Your Guide to Efficient Enterprise Copy Editing
  • 7-minute read
  • 7th February 2024

Your Guide to Efficient Enterprise Copy Editing

As an ecommerce business, your website content is your unique storefront. It’s how you retain your customers, draw in new ones, and stand out from the competition. And when it comes to creating first-rate, effective business copy, good writing is only the first step in the process. Copy editing all published written material is essential to maintaining consistent, high-quality content across all communication channels. In this guide, we’ll review the steps to efficient enterprise copy editing and the ways it can benefit your business, including why you should:

  1. Create a brand style guide
  2. Encourage collaborative editing 
  3. Ensure your content is factually accurate
  4. Use an editing checklist
  5. Outsource copy editing services

Keep reading for everything you need to know about copy editing your business’s content.

What Is Copy Editing?

Copy editing is an important step in the editorial process; it takes place after the first draft of a piece of content is complete but before the proofreading step begins. Copy editing is more than correcting surface-level errors. It involves reviewing content for more in-depth issues, such as whether the flow of ideas is logical and the language used is precise. However, copy editing doesn’t include formatting or revising the overall organization or structure of a piece; these tasks occur during the first stage of the editing process: developmental editing.

Why Is Copy Editing Essential for Businesses?

Copy editing is an essential step in the content production process. It’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked, no matter what industry your business operates in. Website visitors and potential customers notice the quality of your content – polished and refined copy can make all the difference in a competitive marketplace. It can also impact SEO, as search engines such as Google are increasingly prioritizing high-quality, user-friendly content on search engine results pages (SERPS), meaning better content will result in more web traffic for your business.

Efficient Enterprise Copy Editing

How can you implement copy editing efficiently without sacrificing quality? Here are five tips on how to incorporate copy editing into your publication process.

Create a Brand Style Guide

Brand style guides are key to the copy editing process; they’re how you maintain consistency in your content across all publication channels and teams. A style guide outlines your business’s preferred brand voice and tone, as well as details relating to grammar, punctuation, spelling, and dialect. Once you’ve produced a style guide, distribute it to your entire team to ensure the guidelines are consistently and universally applied. And keep in mind that a style guide is a living document. You can update it or add to it as your business goals evolve.

Focus on Clarity and Concision

Prioritizing clear and concise content is the best way to ensure your message reaches your intended audience. If the content is clunky or difficult to comprehend, website visitors are likely to bounce off the page before they even finish reading the information. Also, it’s especially important that website content be scannable for skim readers – many readers may be short on time, or they may be browsing your content on a mobile device. 

During the copy editing process, focus on concision by eliminating redundant content or ideas, using precise language, breaking up long paragraphs, and correcting run-on sentences. To ensure clarity, avoid technical jargon or overly complex language that could confuse your audience. In addition, be sure to structure your content logically and coherently by incorporating relevant headings, subheadings, and bullet lists.

Encourage Collaborative Editing

Consider using a collaborative program such as Google Docs to draft content so that multiple editors can review the text and provide suggestions or feedback in real time. A collaborative environment encourages an open flow of ideas and allows your team to bounce ideas off one another no matter the teammates’ locations. And when you have a single centralized document, establishing a structured review process that involves multiple layers of editing becomes possible.

Ensure Your Content Is Factually Accurate

Prioritizing factual accuracy helps build trust and credibility with your customer base and saves you time and resources in the long run. Building fact-checking into the editing process saves you from having to correct inaccurate or misleading information later – and preserves your business’s reputation. Verifying facts using internal or external resources is especially important if you use AI-generated content for your business. Although AI tools can produce a high volume of content quickly, that content is not always accurate. And it’s been shown that consumers are more likely to purchase from brands they trust – once that trust is broken, repairing it can be difficult. When copy editing, be sure to check all facts, including numbers, dates, and statistics, against reliable sources prior to publication.

Enterprise Copy Editing Checklist

Developing a checklist allows you to stay on track and ensures you don’t miss a step in the copy editing process. Some common areas to include on a checklist are:

  1. Surface-Level Mistakes

  • Grammar and punctuation errors
  • Misspellings (including names, job titles, and typos)
  • Inconsistent capitalization
  • Repetition and/or redundant information
  • Poor or inappropriate word choice
  • Incorrect article usage (e.g., a, an, the)
  1. Style 

  • Consistent style guideline application
  • Consistent use of your chosen brand voice
  • Correct dialect usage and localization of terms (e.g., Is the content for a UK or US English audience?)
  • Appropriate tone and level of formality
  • Consistent terminology that is defined when necessary (e.g., technical jargon or acronyms)
  1. Sentence Structure

  • Sentences that are incomplete or difficult to comprehend 
  • Verb tenses and subject–verb agreement
  • Run-on or stringy sentences (i.e., sentences containing multiple complete thoughts joined by and, but, so, etc.)
  • Faulty parallelism
  1. Overall Content 

  • Clear and concise sentences
  • Correct use of transition words
  • A flow of ideas that is smooth and easy to follow 
  • Factually correct information
  • Logically structured and readable paragraphs
  • Persuasive and engaging language the reader can relate to
  • A convincing call to action

Part of the copy editing process also involves querying inconsistencies or unclear content so that the proper adjustments can be made before the document moves on to the next step in the editorial process. This step may involve more than one round of copy editing checks, as well as frequent communication with the writer.

Outsource Copy Editing Services

As you can see, conducting effective copy editing can be time-consuming when done right. If you want to save time while still reaping the benefits of well-written and well-edited content, consider outsourcing your copy editing to a freelancer. Hiring freelancers ensures you receive fully edited content and allows your team to focus on other areas of the business, such as generating more content and increasing sales and website traffic. Freelancers are also available when you need them – a convenience if your content marketing schedule fluctuates.

Proofed for Business

Effective copy editing means a substantial investment of time and effort – using professional editing services gives these resources back to your team. At Proofed, we can take copy editing off your plate so you can focus on growing your business and expanding your reach. We can even help you build your brand style guide from the ground up for your entire team to use. Schedule a call with us today to learn more about how we can help streamline your process and scale your content production.

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