Content Writing Guidelines for SEO

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Content SEO
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Table of Contents

General Rules

  • Use Google Docs.
  • When doing edits to the article (at any stage), use the Suggest function. This helps keep track of all the edits you make and in the 2nd phase of editing to specifically focus on them (instead of having to re-edit the entire article from scratch).
  • Use relevant headings provided in the outline with Google Docs headings.
  • Use a hierarchically-correct outline: heading + subheading + subheading + heading + subheading + sub-subheading + sub-subheading, and so on


  • For each content piece, follow the outline provided to you (if applicable).
    • If you want to take that extra initiative, feel free to propose changes to the outline.
  • For each paragraph, use 1-4 lines max. Don’t overdo it with either end. We don’t want the entire article to be composed of single sentences, and at the same time, it shouldn’t be blocky paragraphs either.
  • Unless specified otherwise, maintain a conversational tone. The reader is a friend you’re talking to in real life. Write accordingly.
    • Make the style personal. Refer to the reader as “You.” Mention stories, examples, pop culture references or jokes when appropriate.
    • Use personal anecdotes only when appropriate. 90% of the cases, you’re going to be writing under the client’s name, so the writing should reflect that.
  • Use active voice instead of passive.
  • The article should be very easy to read — just about anyone reading it should be able to follow. So, avoid overly complex words and sentences. Hemingway can help you find complex words/sentences and eliminate them.
  • Done with your article? Make sure to run it through and Grammarly and make appropriate changes.
  • Keep in mind your target audience, and tailor your style accordingly.
    • For example, you wouldn’t make Rick and Morty references if your audience is a middle-aged accountant. You WOULD make Rick and Morty references if you’re writing for 20-30-year-old hipster designers, potheads, IT’s, and so on.
    • Keep in mind what your readers already know. For example, let’s say you’re writing about “how to make a resume”. You can safely assume your readers don’t know anything on the topic, and you need to explain everything from 0 to 100.
    • On the other hand, let’s say you’re writing about something more complex. Say, “business process management software”. Chances are, your readers are savvy businessmen. You shouldn’t start from the very basics like “A business process is…”
  • Use Bold to drive the point home.
    • “This is the most important article you’re going to read in your life.”
  • Don’t ever fluff. It’s very easy to spot if you’re writing stuff for the sake of writing stuff. Everything you say should have some substance.
    • Test each written sentence/paragraph by asking, “So what?”. If it doesn’t bring value, remove it.
    • Basically, the point here is that you shouldn’t stretch for word count. The reader will know and get bored easily.
  • Keep a good flow.
    • The content should flow smoothly all the way from the beginning until the end.
    • Don’t repeat whatever you already said. 
  • Drive the point home. Whenever you make a statement, back it up. E.g. if you’re saying, “you should include a resume summary in your CV”, you need to follow up by saying why you should do that “because it helps catch the recruiter’s attention from a single glance at your resume”.
  • Do research before you start writing. Don’t simultaneously write and learn about the topic at the same time. First, do your research — read articles on the topic till you understand it on a pretty solid level. Then, once you’ve got the hang of the topic, start writing.
  • It’s OK to borrow ideas/inspiration from other articles on the topic. It’s never OK to copy-paste from other articles.


All content that you write should be optimised for Google.

To make sure you optimised the post properly, use this tool.

  • Get the Keyword density right. For each article, you’ll get a “keyword.” The keyword should make up 0.5% — 2% of the article word count.
  • Outbound/external links: 3-7+ (links to external websites)
  • Inbound links: 5+ (relevant links to other posts on the blog — as many as needed!)
  • The keyword must be mentioned in:
    • the meta description
    • the title
    • some H2 headings
  • Page title: between 40 and 65 characters
  • URL slug: brief and contains the keyword  (
  • Meta description: Between 148–156 characters

You can use the following [Free] Snippet Optimiser tool to check how your page title, meta description, and URL slug will look when published.

  • Use Headers/Sub-headers: H2, H3, and (rarely) H4 to properly structure your content. DON’T use H1. That’s reserved for the title.
    • Make sure each sub-header answers a specific search query
  • Sub-header sections: Less than 300 words each
  • Linking to competitors: Try to avoid at all costs.
    • If you really must, though, add the rel="nofollow" tag to the link (i.e: <a href="" rel="nofollow">Link anchor text</a>)
  • Make sure you’ve never written on this keyword.

Further Readings on SEO Writing

New to SEO content writing? Here are some articles to get you started. These guides are both good for learning SEO, and at the same time, seeing what good content looks like.

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