How to Use a Content Roadmap


What is a content roadmap? And what do you as a producer need to know if your client has purchased one?

A content roadmap is a list of topics that our SEO team creates using data-driven insights from search engines and competitive research that targets the right keywords, helps a client’s pages rank higher on search engines, attracts natural third-party links, and optimizes ROI for said client’s content marketing.

It’s one of several products we offer to clients if they’re looking to customize their contract beyond a managed service.

Content roadmaps do the heavy lifting when it comes to ideation, which means that producers usually don’t have to ideate topics if a content roadmap exists, although there are some exceptions.

They follow a similar trajectory as other accounts: In month one, or the first mile, your managing editor will set up the account and the content calendar, brief out the topics and send them to the client for review, and assist you with editing.

Month two is when the real fun begins! 

Via Slack, your managing editor will send you the client’s Approved Content Sheet, which includes a tab with a Master List of topics and a tab with topics broken down by quarter. These SEO “briefs” usually include four things:

  • An SEO suggested title
  • Top related keywords
  • Questions people ask (optional)
  • And a taxonomy, or overall theme (optional)

Your customer success manager or managing editor will let you know which four topics the client wants to produce next.

From here, your job as a producer is to take each SEO “brief” and turn it into a brief in the ClearVoice platform. The SEO suggested title becomes the Assignment Name, and the keywords, questions people ask, and taxonomy are an easy copy/paste into the brief.

The last (and perhaps most important) part of this process is filling in the gaps, as you would do with topics that you ideated yourself. 

Remember: A title and a few keywords are not a lot to go on for a writer! 

You’ll be responsible for filling in these sections:

  • The main takeaway of the piece: An assignment can be written in a myriad of ways depending on the writer’s experience and knowledge. What is essential for them to get right? What should a reader learn afterward?
  • A project summary: Give the writer some context about the wider goal of the content. Think: target audience, featured products, notes on tone, etc. 
  • A suggested outline: Help the writer with direction, including H2s, an intro, key items to include, anything the writer must incorporate. Include a CTA if applicable. 
  • Internal links: Including at least one internal link is an SEO best practice. What assets from the client’s website would make sense to link to within the piece of content?
  • Reference links: A little research goes a long way. How can you help the writer get started in the right direction?

The more detailed you are, the better off the writer will be as they get started on content creation – and the less likely major revisions will occur down the road.