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How To Write An SEO Content Outline (My Tried & Tested Approach)

Updated: Feb 1



Do you know how to write an SEO content outline?


From my experience, the best SEO blog content outlines do the following:


  • Demonstrate first-hand expertise

  • Align with keyword search intent

  • Offer more value than SERP competition


Our research shows that 86% of people surveyed said they write an outline first before creating optimized blog content, while 14% said they do not.


78% of people surveyed do not have confidence in the SEO blog outlines they create for themselves.


Whether you're struggling to construct effective SEO blog article outlines or just want to start including some additional data points to guide the content creation process, I'm going to break down how I'm structuring SEO content outlines in 2024.


This article is for:


  • Marketing teams trying to map out their SEO content pipeline for the year ahead.

  • Niche site owners looking to elevate their content quality.

  • SEO content writers aiming to sharpen their optimization techniques.


Let's dive straight in and look at my SEO blog outline template.


SEO Blog Outline: Here's My Approach [Full Template]




How To Outline A Blog Post For SEO: My Data-Driven Optimization Techniques


Section 1: Article Title



This blog article title is designed to demonstrate first-hand expertise.


As Google increasingly looks to highlight individual creators in the SERPs, writing from a first-hand perspective is a good bet.


Section 2: Average Word Count


I've included the average word count of the top 10 search engine results pages for the target keyword.


I did this by adding up the total number of words for each article on the first page of Google and dividing it by the number of results on the first page.


In this case, it's 5,084 words. This seems a little excessive for an article on pricing a SaaS product, but it's just a guide.


Ultimately, the length of an optimized article depends on one question:


Is this content helpful for my reader?


Rather than attempting to write a bloated article for this topic, look at the competition in the SERPs and consider how the writers allocate their word count.


You'll quickly start to see how these 5,084 words add up.


Okay, onto the next section...


Section 3: Target Keywords



Nearly half of the people I've surveyed use only one keyword research tool to write optimized content, while the other half use two or more tools. A very small percentage of people use three or more keyword research tools.


I typically use up to three different SEO keyword research tools to find good long-tail keywords and phrases.


In this case, "how to price your SaaS product" is my target keyword.


All of the other keywords will be naturally infused into the content.


No keyword stuffing!


If I can't find a way to include those long-tail keywords naturally, I simply won't include them.


The last thing you want to do is start cramming in keywords all over the place and make your content look unnatural.


This will do you no favors in the SERPs.


Let's keep going. We're on a roll now.


Section 4: Subheaders



This is my favorite part of any outline.


Why?


Because it gives the writer a clear idea of what the article will contain and how it will provide value to the reader.


That's the crucial bit: providing value to the reader.


With this outline, I'm providing the reader with first-hand findings that don't exist anywhere else on Google.


I'm talking about an experiment I've run on three different pricing models.


I'm using phrases like "I tested" and "Here's what I found" in the subheaders to demonstrate first-hand expertise and topical authority.


Google wants to see content that's genuinely helpful to the reader.


They don't want AI-generated content that readers have seen a million times before.


That's not going to work on Google in 2024.


I'm using a mix of H2, H3, and H4 subheaders to give my article a clear structure and break the content down for the reader in digestible and logical chunks.


Section 5: People Also Ask Questions


If you can find a way to answer any of the PAA questions naturally and concisely in the article, do it!


Don't force them in.


You can always create an FAQ section at the end of the article, but it must provide the reader with genuine value and not just repeat things you've already mentioned earlier in the article.


In some cases, an FAQ section at the end of an article can act as a useful summary of the content.


Section 6: Meta Description:


While Google now tends to ignore suggested meta descriptions, it's still worth taking the time to think them through and include them in outlines.


Why?


Because it gets you thinking about the purpose of the content and how it aligns with the reader's search intent.


Section 7: Content Angle



A few lines on the suggested content angle for the blog article will get the reader thinking about how to approach the topic and meet the reader's search intent.


You don't need to write an essay here.


It's just about getting the writer focused on what's important.


If the article does not align with the reader's search intent, it's unlikely to progress very far in the SERPs.


Speaking of progress...we've nearly covered every section of the article outline.


Let's keep going...


Section 8: Search Intent



This section summarize what the searcher may be looking for in the content.


I've designed this section to keep the writer on track.


I don't want them to start going off on tangents and approach the topic in a way that's only interesting to them and not the target reader.


I need the writer to create content for the reader, not for themselves.


This means carefully considering what the target reader is looking for and how we can offer maximum value.


Throughout the content creation process, the writer should repeatedly look at the existing content in the SERPs and ask the following questions:


How does this content provide the reader with value?

How can we offer even more value to our readers?


This thought exercise can have a truly transformational impact on the quality of your content and your ability to rank in the SERPs.


It's a mindset more than anything.


Wait, what number are we on now?


Oh yeah, number nine...


Section 9: URL Structure


You should aim to include the target keyword in the URL  for the blog article.


At the same time, you should try to keep the URL as short as possible.


Keep it simple.


Section 10: Top Competitors



It's always helpful to have a list of the top competing pages in the search results as part of the outline.


As I said earlier, you want the writer to look at these pages throughout the content creation process and consider how they provide the reader with value and meet the keyword search intent.


Section 11: Analyzing A Top Search Result



When it comes to content creation, this section is invaluable.


It tells you how many times specific keywords were used in a competing article.


Don't worry about the exact numbers.


They're just a guide.


It also mentions the number of paragraphs used in a competing article.


Again, you don't need to follow this exactly.


It's just to make sure that you're in the right ballpark.


That's all folks!


How I Can Help You Create SEO Blog Outlines


During my research, I also asked survey participants how much they are open to paying for a well-researched SEO blog outline.


The majority of respondents, 65.5%, said they would be willing to pay up to $40. 24.1% of respondents said they would be willing to pay between $40 and $100, and 10.3% said they would be willing to pay more than $100.


38.9% of respondents said that a lack of ideas or direction is the biggest obstacle stopping them from creating detailed blog outlines.


Fortunately, I'm able to help.


With my extensive experience crafting optimized content that climbs the SERPs, I'm offering an SEO blog outline subscription service.


Every month, you receive detailed blog article outlines (like the example we went through above) in your inbox.


You can either suggest topic ideas to me or I can provide you with ideas based on my keyword research for your website.


If you're ready to get the ball rolling, you can order blog outlines here.


Written By: Adam Crookes

Reviewed By: Adele Horwood

Fact-Checked By: Ben Crookes

Next Review Due March 31, 2024

Read our editorial policy.

Adam's SEO Philosophy

 

To rank for competitive keywords in 2024, we must produce creator-led content that draws from the writer's personal experiences and brings unique insights to the table.

 

Google is hungry for fresh, authentic voices that defy boilerplate content and demonstrate genuine expertise.

 

The search engine is looking for the kind of lived-in knowledge that builds trust and compels website visitors to linger and learn.

From 0 to 189,000 Monthly Organic Website Visitors

Author Bio

Adam Crookes

Adam Crookes is an SEO content writer with experience producing long-form blog content for founders and CMOs across a range of companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

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