When planning content for your site, having a solid SEO strategy is one of the most important aspects. Organic traffic is the most reliable kind, and the only way to get it is by ranking on Google and other search engines. And the only way to rank on search engines is by writing for SEO.
SEO is such a huge topic and has so many facets that, without a strategy, it’s easy to get lost in the SEO sea. To help you organize your keyword research, content planning, and SEO strategy, we recommend a helpful tool known as an article brief.
Keep reading to learn more about why you should be writing for SEO and how and why to use an article brief. It will be game-changing for your content!
Why Writing for SEO Matters
As mentioned, the best way to get more eyes on your site and business is through organic traffic. Social media is great and serves its purpose, but it is also unpredictable. There’s always a risk your account could get hacked, your account could get shut down, or the platform could lose popularity and die away.
Organic search isn’t going anywhere, so your best growth strategy is an SEO strategy. If you want to show up at the top on Google (or even on the first page) without paying for ads, writing for SEO is a must.
What does writing for SEO mean though? It simply means you are planning and creating content with the primary goal of ranking on search engines.
To accomplish this goal, you need more than just awesome content. You could write the most well-written article on the planet, but if it isn’t optimized for search, no one will ever see it.
To rank well, you must write quality content, yes, but you also need to do your keyword research, including researching search intent. You also need to make sure you’re placing your keywords strategically without keyword stuffing.
As you’re planning your content with all these things in mind, an outline or article brief can help you organize your thoughts and ensure you’re including all the necessary pieces of the SEO puzzle.
What is an Article Brief?
Here at BlogPaws, we are big proponents of the article brief. If you aren’t familiar with the term, an article brief is basically an outline of your blog post or piece of content. It is designed to help and instruct the writer on how to create that piece of content.
It can be as detailed or as basic as you want it to be, but there are several key pieces to always include:
- Main keyword (to be used in the article title, the first paragraph of the article, and 3-4 other times throughout your article)
- Supporting keywords (to be used 1-2 times)
- Article title
- Headings (including strategically placed keywords)
- List of inbound links to include
- List of outbound links to include
If you work with a team of writers, article briefs can be especially helpful to ensure your writers are following your writing guidelines and creating the search-optimized content you want. The brief gives a very clear picture of what is expected, what should be included, and how the content should be organized.
With an article brief, you can be sure your content includes everything needed to rank well for search.
How to Create Article Briefs for SEO
The first step to creating an article brief is to pick your topic. Once you know what you or a member of your writing team is going to write about, you’ll need to do the keyword research to determine what your main and supporting keywords will be. You should have just one main keyword, along with roughly 1-3 supporting keywords.
Armed with your keywords and the direction you plan to go with the content, you can begin to craft your outline. This outline should include the article title, along with any headings and subheadings.
Both inbound and outbound links are an important part of the SEO puzzle, so be sure to include those in your brief as well. Your inbound links should be to other relevant content on your own site, and your outbound links should be to quality sources you reference in the content or that were used in your own research.
You may need to include other details in your brief if they are for someone else, such as a member of your writing team:
- Overview of the assignment
- Word count
- Info on the intended audience
- Content structure
- Image specifics – i.e. whether the writer should include them or not, and if so, what kind?
- A specific call-to-action
Even if you are writing your site content yourself, article briefs can be an invaluable tool. They can help organize your content, keep you on track, and serve as a checklist of sorts to make sure you aren’t leaving out anything important.
Though writing an article brief may seem like you’re just adding more work to your writing and content planning process, it will actually make the whole process easier, faster, and more streamlined. Not only that, but you’ll be crafting quality content that is more likely to rank on the almighty Google, which will in turn grow your small pet biz!
Have you ever used article briefs before? Did you find them to be an effective means of content organization?
About the Author: Emily is the Director of Marketing and Community here at BlogPaws. She is also an online content creator and writer for her own site, KittyCatGO, as well as for Cat School. Emily is “mom” to 7 cats, 1 dog, and 2 sugar gliders. When she isn’t writing, playing music, or crocheting, Emily and her husband enjoy hiking, road-tripping, camping, and canoeing together with their 3 cat adventurers.