The Best Way to Proofread Websites: 10 Tips from a Professional Proofreader.
Sometimes you can’t afford to outsource tasks. Sound familiar? Well welcome to my do-it-yourself comprehensive guide on proofreading websites. As a professional proofreader, I understand the importance of meticulous attention to detail when it comes to ensuring a website's quality and functionality. In this blog post, I will explore both traditional proofreading elements, such as grammar, punctuation, and formatting, as well as non-traditional elements like SEO optimisation and checking for missing internal links. By implementing these 10 tips to proofread a website, you'll be able to polish your website to perfection. Let's start!
Tip 1. Grammar, Punctuation, and Formatting:
Effective communication begins with proper grammar, punctuation, and formatting. Here are some key tips to think about:
Double-check for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and typos.
Pay attention to punctuation, including correct usage of commas, periods, and quotation marks.
Ensure consistent formatting throughout the website, including headings, font styles, and line spacing.
Use concise and clear sentences to convey your message effectively.
Tip 2. Readability and Clarity:
A well-structured and easily readable website enhances user experience. Consider the following:
Break up long paragraphs into shorter, digestible chunks.
Use subheadings and bullet points to organise content and improve readability.
Ensure a good balance between text and white space for a visually appealing layout.
Use a font size and style that is easy to read across different devices. DP Sans Mono is often used by proofreaders to more easily see typos.
Tip 3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
Boosting your website's visibility on search engines is crucial. Incorporate these SEO tips into your proofreading process:
Optimise page titles and meta descriptions with relevant keywords.
Include descriptive alt tags for images to improve accessibility and search engine indexing, remember to use Google Search Console.
Ensure the proper use of heading tags (H1, H2, etc.) to structure content and highlight key points.
Incorporate keywords naturally throughout the content, including in headings, subheadings, and body text.
Tip 4. Consistency in Style and Tone:
Maintaining a consistent style and tone throughout your website adds professionalism. Here are some tips to bear in mind:
Establish a style guide for your website, including guidelines for capitalisation, abbreviations, and writing tone.
Proofread for consistent use of formatting elements, such as quotation marks, italics, and bold text.
Tip 5. Checking for Missing Internal and External Links:
Internal and external links help with website navigation and SEO. Ensure they are correctly implemented:
Review all external and internal links to ensure they are working correctly and directing users to the intended pages.
Check for broken links and update or remove them to avoid user frustration.
Verify that anchor texts are descriptive and relevant to the linked content.
Tip 6. Website Load Time and Responsiveness:
A fast-loading and mobile-friendly website improves user experience and SEO ranking:
Optimise images and other media files to reduce their file size without compromising quality.
Ensure your website is mobile responsive, adjusting seamlessly to different screen sizes.
Regularly test your website's load time using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and optimise accordingly.
Tip 7. Consistent Branding and Visual Identity:
Your website should reflect your brand's identity and create a cohesive user experience:
Check that your logo and branding elements are consistent across all pages.
Ensure the colour scheme and typography align with your brand guidelines.
Proofread for consistency in terminology and messaging to maintain a unified brand voice, especially if more than one member of your team has written content for your website.
Tip 8. Navigation and User-Friendly Design:
Efficient navigation and intuitive design contribute to a positive user experience:
Test your website's navigation menu and ensure it's easy to find and use.
Check for logical and well-organised page hierarchy, making it simple for users to find the desired information.
Optimise the placement and visibility of important calls-to-action (CTAs) to drive user engagement.
Tip 9. Content Accuracy and Fact-Checking:
Delivering accurate and reliable information is crucial for building trust with your audience:
Fact-check all content, ensuring statistics, dates, and references are accurate and up-to-date.
Verify external links to ensure they are still valid and lead to relevant sources.
Cross-reference information on your website to maintain consistency and avoid contradictory statements.
Tip 10. Utilise my Downloadable Excel Sheet:
To streamline your proofreading process, make use of my downloadable Excel sheet available on my website www.the-blue-pencil.com:
This downloadable tool can help you keep track of your proofreading tasks, including website sections, pages, and specific elements to review.
Use it to note down any errors, improvements, or changes needed, ensuring you don't miss anything during the proofreading process.
Proofreading a website is a meticulous task that involves both traditional elements like grammar and punctuation, as well as non-traditional aspects like SEO optimisation and internal link checks. By implementing these 10 tips, you'll be well-equipped to enhance the quality, functionality, and user experience of your website. Remember, proofreading is a continuous process, so regular checks and updates are essential to maintain a polished and professional online presence. Happy proofreading!
If that all sounds like too much work, please get in touch by email: email@example.com
and see how I can help lighten your load. See this post about why hiring a professional proofreader, like me, is a great idea and more affordable than you think.
Note: To get my free Excel sheet for website proofreading, please visit www.the-blue-pencil.com
Deborah is a professional proofreader and member of CIEP with a passion for helping small businesses and authors produce their best work.