It’s easy to underestimate the critical role that proofreading holds in the process of polishing and finishing web content of any kind. Even the best writers make mistakes, which is why it’s always critical to have a fresh set of eyes review any content before it’s publicly shared or published. In this article, we’ll explore why you need to proofread web content, along with topics like:
- What proofreading is and how it differs from editing.
- A few of the reasons why you need to proofread web content before publication.
- Some of the benefits of hiring a professional proofreading service.
- Why it’s not a good idea to proofread web content yourself.
What Is Proofreading?
Proofreading is frequently confused with editing. However, these two processes are entirely distinct. Generally speaking, proofreading can be described as the process of checking a writing piece for technical and mechanical errors. Examples include issues with punctuation, grammar, spelling, and consistency. It is typically the final stage in the process of readying a piece of writing for publication. Proofreading can be broken down into two different types.
The first of these types is known as proofreading against copy. It involves checking the proof against the (already edited) manuscript. The majority of proofreading can accordingly be classified as the second type, commonly referred to either as blind or cold proofreading. When you blind proofread web content, you check it for errors without access to the second document that’s already been edited.
In contrast, editing is intended to target the core features of the document. Examples might include clarity, structure, word usage, and the overall coherence of the article. This means that an editor often tends to make much more drastic changes to web content than a proofreader usually does. They have to if they want to improve its impact and general quality.
Why Do You Need To Proofread Web Content?
Proofreading is considered a vital part of the editing process for a few different reasons. We will take a moment to quickly consider some of the most critical reasons you should make sure to proofread your documents.
An article makes a much better impression if it is well-organized. This is especially true if it contains few or no misspellings and grammar errors. Most people tend to make subconscious judgments about the trustworthiness and overall quality of a source based on the quality of the writing. This is true regardless of what the source is or where they found it.
Consequently, if you put an article on your website that’s riddled with misspelled words or post an article with poor grammar, people who catch the errors are likely to question your credibility. Additionally, they may develop concerns about the quality of your content, advice, services, or products.
Uncorrected mistakes can do more than just potentially damage your credibility in a reader’s eyes; they can actually prevent you from accurately communicating your intended message. Punctuation errors, in particular, can utterly distort your message into something bordering on unrecognizable.
Consider, for instance, the definite difference between having twenty-five dollar bills and having twenty five-dollar bills. The difference in meaning is pretty obvious to the reader, isn’t it? However, the difference itself is only in the placement of the hyphen. It would be very easy for a writer—particularly one in a hurry—to misplace a single hyphen. It’s a proofreader’s job to catch errors like that.
Better Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Popular search engines like Google and Bing explicitly encourage content creators to publish well-written and well-organized content. If you want your article to do well with search engine optimization, ensure that you have a proofreader on hand to give it a thorough inspection.
Keep in mind that the search engines like Google are renewing their commitments to provide users with relevant, accurate, and credible content, as well as amazing experiences. If your site is filled with misspelled words, poor grammar, and minimal consistent structure, your SEO and SERP rank will take a definite hit.
Should You Use a Professional Proofreading Service?
You may be thinking that you can proofread your content without the need for a third-party. While it’s technically possible, it’s definitely not the best practice. In fact, you’re more likely to miss errors in your own writing.
We would strongly suggest that you consider hiring a professional proofreading service. The people who work for any proofreading service have most likely received training in how to maximize the potential in each piece of content they review. A skilled professional proofreader can be a highly beneficial resource, improving not only your web content but your writing itself.
It might sound a little contradictory at first, but hiring a professional proofreader to check your work actually allows you to save both money and time. You can employ a professional proofreader, but adding to your in-house team increases several overheads, including payroll, electricity, and other costs. You could ask an existing team member, like the writer, but that may not deliver the best results.
Regardless of whether the person you ask to do the proofreading can do the job well or not, simply asking that person to do it at all means that they will have to spend time proofreading. That time could have been more efficiently spent on some other task. Using a professional proofreading service allows you to avoid that entire situation even happening in the first place.
By asking a professional proofreader to handle the process for you, you can be confident that your article will be held to a high standard. A professional can be trusted to know how to best approach improving the overall quality of your web content.
Employing a professional proofreader also has the benefit of ensuring that your article will be efficiently completed. It also guarantees the article will be returned to you in a punctual manner. Being able to guarantee that the proofreading will be done both quickly and well is, in and of itself, an enormously convenient benefit.
A professional proofreading service will return your article with essential feedback and comments. These comments suggest ways to improve everything. This includes the clarity and structure of the document, its flow, and its general readability.
You can easily find all feedback and comments in the margins of the revised document. However, it’s ultimately your decision whether you want to accept the suggestions offered in these comments.
Why You Shouldn’t Proofread Your Own Web Content
During the writing process, a writer is obliged to spend hours, perhaps even days, focused on the article they are currently in the middle of writing. After spending that much time reading and re-reading the same words repeatedly, it’s easy to start skimming without even realizing it.
Beyond even that, a writer can sometimes entirely miss that a sentence or idea has been poorly expressed simply because they already understand the message behind the content.
As a result of these two things, it’s usually a good idea for a writer to have someone else to proofread web content they’ve created. This is especially true if the article in question is very long or if the topics discussed in the document are particularly dense or complex.
Every part of the process of writing and preparing an article for publication comes with its own inherent complications and challenges. Having a professional to proofread web content is no exception to this. It’s a surprisingly involved task, requiring a good deal of precision and an eye for detail.
However, proofreading can lend an article everything from improved clarity to better SEO. It might seem like an easily skipped step, but the high quality of the results makes it well worth any minor inconvenience proofreading might cause. We strongly advise you to proofread web content to ensure you get the best results.