Unqualitative and error-laden texts damage the image of a brand or blogger, can lead to loss of subscribers and followers, as well as loss of position in organic search results. To prevent this from happening, carefully check your text before publishing or giving it to a client. Here are the 5 most important points to help you bring any text to perfection.
1. Compliance with technical requirements (brief).
Start by checking that you have included in the text all the requirements and wishes of the client, as well as the technical parameters that algorithms take into account. At this stage, take into account:
- whether the number of characters corresponds to the order – a deviation of ± 100 characters is allowed;
- whether the key phrases are indicated in the text and whether they occur in the right amount;
- whether the text is sufficiently unique;
- whether the headline 1 and individual paragraphs are not too long.
Make sure the content includes the client’s indicated headings, information, and CTA phrases. Also make sure the language is consistent with the image of the brand you are writing for.
2. Appearance and structure of the text
The next important step is formatting. Before you send your text to a client or for publication, you need to structure it. This will make it easier for readers to receive it. What you need to check:
- whether headings are in their places and have the right formatting;
- that text boxes have the same alignment for all blocks;
- that all characters are used correctly and uniformly;
- whether there are no double and unnecessary spaces in the text.
In terms of structure, on the other hand, it’s a good idea to make the text clear and readable by dividing it into smaller paragraphs, adding bulleted and numbered lists and tables. It is also good to shorten longer and more complicated sentences.
3. Substantive and logical content
Proceed to check the content. Check facts, catch inconsistencies, ask additional clarifying questions if something raises your concerns. Put the text aside and check it in a few hours or the next day – a fresh perspective is most important in editing.
When proofreading at this stage, pay particular attention to the following points:
- whether the topic of the text has been fully discussed and the main objective achieved;
- whether the heading corresponds to the topic of the text and is easy to read;
- whether the text has a logical structure that explains the topic clearly and correctly;
- whether there are no factual errors – if any passage seems incorrect to you, be sure to check it with reliable sources;
- whether the entire text is written in the same style;
- whether the text is easy to read and understand.
Also take care of the lead, which quickly, clearly and without unnecessary dragging leads to the main topic of the text.
4. Grammar, lexis and style
Now proceed to study each sentence and word. Make sure you use correct grammatical forms, tenses and sentence construction. It’s also important to check that all words, especially terms, are used with the correct meaning. Discard incomprehensible figurations, clogging words, linguistic calques and errors taken from colloquial language from the content. Also take care of linguistic richness, but don’t force yourself with fancy phrases that readers may not understand.
5. Orthography and punctuation
Spelling and grammatical errors in the content are immediately apparent. A structured and usable text with errors and numerous typos calls into question the professionalism of the entire site, so be extra careful at this stage of proofreading. The task can be made easier for you by the LanguageTool service, as well as autocorrect in Google Docs.
main photo: unsplash.com/Avel Chuklanov