The Difference Between Proofreading and Editing, and Why it Matters to Your SEO

by Kevin Michaels on July 2, 2013

One of the most tried and true techniques of generating more traffic is simply to add a great deal of rich, useful, relevant content on a regular basis. If you’re making posts every day, or even every other day, then you know that every piece of content won’t be perfect. It’s just par for the course. Without a dedicated editing team in place, there are going to be the occasional typos that slip through the cracks.

Even so, it’s vital that your blog content be as free from errors as possible. In order to make that happen, you need to be diligent in your editing efforts. What editing means to some people is very different from what it means to others. You should learn the difference between true editing and mere proofreading, and then implement the method that works best for you.

Proofreading Defined

Proofreading is actually a relatively simple process, but that doesn’t negate its importance to your writing. Proofreading is simply going back over a piece of content and correcting spelling errors and grammatical inconsistencies. When you proofread, you don’t change the content of the piece. Ideas, sentences, and thoughts are left alone. You won’t alter the wording in any way, unless that wording is grammatically incorrect.

Editing Defined

Editing is a more complex process. In addition to weeding out typos and grammatical errors, you’re looking for ways to improve the quality of the content. For example, you might bust up a complex sentence into two or more simpler sentences.

In addition, if there are more effective ways to express a point, an editor would change the content accordingly. An editor will also recognize when the topic is complex and needs to be written in simpler language, such as technical details concerning internet marketing for healthcare.

Why it Matters for SEO

SEO content needs to have a keyword mentioned enough to garner attention from search engines. However, it also needs to perform well enough with readers to gain some organic backlinks and social media attention.

If your content is simply proofread, it may not go over as well with audiences as it could have. If it is edited for style, tone, and readability, however, it’s much more likely to receive positive attention from the people that you want to target.

The path you take is really dependent on you. If you are, or have hired, an exceptional writer who understands how to reach a target audience, then a simple proofread may be all you need. If you struggle with achieving shareable content on your first go, however, an in-house editor may be worth the investment.

Kevin Michaels HeadshotKevin Michaels is a freelance blogger and social media addict. He’s an early-adapter who loves testing and writing about new Facebook and other social media features. He believes that with every change, there’s always a new marketing opportunity. In his free time, he enjoys road trips, concerts and attending football and baseball games. Follow him on Twitter @Kev_michaels or visit his profile on Google+

image: Cellar Door Films

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