Most writers tend to dislike editing as it requires you to hack away at your precious writing. Author George R.R. Martin has even dubbed editors, “The writer’s natural enemy”. However, what we don’t realize is that careful editing can save us a lot of embarrassment and improve the quality of our content. Content that is free of errors, precise, relevant and overall high in quality, in turn, is content that will ensure that your website scores are high in search rankings.
The volume of online content is increasing rapidly. Well-edited writing tends to be both better in content and easier to read. Good editing is essential to stand out among all your competitors in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings.
Why Content Editing is Necessary
- If the website content is incorrect or unclear, it can confuse the visitors. Editing will help prevent misunderstandings among potential customers and clients.
- Mistakes in website content could lead to loss of confidence in your brand among readers. Well-edited content ensures maximum credibility.
- Content that doesn’t have errors is easier to read and will help hold your reader’s attention.
Every Writer Needs an Editor
Writers are intimately involved with their work and tend to miss small errors and redundancies. A competent editor will identify these gaps without interfering with the writer’s unique style or voice.
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Become Your Own Editor
When editing your content, there are certain key points to keep in mind.
- You must always cut the excess fat from your writing. Avoid irrelevant points and repeating the same idea in different words. Provide your readers with simple and to-the-point content.
- It is vital to not “fall in love” with your content so that it is easier to view it critically. We must accept the possibility of flaws in our writing.
- Most of us have become habituated to using spell check. However, spell check merely compares words with its own database, deeming them correct if found there, and incorrect if not. But in certain cases, spell check is not enough to ensure accuracy. For example, you may have wanted to write ‘putting’ but instead wrote ‘purring’. Spell check won’t view this as an error as ‘purring’ is technically part of its database.
- It can help to ask for feedback from others. If more than one person’s feedback suggests the same changes, it would probably be best to heed the advice.
- Irrespective of whether you are writing for a general audience or a specialized one, ensure that your language is easy to understand. Obscure words and flowery language won’t matter if your readers don’t get the message.
- In a 2013 survey, Anne Mangen and her colleagues found that comprehension is better when reading texts that are in print rather than on a computer screen. Therefore, proofreading on paper might help in catching mistakes and writing better content.
- Read the content as a reader. Your content should be easy to read and understandable to the target audience.
The editing process can be hard on a write, especially when you’re editing your content yourself. However, the risks of not subjecting your writing to several rounds of editing are far higher than the benefits. Good editing improves the readability of the content, the credibility of the website and therefore a good SEO score.
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