, mix the entire analysis that you just’ve already performed.

  • Use your major and secondary key phrases as headers, if potential
  • Add incessantly requested questions that you just uncovered from PAA bins
  • Ensure that your outlines covers all of the necessary subjects your rivals cowl

After you construct your define, your recommended temporary is nearly completed.

Internal links are clickable textual content that result in a special web page inside your web site.

They’re necessary as a result of they:

  • Assist search engines like google perceive your web site’s construction
  • Cross authority between totally different pages in your web site
  • Make it simpler for customers to navigate your web site and uncover content material 

Inside hyperlinks also can level to subtopics that warrant extra dialogue or clarification on a devoted web page.

For instance, in our article explaining Search engine marketing fundamentals, now we have a piece about search intent.

However as an alternative of explaining the totally different sorts of search intent, we clarify the idea briefly then hyperlink out to an article that already does it.

An example of an internal link with anchor text "search intent"

That method, readers get a fast overview of an necessary idea with out getting too slowed down by the small print. However a hyperlink is readily-available in case they do wish to be taught extra.

Create your checklist by wanting by way of your present articles. And taking a look at which articles align with subjects you’ve listed in your recommended define.

Professional tip: Enhance your internal linking strategy by constructing out subject clusters with our Keyword Manager software.

3 Nice Content material Temporary Examples

1. Semrush’s Search engine marketing-Targeted Content material Temporary

Semrush’s SEO Content Template generates a short that may assist you to outrank your rivals. Utilizing Search engine marketing finest practices.

That features:

  • A listing of the highest 10 rivals who rank in your goal key phrase on Google
  • Suggestions for backlinks, semantic key phrases, and goal phrase depend 
  • Title tag, meta description, and H1 tag suggestions

The temporary is Search engine marketing-focused. So use it that can assist you rank higher on SERPs, enhance site visitors, and seize extra leads from search. 

SEO Content Template generates SEO-focused briefs

2. Daniel Cheung’s Newbie-Pleasant Temporary Template

Daniel Cheung’s content brief template is nice for individuals who are new to content material advertising and marketing. 

Every part of the temporary comes with a short description of what info customers ought to add. This makes it helpful for groups which might be unfamiliar with filling in content material briefs. 

Daniel Cheung’s content brief template

Each section prompts the user to think deeply about their answers and offers detailed guidance. 

The first half of the brief asks for essential details like:

  • Target keywords
  • Audience information
  • Internal links

The second half provides the skeleton for an outline that turns secondary and long-tail keywords into subheaders. 

3. Hack The Box’s Technical Content Brief 

Hack The Box’s (HTB) content brief template helps material specialists write content material for technical audiences (like cybersecurity professionals).

The technical content material temporary features a part on Search engine marketing to provide specialists any crucial info on optimization. 

Use it to create briefs that prioritize distinctive, brand-specific angles for technical subjects—like cybersecurity. 

Hack The Box’s (HTB) content brief template

Obtain Your Content material Targets with Content material Briefs

Content material briefs are highly effective. However they require quite a lot of analysis, planning, and Search engine marketing data to do proper.

If you wish to save time and get the right content material temporary each single time, try our instruments.

SEO Content Template offers you a fast overview of the key phrases it is best to goal, what your rivals are doing, and what it is best to do to get your articles to carry out.

Let instruments do the analysis for you. With the intention to think about creating nice content material that reinforces your backside line.


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