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How to brief a writer for your website

I’m often asked to recommend technical writers who understand search engine optimisation too. While I’d have hoped that a knowledge of SEO could be taken for granted from most freelance writers, it’s not a bad idea to give them a steer in the right direction – they’ll thank you for it. How to create a style guide for your SEO content writers on Marketing Land is an excellent article which addresses how to do this. It says: “Most writers will be able to pick up on the basics of SEO, but it is much harder to teach the psychology behind persuasive copywriting. That’s why, when looking for writers, you should focus on their ability to cultivate an on-brand message instead of their knowledge of SEO.”

The article outlines a template for a ‘mission-focused style guide or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)’. This requires you to work out your brand’s mission; the purpose for the content; the audience; the problem being addressed; the tone and style; the platforms which will be involved; and what outcomes are required. You can then create an SOP containing details on what you want in terms of the title, metadata, words, keywords, keyword implementation, internal linking, external linking, headings, organization, length, calls-to-action and formatting. It’s an article which is well worth keeping.