Effective content marketing is essential to growing your business and boosting brand recognition. Consumers typically form an opinion about a business within seconds, so your content needs to be first-class to make a great first impression and generate leads.
Proofreading and editing your business’s content shouldn’t be overlooked since they can have a big impact on sales and conversions. In this guide, we’ll give tips on proofreading and editing and discuss how these steps can improve your content marketing.
What’s the Difference Between Proofreading and Editing?
You might hear people using proofreading and editing interchangeably, but while both tasks have their place in content marketing, they mean different things.
Proofreading is typically the last step before publication and focuses on the correction of typos and errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Proofreaders also check for inconsistencies in terminology or spelling and ensure the text reflects the preferred style guide or manual.
Editing is the process of improving the overall structure and flow of the writing and focuses on issues such as tone, voice, and paragraph organization.
Why Proofreading and Editing Are Essential for Content Marketing
If you don’t thoroughly edit and proofread your business’s content, you risk publishing material that’s riddled with errors and/or inaccuracies. Fixing errors after publication wastes your team’s time, and errors can damage your business’s reputation and cause your audience to distrust your brand.
Moreover, editing your content ensures that it’s consistent with your brand voice and reaches your target audience – the more a potential customer relates to and engages with your content, the more likely they are to choose your business when they’re ready to make a purchase.
1. Stick to a Specific Style
When proofreading and editing, stick to a consistent brand voice and to one style of language, tone, point of view, etc., to improve brand recognition and avoid sending mixed messages to your audience.
If your business doesn’t already have a company-wide style guide, consider creating one and distributing it to your team for use across all forms of communication. Doing this saves your writers time since they won’t have to guess whether their writing reflects your brand’s guidelines and vision. Alternatively, choose a specific manual or style to follow, such as the Chicago Manual of Style or AP style.
2. Read with SEO in Mind
It’s hard to deny the role SEO plays in content marketing. SEO is what increases targeted website traffic and boosts your site’s ranking on search engine results pages. Once a potential customer is on your page, effective and well-written content is what keeps them there and encourages them to take an action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
When editing content, keep SEO in mind by checking for relevant keywords and creating SEO-friendly metadata. You can also boost SEO by editing for readability on mobile devices: organize content into short, easy-to-skim paragraphs and divide it up using headings and subheadings.
3. Avoid Excessive Jargon
Avoid excessive or unnecessary jargon and technical language when marketing to a broad audience. Using overly complex language or industry-specific terms in social media, blog posts, or website content could alienate potential customers and cause them to turn to your competition. If you come across unnecessary jargon when editing your content, try to replace it with terminology that appeals to a wider range of people.
If you do use jargon, be sure to define the terms the first time you use them in the text to avoid confusing your reader. For example, if you refer to “CRM,” write it as “customer relationship management (CRM)” the first time you use it and then use only the acronym after that. Overall, clarity is key with content marketing to ensure you’re reaching the largest audience possible.
4. Speak to a Global Market
As part of your ecommerce business, your content has the potential to reach customers all over the world. When proofreading and editing content for international markets, ensure that you localize the language conventions for that particular region.
Localization helps you improve the efficiency of your content and saves you money by allowing you to repurpose content for a variety of markets.
5. Ensure Factual Accuracy
During the editing process, verify the factual accuracy of any claims or statistics you’ve stated in your content. This is an important step, as any misinformation (even if it’s unintentional) could cause your audience to lose trust in your brand.
Experts have shown that customers are more likely to purchase from businesses they view as reliable and dependable. And building trust with your customer base will help ensure they remain loyal to your business and recommend it to others.
Finally, be sure to check that any external websites linked in your content contain accurate and trustworthy information.
6. Proofread as the Last Step
Proofreading should be done after editing to avoid the need for a second proofread if major changes were applied during the editing process. When proofreading, it’s important to check for errors (such as grammar or spelling mistakes) that could cause potential customers to question the authority of your business or view it as disorganized.
Proofreading content you’ve written yourself can be difficult, so you should get a fresh perspective by having someone unfamiliar with the text, such as a professional freelance proofreader, look it over. Not only can a professional check your content for errors; they can also read it with a critical eye for detail. They can proofread with your specific style in mind and give you tips on how to improve the overall quality of the content.
If you proofread your own content, it’s a good idea to review it on a different device than the one you wrote it on to “trick” your brain into thinking it’s seeing the copy for the first time. You should also take a break between editing and proofreading because your brain tends to ignore mistakes in a text you’ve read over and over. And finally, use a proofreading checklist to stay organized so that you’re not relying only on your memory as you work.
Proofed for Business can help you scale your content creation and improve your marketing strategy by ensuring that you’re publishing high-quality, first-rate content that reaches your target audience.
Our team is skilled at editing a range of content formats, from blog posts to product descriptions and marketing emails. Ready to find out how we can help you boost sales and grow your business? Schedule a call with us today and find out what we can do for you.