An SEO brief is a critical document that outlines the goals, target audience, and overall strategy for an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign.
It serves as a roadmap for the entire project and helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Whether you are working with an in-house team or an SEO agency, a well-crafted SEO brief is essential for a successful SEO campaign.
Here are 9 key steps for writing an effective brief:
1. Define your goals
The first step in writing an SEO brief is to define your goals. What do you hope to achieve through your SEO campaign?
- Do you want to increase website traffic, improve your search engine rankings, or both?
- Do you have any specific targets, eg, increase organic traffic by 50%?
- Are you looking to increase conversions? Do you want to decrease bounce rate?
Usually the answers might be a combination of everything above. Be specific when defining your goals, and include a timeline for when you would like to see results.
2. Identify your target audience
Once you have defined your goals, the next step is to identify your target audience.
Who are you trying to reach with your SEO campaign? What are their interests, needs, and habits? What keywords do they use when searching for products or services like yours?
Also, will you be targeting local seo, national, or international searches?
For local searches, the focus might be on optimising your website for keywords related to your location, as well as building local citations and links to increase your visibility in local search results. For national or international searches, the focus may shift to broader keywords and a more comprehensive link building strategy to increase your website’s visibility on a larger scale.
3. List your competitors
It is important to understand who your competitors are in order to effectively compete in your industry. In your brief, provide a list of your top competitors, including their website URLs.
This information will be useful for the SEO agency to research and analyse, and will help to inform your SEO strategy. Knowing your competition will help to identify potential opportunities and areas for improvement, as well as to avoid duplicating the efforts of your competitors.
Having a clear understanding of your competition will also help to ensure that your SEO campaign is effective and sets you apart from your rivals.
4. Describe your products and services
In this section of your SEO brief, provide a comprehensive description of your products and services. What sets them apart from your competitors, and what benefits do they offer to your target audience?
This information will be used to create content that effectively showcases your offerings and positions them in the best possible light. Make sure to highlight any unique features or benefits that set your products and services apart from your competitors.
5. Discuss a content plan
One of the most important components of an effective SEO strategy is high-quality content. Whether you have an existing content plan in place or not, it is important to communicate this information to your SEO team.
- If you already have a content plan in place, provide an overview of the topics you plan to cover, the type of content you will create (e.g. blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.), and any other relevant information.
- If you do not have a content plan in place, it’s worth discussing whether you are open to suggestions and input in developing a content strategy that will support your SEO goals.
In either case, it is important to be transparent and communicate any budget or resource constraints that may impact the content creation process. This will help to understand the scope of your content plan and ensure that it aligns with your overall SEO strategy.
A well-developed content plan can help to drive traffic to your site, build brand awareness, and establish your business as a thought leader in your industry.
6. Provide CMS and Google Analytics access
In order to properly assess your website and develop an effective SEO strategy, your SEO agency will need access to your website and analytics data. Provide your agency with login information for your website’s CMS and any other relevant platforms.
Additionally, provide access to your Google Analytics account, which will give the agency valuable insights into your website’s performance, including traffic patterns, bounce rates, and conversion rates.
Having access to this information will assist in performing a comprehensive analysis of your website and identify areas for improvement. It will also enable the agency to track the progress of your SEO campaign and measure the success of your efforts over time.
7. Outline your budget
Be sure to outline your budget for the campaign.
This will help everyone understand not only what you are willing to spend, but what kind of services you can expect for your budget. Managing expectations from the outset is always important, and it will help to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
Importantly, it can also save time if the numbers are too far apart for each partner to be able to work with each other.
8. Clarify who will be responsible for website development work
When it comes to implementing an SEO strategy, there may be a need for website development work such as updates to the website’s architecture, coding, or content management system.
Will your in-house team handle the development work, or will the SEO agency be responsible for it? By clarifying who will be responsible for website development work, you can ensure that the right resources are in place to support the implementation of your SEO strategy.
This information will also help to avoid confusion and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. If the SEO agency will also be responsible for the website development work, be sure to discuss any specific requirements or guidelines that they need to follow in order to maintain your website’s design and functionality.
9. Discuss any previous SEO work and reports
Before embarking on a new SEO campaign, it is important to understand what SEO work, if any, has already been done on your website. Discuss any previous SEO efforts, including the types of tactics that were used and the results that were achieved. This information will help everyone to understand the current state of your website’s SEO and to determine the best approach for optimising your website moving forward.
Additionally, provide any existing SEO reports or data that you have on hand, such as keyword rankings, website analytics, or competitor analysis.
This information can be valuable in helping to understand your website’s strengths and weaknesses, and to determine additional steps that might be necessary to improve your website’s visibility and performance in search engines.
In conclusion, an SEO brief is an essential tool for communicating with an agency and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. This will help to ensure that your SEO campaign is successful and that you get the results you are looking for.
Successful SEO campaigns depend on clear communication and collaboration between you and your SEO team. A well-crafted brief will help to facilitate this communication and ensure that everyone is working towards the same targets and KPIs.
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