Do you know what to look out for when editing content for the web? Regardless of whether it’s for a first time guest poster or a longtime coworker, there are a handful of things you should always look out for before pressing publish.
1. Spelling, grammar, etc.
This one is fairly obvious, but remember, regardless of media, readers will judge you for any glaring (or even not-so-glaring) mistakes. Take your time, read it out loud, or do whatever works for you.
2. Formatting consistency
This step will be a lot easier if you have a style guide to reference along the way. If not, think about your informal formatting standards. Do you usually use H2 tags? Are paragraphs short or long? Do images have captions? It’s important to create a cohesive experience from post to post, and the editing phase is your opportunity build in that consistency.
3. Categories and tags
There’s a bit of a contention about best practices for categories and tags. Over here, we use one category and a handful of relevant tags for each post. Make sure that these follow your predetermined standards, whatever those might be, and that each selection makes sense for that post. Some writers can get a bit trigger happy with both categories and tags, so be ready to downsize if necessary.
4. Image names
For SEO purposes, check that both the title tags and alt tags for each image describe what the image is, rather than “Screen Shot 2348” or something of that nature.
Check that your permalink is optimized. Whenever possible, keep this short, sweet and relevant to the article’s topic.
6. Meta description
Meta descriptions show up under the page title on search engine results pages, so it’s important use this text to convince searchers that your article is exactly what they are looking for. Google automatically emboldens searched keywords that appear within the meta description, so try to use your main keyword at least once.
7. Inbound links
Seize any missed opportunities to link back to other articles or pages on your site. By the same token, make sure your writer didn’t go overboard; too many links can interrupt the reader’s experience.
8. New vs. same window
This is based entirely on personal preference, but either way you should determine your own brand standards and stick with them. For example, at lonelybrand we make sure that all images are “unlinked,” that inbound links load within the same window, and that outbound links are set to load within a new window.
9. Compelling title
Check your title to make sure that it is both compelling and descriptive of the article’s topic.
10. Email test
Last but not least, take the time analyze for overall quality. Ask yourself: Would I email this to my friends and coworkers? If the answer is no, perhaps you should rethink or tweak the post.