A Web Copy Proofreading Formula That Works

by Michelle Salater on April 25, 2011


I can’t tell you how many business websites I visit that have blatantly misspelled words strewn throughout the web copy. Not only does this make the business look hasty and unprofessional, but it also illustrates that the business doesn’t care about its image.

If you don’t have a professional editor to proofread your web copy, don’t fret. There are a few ways to drastically reduce grammatical and spelling errors throughout your website copy.

Below are 5 effective ways to proofread your web copy:

1. Use your ears: Read your work out loud to catch awkward phrases and to inject commas where pauses are necessary. Your goal is for site visitors to read through your copy once and understand your brand message. Awkward phrases are going to confuse your readers and force them to read through the copy again. And nothing is more aggravating than repeatedly going over the same sentence or paragraph due to lack of clarity.

2. Power up the printer: It’s always a good idea to unplug your eyes from the computer when you proofread. Sometimes staring too long at a computer can cause strain on your eyes, making you squint. And there have definitely been times where I’ve stared at a computer for so long that it played tricks on my eyes!

Printing your web copy and reading from the paper is one of the best ways to proof your work. You can also use your paper to mark corrections with a pen. And be sure that your font isn’t itty bitty when you print—it should be at least 12 font or larger.

3. Sleep on it: A fresh mind and a fresh set of eyes is the best way to proofread and enhance your web copy. There have been times when I’ve awoken in the morning and reread copy I had written the previous day or night and have said, “That’s terrible! Did I really write that?” Then, with a clear and rested mind, I come up with the perfect sentence to replace the junk copy I concocted the day before.

4. Ask for a new set of eyes to proof your copy: Ask your coworker, friend, or family member to take a look at your web copy before placing it as the final one on your website. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can pick out blunders you might not have noticed before. Asking others to read your copy can also help you to make the message in your copy clearer. If the person proofreading your work is confused about the message you’re trying to project, then that’s a good indication that your website readers will be confused as well.

5. When in doubt, Google it: If you’re unsure of how to use a colon properly, Google colon usage. A word to the wise: only take advice from credible sites—this does NOT include Wikipedia.

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If you like this post, you might also like:

  1. The Importance of Proper Grammar and Punctuation in Your Web Copy
  2. 10 Web Copy Blunders to Avoid
  3. Make it Simple for Customers and Prospects to Read Your Web Copy
  4. 7 Ways to Generate More Creative Web Copy to Ignite Interest in Prospects
  5. Writing Easily Digestible Marketing Copy

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Workplace Survival April 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Another hint: When using Google, I often limit my search to the News tab. That’s especially useful when I can’t find an answer to a nitpicky question (example: “each other’s” or “each others’”), I’ll see how credible news sites deal with it.

2 webcopywriter April 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Great idea! Thanks for the tip.

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