GUEST POST: Proofreading Tips to Up Your Website’s WOW Factor

Please welcome Michelle Emerson from The Writer’s Assistant with her excellent proofreading advice. 

Have you ever stumbled across a website and gasped at the typos strewn everywhere? It’s not a great advert for any business, really, is it? 

If I don’t know the business owner or the business already, then chances are I’ll bounce away from the site in an instant. And that’s precisely what many people do.

This affects your bounce rate badly (ie how quickly someone clicks on and off your page) and affects your search engine rankings too.

So if you’d prefer new visitors to stay longer and you’d like to convert them into buyers or new social media followers, then it’s a good idea to put on your proofreading specs and start overhauling your website content.

proofreading-tips-to-up-your-websites-wow-factor

Here’s how to start proofreading your website:

  1. Print out every page of your website 

Proofreading from your screen isn’t quite as effective as working with pen and paper.  So the first thing you should do is print out all of your web pages and then grab a red pen (gotta be red!) and a ruler. 

Top Proofreading Tip: grab a drink of water before you start proofreading – hydrated brain cogs run much smoother than dehydrated ones.

2. Use a ruler to go through each page line by line

Armed with your red pen and your ruler, read through each line slowly, using your ruler to move down the page and your finger to point at every word.  (Yes, I know this sounds like being back in primary school but, believe, me it really works!)

Mark any typos you spot, and then when you’ve finished, re-read the page aloud this time.  Reading aloud (and slowly) will help you spot any clumsy sentences, identify missing punctuation and highlight any words you’ve repeated throughout the page.

Top Proofreading Tip:  If you tend to use the same words over and over again, use a thesaurus to find an alternative such as this online version:  www.thesaurus.com

3.  Amend your changes online

If you take care of your own website, then get yourself a cuppa, pop into the back office and make your page changes online.  As you fix each typo or tweak each word, cross it off on your paper copy. That way, you won’t miss anything if the phone rings or the postman knocks.

Top Proofreading Tip:  Easily side-tracked?  Then switch off your email and social media notifications on your phone or set a timer to complete your proofreading tasks, and don’t do anything else until it beeps.

More proofreading tips to boost your website’s WOW factor

If you’re a morning person, make proofreading your first task of the day.  Don’t try to check your content after a day at the computer when your eyes and brain are crying out for a rest.

Create a crib sheet where you mark down the common mistakes you make, such as spelling a word wrong (or inconsistently) or repeating the same word over and over. That way you’ll know what to look out for when you work on other pages.

Don’t rush!  If you try to race through your proofreading, you’ll miss all kinds of naughty stuff. Your brain will speed ahead and add in words that actually aren’t even there!

If proofreading is something you hate with a passion, then break down the task into smaller daily ones.  Check one web page per day if you have to, but don’t avoid proofreading your website altogether.

Or find a proofreader to fix it for you.

Our Guest Blog Author is Michelle Emerson

michelle-emerson-the-writers-assistant-headshot
Bio:  Michelle Emerson is a writer, author, proofreader, editor and self-publishing expert who helps time-poor entrepreneurs and aspiring writers to create, polish and publish high quality content.

So feel free to wander around her website. Have a nosy through her top blog articles, and check out her latest authors’ books.

Oh, and if you want to you can find out more about Michelle too!

And when you’ve had time to think about the kind of writing, proofreading, editing or self-publishing services you need, please do get in touch with Michelle. She’s a dream to work with.

I trust you found her guest blog post really useful.

Find out more about Michelle: michelleemerson.co.uk