Spelling and grammatical mistakes, and poor content in your webpages can mean the difference between visitors leaving and staying on your site.
So proofreading your website’s content is essential to ensure that you don’t leave any mistakes or typos unnoticed.
In fact, a single spelling mistake has been known to cut online sales by 50%.
Immaculate copy builds trust among your target audiences.
But, luckily there are steps you can take to make sure your webpages’ content is not only engaging but also professionally written and free from mistakes.
Step 1: Freely Write Your First Draft
In the early stages of writing text for your webpage, don’t worry about getting everything right the first time, focus on the content and connecting with your potential customers.
According to content marketing writer Thomas Clifford, focusing on content silences your ‘inner editor’ and frees you to write creatively, and in your authentic voice.
When writing your first draft, aim to summarise the benefits of your product or service to your target audience, what’s unique about your offering and the reasons why they should stay on your site.
It would be an idea to write your draft webpages in Microsoft Word so that you have use of its spelling/grammar checker.
Or if you have website already, copy and paste all your webpages into Word.
Step 2: Proofread Onscreen
After completing the first draft, leave it for a day or so and come back to proofread your freshly written copy onscreen.
At this stage, thoroughly proofread your draft webpages by carrying out the following:
a) Use the spelling/grammar checker to look for and correct obvious typos and grammatical errors
b) Read each webpage draft from start to finish and look out for:
i) Additional spelling and grammar mistakes not picked up by Word’s spell checker
ii) Flow of overall content – you need to check whether your content is clearly structured where each point is made in logical order
iii) Sentence structure – are words ordered logically within a sentence? Make sure every sentence makes sense and is free from syntax errors
iv) Sentence/Paragraph length – it’s important to check if your sentences and paragraphs are too long. Browsers are put off by blocks of text, and most site visitors scan and skim web pages.
v) Use of subheadings – are you including enough subheadings in your webpage? Subheadings are helpful in allowing you to break down the page into manageable bits of text. It also allows your target audience to skip to information that is relevant to them.
vi) Use of jargon – look out for and cut out any complicated terms that could lose your readers, and check whether the language you use on your website is appropriate for your target audience.
Step 3: Proofread Hard Copies of Your Webpages
This is an important part of the process because proofreading online is more difficult then proofreading offline.
Staring and scrolling webpages or word documents for long periods of time is hard work and the glare of the screen can strain your eyes.
So you’re bound to miss something…
In my experience, when I printed something after finding “no mistakes” in what I had written and proofread onscreen, I would to my horror find some in the printed copy.
So, once you finished proofreading your website onscreen, print a hard copy of every webpage, and proofread again, repeating stages i) to vi) in step 2, marking any mistakes you find with a pen.
Then, make the corrections onscreen using the hard copy as a guide.
Step 4: Ask Someone to Read Your Webpages
Asking a friend, colleague or even a professional proofreader could also be beneficial as they can look at the content of your webpage with a fresh pair of eyes.
Someone who looks at your website objectively and has a different perspective could spot mistakes and areas for improvement.
By using all the steps above you can make sure your website looks polished and professional whilst writing engaging copy that will connect with your target audiences.
Please feel free to like and share this article, or leave a comment sharing any other tips and techniques you use to improve your online content.