Contrary to the belief that web content writing is a simple task, as professional website copywriters, we (as in high-quality content writers) know it’s not as simple as just putting some thoughts together and clicking “publish.”
From conceptualizing to the production of, and the entire editorial process in between, there are things to think about while writing high-quality web content. Unfortunately, editing is one of the rushed details, as most people in internet marketing would admit, we’re all in a rush to get things up and posted.
The following list is a quick editing checklist, designed to help a content writer get through the editorial processes efficiently, while still being able to keep up with pressing deadlines.
Choose Your Topic Wisely
Think of the following at the beginning stages of editing.
- Does the topic tie in with the content strategy?
- Will readers care about the topic?
- Has this topic already been done in the past?
- Will the topic add anything new and interesting to others who have written about this and already posted it on the web?
- Is there a way to tweak the topic to make it even more interesting?
Structure and Formatting the Article
The following is to help determine whether content is structured and formatted in an optimal way.
- Is it formatted correctly? Would it work better as a blog or a whitepaper?
- Does the content flow logically? Is it organized in a natural order that will guide the reader easily through the content?
- Is there enough utilized white space with headers and paragraph breaks so readers can scan and skim?
- Are the headers compelling, interesting, and clear?
- Are all major points covered?
- Is the formatting consistent throughout?
- Do important details stand out in a way to catch the readers’ attention?
- Are the images/visuals interesting, appropriate, and high quality for the associated content?
No need to state the obvious as to why this section is important!
- Is the content well-written?
- Is the content interesting, entertaining, and easy to read?
- Does the content tell a specific story?
- Do transitions flow well and make sense?
- Is proper grammar used?
- Does the intro immediately catch the reader’s attention? Does it do a good job for making the reader want to read more?
- Does the intro accurately portray the quality of the rest of the content?
- Does the tone match the content?
- Is the tone and terminology appropriate for the target audience?
- Is the voice mesh well with the voice of the company, but still allowing the writer’s individual writing personality come through?
Credit For Work
Give credit where credit is due! Think about these when gathering content from various sources. (Speaking of, thank you HubSpot for the idea for this post!)
- Are the statistics, data, quotes, ideas, etc. attributed to the original source?
- Is the data interpreted correctly and not lost in translation from the original source?
- For quotations, are the names and job title/company correctly spelled?
- Is the original source within citations link backed?
- Are the images actually allowed to be used?
Name Your Title
The title makes the first impression. Make sure it lasts.
- Is the title interesting enough to compel a reader to click through and read?
- Does the title accurately describe the content?
- Is the title brief and concise?
- Is the title keyword-conscious without being too overbearing and jeopardizing user experience?
Take your content to the next level by considering the following.
- Are there examples to illustrate points?
- Are there statistics, data, and/or quotes to back up points?
- Are there other supporting elements that could enhance content, such as a video or visual?
Every company with professional copywriters has(or should have) a house style, and general guidelines.
- Does anything contradict the set style guide?
It’s almost ready! Fine tune content with these last few things to check off.
- Are there internal links to other articles, landing pages, or resources? Were the links tested for accuracy?
- Was the content spell-checked, including referenced company names?
- Is there any sensitive or controversial information that needs prior approval before publishing?
- Have the cited statistics, quotes used, and data been fact checked?
- Is the content well researched?
- When appropriate, is there a catchy, concise, and clear meta description?
- When appropriate, is it tagged with appropriate tags?
- Was the publish date/time double checked?
- Are there opportunites to make the content more social?
- When appropriate, are there relevant calls-to-action included?
- Could any of the content potentially harm any partners, stakeholers, audience, or the company itself?
- Could any of the content offend anyone?
- Is the content in line with the company’s mission, goals, philosophy, etc.?
- Were there any relationship building opportunities missed?