Give Your SEO Rankings a Bump with Expert Editing and Proofreading

When you’re developing content as part of your marketing strategy, it takes more than the right keywords and knowledge of your industry to draw search engines’ attention. You may have subject matter experts doing the writing, but professional editing and proofreading can make your content king of the SEO mountain.

How does editing and proofreading your content affect its SEO rankings?

Search engine rankings depend on a variety of factors, and you probably already know many of them. But these are the ones an experienced editor and proofreader can help with:
Credibility. Although grammar and spelling aren’t hard-and-fast Google parameters, Google sees well-written content as having more credibility. Don’t we all immediately think a little less of content that’s riddled with misspellings, inconsistently formatted or hard to read? Thorough editing and proofreading are vital even for short social media posts of a sentence or two.
User experience. If the first thing your readers see when they visit your blog is a wall of unbroken text, many will nope right out of there, never to return. But if your content is easy to digest, credible and well written on top of being informative, users are more likely to enjoy and share it because they’ll see it as reflecting positively on themselves.

What does superior content look like?

According to Google’s SEO starter guide, great content is:
checklist• Easy to read. For example, it often contains short sentences and a limited number of long words.
• Well organized. It’s broken into short paragraphs with headings that help the reader navigate the text. It may include bulleted lists and bold text so readers can scan it quickly if they’re short on time.
• Fresh and unique. It’s not just copied from other sites or from other pages on your site.
• Geared toward users, not search engines. Readers embrace content that reads naturally rather than sounding like a list of keywords. They also appreciate content that speaks to them at their level. For example, most U.S. adults read at about the eighth-grade level; you’ll want to aim for your specific audience.

How can you edit and proofread to achieve SEO-friendly content?

Creating high-ranking content takes a bit of work. Here are some tips.
Look for examples to follow. You can take inspiration from sites whose content is well written and effectively structured (but don’t copy). BreakingIntoStartups.com is a terrific candidate.
Take advantage of tools. These can help:
• Grammar checker.
• Plagiarism checker.
• Keyword density checker.
• Style guide.
Hire a content creation firm. While the tools above are useful for enforcing correctness and consistency, remember that automated grammar checkers are often wrong and style guides take time to learn. A seasoned editor and proofreader are much more knowledgeable and reliable in these areas. If you bring on a content creation firm, you’ll have the help of these professionals, and you won’t even have to do the writing if you don’t want to.

Summary

It won’t do to put all your energy into the complexities of search engine optimization while neglecting the basics of simply excellent writing. By subjecting every piece of your content to competent editing and proofreading, you can add readability and consistency to your foundation of deep knowledge. In turn, you’ll raise your company’s credibility and attract search engines to promote your content.

Posted in Q&A

How Your Content’s Formatting Affects Audience Engagement

For strong audience engagement, your readers need clear formatting just as much as they need good content. To drive success, find the balance.

Your audience engagement is down, and nobody is reading your blog posts.
Well, some people are, but not most. Nearly three in four readers admit they skim blog posts rather than read thoroughly. With that in mind, what can you do to speak to them most effectively?
Apart from ensuring your content is worth reading, you might be surprised to learn that formatting can play a big role in audience engagement. These smart formatting tips should become a vital part of your content marketing strategy.

1. Tear down that wall

If you’ve ever arrived on a web page to find a “wall of text,” you know how off-putting it can be. Short paragraphs with a little whitespace in between can make reading an article seem much less daunting. As a rule of thumb, a good target length is 2-4 sentences, and it’s easier to hit if you stick to just one main idea per paragraph.

2. Guide the reader with headings

The Nielsen Norman Group has noted that “in the absence of any signals to guide the eye, [readers] will choose the path of minimum effort.” You can direct readers through your content with headings and subheadings that are informative, tell a story or echo questions they’re likely to ask. Essentially, headings help divide the text into manageable chunks.
The most popular blog post format for business blogs is the listicle, which uses a numbered heading for each key point. The article you’re reading now is just one example.

deliberate formatting decisions3. Make key ideas easy to find

Remember, most readers skim rather than read every word, so they find concise, scannable text more usable and therefore more appealing. Consider using headings, bullet points and numbered lists to make content formatting more easily digestible and further break up blocks of text.

4. Increase audience engagement with images

With images, your content will look more complete. Beyond interrupting the monotony of text, images can round out your message by adding humor or illustrating a point.
Adding at least one image makes your content more likely to be shared on social media, further advancing your audience engagement efforts. In fact, posts on Twitter that contain images get 150% more retweets than those without pictures.

5. Aim for legible and readable text

Imagine your readers squinting while turning their heads to scan from one side of the screen to the other. You can avoid this scenario by:

  • Choosing a good typeface. It should be easy to read on a screen and large enough without looking childish. Leave a little space between lines and limit column width for faster reading.
  • Resisting excessive emphasis. All caps, frequent italics and colored fonts make your content look cluttered and can overwhelm the reader. They can even make you seem less credible. Conversely, bold text used sparingly can help emphasize headings and key ideas.

6. Link sources strategically

Like bold text, hyperlinks can draw attention to keywords. They do this most adeptly when they’re easily recognizable and linked to a short, specific, relevant phrase rather than an entire sentence. (“Click here” doesn’t meet these standards.)

Formatting is part of a competitive content marketing strategy

Inspiring audience engagement can be a challenge when so many readers only glance through your content. But by making deliberate formatting decisions to support a thoughtful content marketing strategy, you can overcome this obstacle and win the trust and interest of your readers.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our eBook 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This eBook will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

Find Out How Companies Are Generating 23% More Revenue From Their Content Marketing Program

In your blog, consistency in formatting is just as important as information accuracy if you want to establish yourself as a knowledgeable, prepared leader in your industry.

How’s your content marketing going? Maybe readers are lapping up every word, or maybe they’re only intrigued for about 30 seconds. You can tweak tons of factors to boost interest in your content, and consistency in formatting and brand voice are two that many companies overlook.
But it might be time to give consistency a second glance. Readers expect it of you, and it can bring in up to 23% more revenue. Let’s consider the difference consistency makes and how you can achieve it.

Why does consistency matter?

 Consistent formatting in your content is vital because:

  • It boosts your credibility. A cohesive style tells readers your company cares about the details.
  • It keeps readers focused on the message. Inconsistency is distracting. When writing and editing are done well, readers aren’t thinking about the text on the page, only the ideas it conveys.
  • It builds trust. Your audience will encounter your brand about seven times before they take action to buy. A company voice or personality that’s consistent across all your content draws them in by creating a sense of comfort and familiarity. It makes your audience feel they know your company and what to expect from it.

The easiest and best way to drive consistency across all your content is to devise a style guide.consistency matter

How does a style guide help with consistency in formatting and voice?

A style guide gives writers and editors guidelines to follow so everyone is on the same page. It outlines both the technical aspects of writing and voice traits. Everyone enjoys a streamlined work process when questions about content writing are answered before they’re asked.
A style guide also keeps your organization fresh and modern. If your writers are still typing two spaces after a period or capitalizing “internet,” readers may wonder whether your company is outdated in other ways, too.
Finally, a style guide shows audiences they matter by ensuring all your content speaks to them in their own language. When marketing to business executives, you’ll want to write short, direct content at a college reading level, not 2,000-word litanies with a flowing, poetic tone. If you’re selling products for babies, your content should speak authoritatively to reassure parents, but keep things simple — they haven’t slept in months.
With a style guide, the shy guy with the literature background, the funny grandma who used to write for the local paper and the recent college graduate kicking off an editing career can all win over your target audience.Update your style guide

How often should I update my style guide?

Not to dodge the question, but how often you update your style depends on your industry. Some industries evolve faster than others, but a good standard is to review it at least once a year. Here are a few more times to give it another look:

  • When your company undergoes big changes, like expanding to a new market.
  • When the surrounding culture changes. For example, AP Style recently updated its style guide to capitalize Black when referring to race.
  • When the style guide it’s based on changes, such as if your guide is modeled after AP Style.

Consistency in formatting, brand voice and tone can help your company tower above the rest and achieve its business goals. A regularly updated style guide is the blueprint for well-built, consistent content that earns readers’ trust.A regularly updated style guide is the blueprint for well-built, consistent content that earns readers’ trust.

In summary

There are many components to a strong content marketing program that captivates your audience. Consistency in formatting and voice are two crucial pieces that are, unfortunately, often overlooked. By giving these factors adequate attention and working to achieve a solid foundation for your content, you will see reader engagement (and revenue) increase.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

Posted in Q&A
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