How to Guide for Creating SEO Content

The Objective of a Brief

The objective of an SEO content brief is to guide the creation of high-quality content that meets the needs of both the target audience and search engines. A well-written SEO content brief can help ensure that the content is relevant to the user’s search intent, avoids queries that generate SERP features that reduce click-through rates (CTR), is aligned with the website’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), and that the website deserves to rank for the content.

Matching the content to the search intent of the user is critical because search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant and helpful information based on their search query. Understanding the user’s search intent can help content creators create content that provides the best possible user experience and helps them achieve their goal. For example, if a user’s search intent is transactional, the content should focus on providing information that helps the user complete a specific action, such as making a purchase or booking an appointment.

Avoiding queries that generate SERP features that reduce CTR is also crucial. For example, if a user’s search query triggers a featured snippet that provides a quick answer, users may be less likely to click on the traditional organic search results. In such cases, the content brief should be tailored to focus on long-tail keywords or queries that do not trigger such SERP features, thereby increasing the likelihood of users clicking through to the website.

E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) content is critical for building trust and authority with users and search engines. Content creators should focus on creating content that showcases their expertise and authority on the topic and presents accurate, trustworthy information.

Lastly, it’s essential to ensure that the website deserves to rank for the content. Search engines look at various factors, such as website authority, content quality, and relevance, to determine which sites rank for a particular query. The content brief should focus on creating content that is relevant, high-quality, and aligns with the website’s overall strategy to improve its ranking and visibility in the search engine results pages.

In summary, an SEO content brief aims to guide the creation of high-quality content that is relevant to the user’s search intent, avoids queries that generate SERP features that reduce CTR, aligns with E-A-T content principles, and ensures that the website deserves to rank for the content.

Choosing the Right Keywords

When it comes to finding keywords for an SEO content blog, it is important to focus on keywords that are relevant to the product, service, or offer that the content is designed to promote. Simply targeting keywords based on search volume without considering relevance to the user’s intent will result in rankings without clicks, which is ultimately not helpful for driving traffic or conversions.

One effective way to find keywords is to start by searching for the product, service, or offer and examining the “People also asked” queries that appear in the search results. These queries provide insight into the questions and concerns that users have related to the topic and can be used to generate ideas for content that addresses those questions and concerns.

Tools like Semrush can clarify search volume and difficulty for specific keywords, but it is important to use these tools after first understanding the problems that the product, service, or offer can solve and the needs of the target audience.

To truly understand the needs of the target audience, it can be helpful to talk to product teams, business owners, or affiliate content who ordered the content to build buyer personas and understand the customer journey. This can also help uncover frequently asked questions from real customers that can be used to generate content ideas.

Overall, finding relevant keywords for an SEO content blog requires a deep understanding of the target audience’s needs and intent. By focusing on relevance rather than search volume alone and using a combination of tools and real-world insights, you can create content that drives results for your business.

Building Relevancy with Additional Keywords

Related keywords are words or phrases that are semantically related to the main keyword or topic of a piece of content. Including related keywords in a piece of content can provide several benefits for SEO.

Firstly, including related keywords can help to establish the relevance of the content to the topic being searched for by users. Search engines use complex algorithms to analyze the content on a page and determine its relevance to a particular search query. By including related keywords, you can provide additional context to the search engines and help them better understand the topic of your content.

Secondly, related keywords can make good H2 subheadings in a blog. By using related keywords in subheadings, you can further reinforce the relevance of the content to the topic being searched for. Additionally, using related keywords in subheadings can also help to improve the overall structure and organization of your content, making it easier for users to read and understand.

Finally, it is generally good practice to include at least five related keywords in an SEO content brief. This helps to ensure that the content is comprehensive and covers a wide range of related topics and subtopics. By doing so, you can help to increase the overall relevance and quality of the content, which can ultimately lead to improved rankings and visibility in search engine results pages.

The Importance of Search Intent

Search intent refers to the purpose behind a user’s search query. Understanding the different types of search intent can help businesses create content that matches users’ needs and interests, thereby improving their search engine rankings and driving traffic to their website. Here are the three main types of user search intent:

  1. Informational search intent: This type of search intent is when a user is looking for information about a particular topic. The user is trying to learn more about a subject and wants to find resources that can provide them with useful information. Examples of informational search queries include “how to cook pasta,” “what is climate change,” and “best budget smartphones.” Content that satisfies informational search intent tends to be educational, informative, and unbiased.
  2. Navigational search intent: This type of search intent is when a user is trying to find a specific website or web page. The user already knows the name of the website they want to visit, but they may not know the exact URL. Examples of navigational search queries include “Facebook login,” “Amazon Prime video,” and “YouTube music.” Content that satisfies navigational search intent tends to be specific to a particular brand or website.
  3. Transactional search intent: This type of search intent is when a user is looking to complete a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or booking an appointment. The user is ready to take action and wants to find resources that can help them do so. Examples of transactional search queries include “buy running shoes online,” “book a hotel in Paris,” and “subscribe to Netflix.” Content that satisfies transactional search intent tends to be focused on guiding the user towards the desired action.

By understanding the different types of search intent, businesses can create content that aligns with users’ needs and interests, thereby improving their search engine rankings and driving traffic to their website.

Understanding Search Volume

Search volume is an important factor to consider when developing an SEO strategy. For informational search intent, the search volume can be higher because many people are looking for information on a specific topic. However, for transactional search intent, the search volume may be lower because fewer people are looking to make a purchase or take some other type of transactional action.

Despite the lower search volume for transactional intent, it is still okay to target these types of searches in your SEO strategy because they tend to convert at a higher rate. This is because users who are looking to transact are typically further along in the buyer’s journey and are more likely to take action once they find what they are looking for.

It is important to keep in mind that targeting low search volume, transactional intent searches should be part of a well-rounded SEO strategy that also includes targeting higher search volume, informational intent searches. By targeting both types of searches, you can ensure that you are reaching a wider audience and maximizing your chances of driving traffic and conversions.

Ultimately, the key to a successful SEO strategy is to understand your audience’s search intent and tailor your content to meet their needs, whether they are looking for information or looking to transact. By doing so, you can create a website that provides value to your audience and drives results for your business.

The Importance of E-E-A-T

Experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) are essential factors that Google considers when evaluating the quality of website content. These factors are particularly crucial in industries where accuracy and trust are critical, such as healthcare, finance, and legal services. Let’s look at each factor in more detail:

  1. Experience: Experience refers to the level of practical knowledge or hands-on experience that the content creator has in the topic area. It can also refer to the depth of experience that the website has in the industry or niche. Websites that can demonstrate a wealth of experience in a particular topic or industry are more likely to be considered authoritative and trustworthy.
  2. Expertise: Expertise is the level of knowledge or skill that a content creator or website has in a particular field or subject. Content that is written by experts in the field is more likely to be considered authoritative and trustworthy, and therefore, rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  3. Authority: Authority refers to the level of influence that a content creator or website has in a particular industry or niche. Websites that are considered authoritative are those that are well-established, trusted, and respected in their field. They have a significant following, and their content is frequently referenced and linked to by other authoritative websites.
  4. Trustworthiness: Trustworthiness refers to the reliability and credibility of the content creator or website. Websites that are deemed trustworthy are those that provide accurate, unbiased, and factual information that is supported by reliable sources. They also have transparent and honest practices, such as disclosing conflicts of interest, and providing information about the authors and publishers of the content.

In the context of SEO content, it’s crucial to ensure that the content demonstrates high levels of E-E-A-T. Content that is well-written, informative, and authoritative is more likely to rank higher in SERPs, attract more traffic, and ultimately drive more conversions. It’s also important to note that E-A-T is not just about the content but also the website. Websites that exhibit high levels of E-E-A-T will have a positive impact on the rankings of all their content.

Understanding SERP Features

Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) have evolved over time, but there are several prominent features that you are likely to see on a typical SERP. Here are some of the most common features on a Google SERP:

  1. Organic search results: These are the traditional search results that appear in the main body of the page. They typically include a title, a brief description, and a URL.
  2. Paid search results: These are ads that appear at the top and bottom of the page, marked with the word “Ad” in a green box. They typically include a headline, a description, and a URL.
  3. Featured snippets: These are snippets of content that appear at the top of the organic search results, above the traditional search results. They provide a quick answer to the user’s query and are often formatted as a bulleted list or a paragraph.
  4. Knowledge Graph: This is a box that appears on the right-hand side of the page, providing a summary of information about the search query. It typically includes an image, a brief description, and links to related topics.
  5. Local pack: This is a set of local search results that appear when a user searches for a location-based query. It typically includes a map with pins for each result, along with a list of businesses that match the search query.
  6. Related searches: These are suggestions for related search queries that appear at the bottom of the page. They can help users refine their search and find more specific information.
  7. Image search results: These are results from Google’s image search engine, which appear at the top of the page when a user searches for an image-based query.
  8. Video search results: These are results from Google’s video search engine, which appear at the top of the page when a user searches for a video-based query.
  9. News results: These are results from Google’s news search engine, which appear at the top of the page when a user searches for a news-related query.

These are just some of the most common features you might see on a Google SERP. The exact features you see will depend on your search query and the device you are using.

Maximize CTR Through SERP Analysis

Prominent SERP features such as the local pack, featured snippets, and shopping carousel can reduce the click-through rate (CTR) for organic content such as blogs. For example, if a user’s search query triggers a featured snippet that provides a quick answer, users may be less likely to click on the traditional organic search results, which can result in a lower CTR for the blog.

Similarly, the local pack and shopping carousel feature visual elements that may draw users’ attention away from the organic results, leading to a lower CTR. For bloggers, it’s essential to avoid keywords that produce these features as they may have a detrimental effect on the visibility of their content.

Tools like Semrush can help bloggers identify what SERP features are triggered by a search, allowing them to tailor their content to avoid keywords that produce these features. By avoiding these keywords, bloggers can increase the visibility of their content and improve their CTR.

In the words of baseball Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler, “Hit ’em where they ain’t.” This means that bloggers should focus on targeting keywords that are not triggering SERP features to maximize their visibility and CTR. By avoiding keywords that produce prominent SERP features, bloggers can position their content in areas of the search engine results page where it’s more likely to be seen and clicked on by users.

Understanding Semrush Keyword Difficulty

Semrush’s keyword difficulty metric is a score that estimates how difficult it would be to rank for a particular keyword in search engine results pages (SERPs). The score is based on various factors such as the domain authority of the top-ranking pages for the keyword, the number of referring domains, and the quality of the content. The keyword difficulty score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a more challenging keyword to rank for.

To determine the threshold your site must meet to choose a keyword difficulty threshold, you need to assess your website’s current authority and content quality. The higher your website’s authority and quality, the higher the keyword difficulty score you can target.

Here are some steps to help you determine your website’s threshold for keyword difficulty:

  1. Evaluate your website’s authority: Use a tool like Moz’s Domain Authority or Ahrefs’ Domain Rating to determine your website’s authority. This score measures the strength of your website’s backlink profile and is an essential factor in determining your threshold for keyword difficulty.
  2. Assess your content quality: Evaluate the quality of your website’s content by analyzing the readability, relevancy, and accuracy of your content. Tools like Yoast SEO and Grammarly can help you assess your content quality.
  3. Analyze your competitors: Identify your top competitors and analyze their keyword strategy, domain authority, and content quality. This analysis will give you a good idea of the level of competition you will face for specific keywords.
  4. Set a target keyword difficulty score: Based on your website’s authority and content quality, set a target keyword difficulty score. This score will serve as your threshold for choosing keywords that you can realistically rank for.

By determining your website’s threshold for keyword difficulty, you can choose the right keywords to target in your SEO strategy, ensuring that you are not wasting time and resources on keywords that are too difficult to rank for.

The Balance Between SEO and CRO – Page Titles & Meta Descriptions

A good page title and meta description are crucial components of SEO content as they serve as the first impression for both search engines and users. The target length for a page title is usually around 60 characters or less, while the target length for a meta description is typically around 155-160 characters. It is important to keep both concise, descriptive, and relevant to the content on the page.

While SEO and keywords are important factors to consider when crafting a page title and meta description, the primary goal is to entice a user to click through to the page. This is not only important for search engine optimization but also for social shares and other types of referrals. A well-written page title and meta description can help achieve this goal by accurately reflecting the content on the page and encouraging users to click through to learn more.

However, content that ranks without clicks often fails to meet the goals of the business. In such cases, search engine optimization (SEO) must give way to conversion rate optimization (CRO) to drive traffic and achieve business objectives. This means that it’s not enough to simply rank on the first page of search results; the content must also be compelling enough to get users to click through to the page. A good page title and meta description are crucial in the context of both SEO and CRO.

The Unimportance of Word Count

While word count is not a direct ranking factor, it can play a role in the overall quality and comprehensiveness of a piece of content. As Shakespeare’s Hamlet famously said, “words, words, words” – too many words that don’t add value can detract from the overall quality of a piece of content. However, if a high word count is necessary to fully address a user’s search intent and provide a comprehensive answer, then it can be beneficial for SEO. The focus should always be on providing high-quality content that satisfies the user’s needs, rather than simply trying to meet a specific word count target.

The Importance of Accessibility through Alt Attributes

Alt attributes, also known as alt tags or alt text, are important for SEO because they describe the content of an image to search engines. This helps search engines understand the context of the image and can lead to higher visibility in search results.

However, alt attributes are also crucial for accessibility. Not all users see or perceive content in the same way, and some users rely on page readers or other assistive technologies to navigate the web. Without alt attributes, users with visual impairments or other disabilities may miss important information conveyed through images.

By providing quality alt attributes and following accessibility best practices, we not only improve our SEO efforts but also make our content more inclusive and accessible to all users. As the saying goes, “in a world where you can be anything — be kind.” In this case, being kind means taking the time to ensure that our content is accessible and usable by everyone.

The Importance of Internal Linking

Internal linking in a blog is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website, which can improve the overall SEO of your site. Secondly, it helps users navigate your site, which can improve user experience and reduce bounce rates. Finally, internal linking can help to distribute page authority and link equity throughout your site, which can improve the ranking potential of your pages.

However, it’s important to note that you should not add links for the sake of having links. Instead, you should only include internal links where it makes sense to do so. For example, if your blog post mentions a particular product or service, it’s important to direct users to where they can transact or learn more about it. This not only helps users find what they’re looking for, but it can also improve the conversion rate of your site.

In addition to adding internal links to relevant product or service pages, it’s also a good idea to include links to related blog posts or resources on your site. This can help to keep users engaged with your site and encourage them to explore more of your content.

Understanding When to Use an External Link

External links can be useful in a blog when they add value to the user and the content. The most common usage of external links is when the publisher is receiving revenue through affiliate or sponsored links. However, it’s important to disclose any affiliate or sponsored links to the user to maintain transparency.

On an ecommerce or service site, external links can be harmful because it takes the user off the site and lowers conversion rates. However, regarding authoritative content, having a link to the primary sources of information and data can be relevant – provided it is not benefiting a competitor. For example, a news site should always provide external links to primary sources to support the story and provide additional context.

It’s important to not overdo external links and to always consider the user experience. Adding external links just for the sake of it can be distracting and annoying to the user. It’s best to use external links sparingly and only when they add value to the content and the user.

In summary, external links should be used when they add value to the user and the content. They can be useful for providing additional information or sources but should be used sparingly and only when relevant. Always consider the user experience and disclose any affiliate or sponsored links to maintain transparency.

The Penny Hoarder staffer Christopher Levy, photographed August 29 and August 30, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Search Engine Marketer

Christopher Levy

My name is Christopher Levy and I am the Director of Growth at Marketing Six. I lead a multidisciplined team helping small and midsize businesses (SMBs) grow through search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and digital public relations (DPR) / linkbuilding.

I’m originally from Long Island, New York, but I currently live in South Florida. I have been working in content marketing since 2004, SEO since 2014, and online education since 2020.

If you would like to discuss how I can help your business increase visibility please contact me. If you need more convincing keep scrolling to learn more.

I am pleased to announce that after seventeen years of offering digital marketing services I have joined with my partner, Cari Cantillo, in founding Made Ya Click!

My background in journalism and marketing combined with Cari’s background in media and recruitment has given us a unique skill set to serve clients across multiple platforms.

Joining with us is a team of experts at content creation, graphic design, public relations, SEO, SEM, social media, translation (Portuguese and Spanish) and web design.

Our agency specializes in combining these skills as part of a FOMO (fear of missing out) marketing strategy.

When your potential customers fear missing out they click; when they click they convert.

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We encourage you to view our website ( and connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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A picture can tell a thousand words, but fortunately, we can deliver an eye-catching logo for your business for less than the cost of 1,000 words of content.

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Christopher Levy and Cari Cantillo

A final word of thanks

Cari, our wonderful team, and I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this email. It is something that I have long talked about doing, but not something I wanted to venture into without ensuring I had the right team to support me.

We hope that some of you who have businesses, organizations, or charities will consider our services to help your conversion goals and meet your needs during these challenging times.

For a limited time, we are offering a FREE comprehensive SEO site audit to help you identify ways to improve your position on Google whether you purchase our services or not.

And as a final note to our friends and colleagues currently seeking freelance contract work, we are pleased to share the initial response during our soft opening has been so great that we are looking to add to our team.

May you all be well,