15 Ridiculous SEO Writing Rules You Should Never Follow

Have you ever opened up a piece of content and thought, “This is atrocious”? You didn’t have to be a professional writer to know that was so bad it could make you cry. But what if I told you that writing terrible copy can actually help your SEO? It’s true! 

The truth is out there (I’m sorry) and it turns out that some of the most common writing rules in existence do exactly the opposite of what they were intended for. 

The purpose of this post is to show how some seemingly obvious grammar rules can hurt your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts when applied incorrectly and how breaking those rules may improve your results.

Ultimate SEO Copywriting Tips That Still Works in 2021
1. Avoid excessive keyword stuffing in your content.
2. Don’t prioritize search engines over user experience.
3. Avoid using irrelevant or misleading meta tags.
4. Never buy backlinks to boost your website’s ranking.
5. Don’t use automated content generation tools.
6. Avoid copying and pasting content from other sources.
7. Don’t rely solely on exact match anchor text for link building.
8. Avoid publishing low-quality, thin content on your website.
9. Never ignore the importance of mobile optimization.
10. Don’t engage in link schemes or link farms.
11. Avoid using hidden text or hidden links to deceive search engines.
12. Never participate in keyword stuffing in meta tags.
13. Don’t focus solely on quantity over quality when creating content.
14. Avoid overusing header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
15. Never engage in black hat SEO techniques that violate search engine guidelines.

Don’t Use Punctuation

This one is a bit controversial, but hear me out: punctuation can be useful in your writing! If used correctly, it can help make your text clearer and easier to read. 

For example, the colon (:) and dash (-) are great for separating different parts of an idea or sentence without creating a separate paragraph; dashes especially have become increasingly popular online because they’re less intrusive than their wordier counterparts, parentheses, and brackets. 

You should also consider using colons when explaining something that has previously been established (“I just bought a new laptop” vs “I have just bought a new laptop”), as well as semi-colons when linking two sentences with related information (“The cupcake I ate was delicious; however, I did not like the frosting”). 

If you’re unsure about when to use these forms of punctuation effectively in your writing process or if you’re unsure whether they’ll even work at all take some time to research proper usage before deciding what works best for you.

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Don’t Start With A Subject Or A Verb

You should be aware of the content’s main idea before you start writing. However, don’t begin writing your article by stating this main idea directly in the opening sentence. 

Instead, use a transition phrase such as “in my opinion”, “for me” or “let me tell you.” These phrases prompt readers to pause and think about why they’re reading what they are reading at that particular point in time.

Don’t start with a noun.

Nouns are important words because they name things and ideas in our universe, but starting an article off with them isn’t always necessary for those unfamiliar with your topic to understand it quickly and efficiently and if there are too many nouns in one sentence (more than five), then it can become difficult for readers to follow along without getting lost along the way!

Don’t Use Quotes

The rule is simple: if you are quoting someone, or using the word “quote” in your content, then, by all means, use quotes. But otherwise, don’t! Using single and double quotes to emphasize a phrase or idea is overused and often unnecessary. 

Instead of writing this: “This blog post is amazing!” try changing it to something like this: This blog post is amazing! That way, you’re not emphasizing the words that should already be emphasized (like “amazing”).

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Don’t Make Your Keywords Obscurely Plural

The most common mistake I see is people using plural nouns and verbs, pronouns, or verb forms (like the past tense) when they should be using singular versions. Also, don’t use a plural pronoun with a singular subject.


I am going to the store today.” Not “We are going…” because only one person is speaking/writing this sentence!

I have two dogs.” Not “We have…” because there’s only one speaker/writer!

You should not write about your dog in this article because it’s not relevant here.” Not “because you do not own any dogs” because it implies that anyone could own a dog if they wanted to which isn’t necessarily true for all readers of our blog post about SEO writing rules 🙂

Don’t Use All Caps In The First Paragraph

The use of all caps is generally reserved for capital letters or acronyms (e.g., “eCommerce” and “URL”). As with the exclamation point, it’s a style choice that should be used sparingly. 

Exceptions can be made for certain headlines (“Top 10 Tips for Rocking Your SEO Writing”), but avoid using them in the first paragraph because it makes your writing look like a headline when you’re trying to make it as readable as possible.

Don’t Use “Click Here” And “Tap Here” Over And Over Again

The phrases “click here” and “tap here” are used so often on websites that it’s easy to get tired of seeing them. But there’s no need to give up on using these words entirely. There are several ways you can use them in moderation without seeming lazy or unprofessional:

If your page has a lot of links or buttons, consider replacing some of those instances with more descriptive text. For example, instead of writing “Click here for our latest blog post,” write something like “Read our latest blog post.”

When explaining how something works on your site, try not to include too many instances of “click” or “tap.” Instead, focus primarily on describing how things work without relying as heavily on these two words.

For instance: Instead of saying “Tap this button,” say something like “This button will take you back one step.”

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Don’t Start A Sentence With And, But, Or For

So what’s the big deal with starting a sentence with and, but, or for?

Well, first of all, it sounds awkward. For example: “I went to the mall and bought some new shoes.” It just doesn’t sound right. But let’s break this down a bit further.

You’ll notice that there’s no comma after “mall” because we’re not joining two clauses together (or adding an explanation or description). This is called an independent clause because it can stand alone as a complete sentence. Therefore, we don’t need any punctuation at all not even a period!

Don’t Start A Sentence With The Word “Nor”

You should never begin a sentence with “nor.”

Instead, use one of the following punctuation marks:

A comma (,), which is probably already your go-to for separating two sentences. Use this if you have one or more commas in your sentence and can’t fit a semicolon after it.

A semicolon (;), which has replaced the period for sentences that need to be broken up but don’t require an extra full stop. It looks like this: 

If you’re prone to saying things like “however,” consider using semicolons instead of periods when writing your posts because they add more emphasis and meaning to the words in between them than just ending them with periods would do on their own. 

This makes it easier for readers who are reading through quickly without taking time out between each section while still putting enough emphasis on those important ideas!

Don’t Address The Reader Directly In The First Paragraph

The first paragraph of your article should not be about you. It should be about the reader! If you want to get your audience’s attention, start your article with a quote that shows how much you understand them and their problems. 

Lead with a story that shows just how much you know about their lives. Speak directly to your readers in their language, by addressing them directly in the first sentence (by name) or even in the very first word itself! If they can’t tell immediately that they’re reading something important written specifically for them, then why would they keep reading?

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Don’t Put Parentheses Around Instructions

To be honest, I don’t know why people put parentheses around instructions. They can be great for explaining something in more detail or adding a new thought to a sentence, but they should never be used as an excuse to add examples or lists. They should also never serve as a placeholder for missed words or fill in the blanks of a sentence that is missing some words.

Use them sparingly and wisely by following these four rules:

Use parentheses when you need to explain something in more detail, or simply because it adds clarity to your content. For example: “(Hint: This isn’t mandatory.)”

Never use parentheses if you are simply inserting an example into your writing; instead, use commas between each item in the list instead of putting everything into parenthesis (i.e., “Don’t do X, Y and Z”).

Don’t use parentheses around instructions; only use commas if it helps make sense of what you’re trying to say (i.e., “Never write like this again”).

Use Semicolons Appropriately

You may have heard that semicolons should be avoided. This is because semicolons are used to separate two independent clauses. If both clauses are joined by conjunctions, however, you should use a semicolon to separate them instead of a comma.

Here’s an example: “I bought my cat some toys; she loved them all!” In this sentence, the two independent clauses are “I bought my cat some toys” and “she loved them all!” Therefore, since they are both joined with commas (and not conjunctions), it’s better to use a comma here instead of a semicolon when writing your content for SEO purposes.

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SEO is a tricky field, and it can be difficult to know where to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable practices. While there’s no need to follow all of these rules at once (in fact, most companies don’t), keeping these guidelines in mind when writing content can help you keep your content relevant and useful.


There are many different types of SEO writing rules that people try to follow. But you should never let these rules control how you write! If they do, make sure they’re still following their advice before trying out anything else. The best thing about working in this industry is that there’s always something new happening every day – so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Further Reading

SEO Copywriting: How to Write Content for People and Optimize for Search Engines Short Description: Learn the art of SEO copywriting and strike the perfect balance between creating content for your audience and optimizing it for search engines.

Content Writing Tips for SEO: How to Create Content that Ranks Short Description: Discover effective content writing tips that can boost your SEO efforts and help your content rank higher in search results.

On-Page SEO: An In-Depth Guide to SEO Writing Short Description: Dive deep into the world of on-page SEO and master the art of SEO writing to improve your website’s visibility and user experience.


What is SEO copywriting?

SEO copywriting is the process of creating content that is both engaging for readers and optimized for search engines. It involves strategically incorporating relevant keywords and phrases to improve a page’s visibility in search engine results while providing valuable information to the target audience.

How can I improve my SEO writing skills?

To enhance your SEO writing skills, consider the following tips:

  • Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and phrases.
  • Focus on writing high-quality and informative content that resonates with your target audience.
  • Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to improve readability and structure.
  • Optimize meta tags, titles, and descriptions for better search engine visibility.

What are the key elements of on-page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to the optimization of individual web pages to improve their rankings and attract organic traffic. Key elements of on-page SEO include:

  • High-quality and relevant content
  • Keyword optimization
  • Title tags and meta descriptions
  • URL structure
  • Internal linking
  • Mobile optimization
  • User-friendly design and layout

How does SEO writing differ from regular writing?

SEO writing differs from regular writing in that it takes into account the optimization of content for search engines. While regular writing focuses solely on engaging readers, SEO writing aims to strike a balance between user-friendliness and keyword optimization to improve search engine rankings.

Can I optimize my existing content for SEO?

Yes, you can optimize your existing content for SEO by conducting keyword research and incorporating relevant keywords into your content. Additionally, you can update titles, meta descriptions, and headings to align with your targeted keywords, thus enhancing your content’s visibility in search results.