Website copy editing, explained

Other terms related to website copy editing: Website copy editor, website copywriting, website proofreading, blog editing, blog proofreading.

Website copy editing is the process of reviewing and rewriting the words and language used on your business, personal, or other website. Website copy editing focuses on eliminating errors, improving clarity and readability, and editing language so it’s suitable for an online audience.

Website copy editing will enhance landing pages including the home, about, product, service, benefits, pricing, sales, and other important pages and can also improve blog articles, newsletters, and anything else connected to your online presence.

When editing for an online audience, a website copy editor will:

  • Reduce and simplify sentences to make content easier to read.

  • Edit for a shorter attention span, as visitors just scan through the page.

  • Think about people accessing the website on a phone or tablet.

  • Understand what the audience needs from your website and editing to those requirements.

  • Strengthen calls to action and similar areas.

A business website’s purpose is to share information and convert visitors into customers or subscribers. A website copy editor’s job is to help you create a powerful and professional message that convinces people to buy your products and services.

Skills needed for website copy editing

Website copy editing requires a detail-oriented individual with specific skills in areas including analysis, grammar, spelling, and word usage. Ideally, a website copy editor will also have experience in reading and writing web content that can convert traffic into subscribers or sales. Most businesses have a website or online presence as an important sales channel, and a website copy editor will help the website generate revenue and look more professional.

It’s particularly difficult to edit your own website writing, as we all have a tendency to gloss over simple mistakes when we’ve created the words ourselves. This means even a smart, highly educated, or experienced writer will benefit from website copy editing.

The website copy editing process

The first level of website copy editing is to proofread a draft of website content for errors including misspellings, incorrect grammar or punctuation, and typos. A proficient website copy editor will also analyze the overall structure of the writing, check writing and language use, add clarity and consistency, and make sure that the words flow together naturally. Finally, the very best website copy editors will be polish your web content so it gives you a competitive edge and draws in your audience.

Using the same website copy editor for your main website, related blogs, reports, guides, newsletters, and email campaigns will help you develop a clear voice that carries across all your communications. Enhancing and developing your web content will be a collaborative venture and a long-lasting, professional relationship as you make your website copy editor a valuable part of your team.

FAQs about website copy editing

What is the difference between a general copy editor and a website copy editor?

When hiring a copy editor, you should always look for someone who specializes in the type of writing you’re developing. An amazing fiction editor will not have the marketing skill set to effectively edit the copy of a branded website. Website content has a specific sales function and it helps if the editor understands the nuances of sales psychology and search engine optimization.

What skills should the perfect website copy editor have?

Great skills for a website copy editor include the basics: spelling, grammar, keeping to deadlines and being detail-oriented and focused. Higher levels skills will require knowledge of sales psychology, marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), writing for the web, and excellent general communication skills.  

How can someone become a website copy editor?

A good website copy editor should have at least a bachelor's degree in English, marketing, communications, or a related field. In addition to education, copy editors need experience which they can gain through internships or by slowly building up a good base of business clients. Once a website copy editor has enough experience, they can sign up to work with an established company or take on freelance clients of their own.

How can I work with a website copy editor efficiently?

Once you’ve found the perfect copy editor for your website content, you should agree a schedule with due dates and milestones. Make sure you have clear and open communication with your website copy editor. Provide a rough draft, and be open to their revisions and suggestions. Remember that editing is a back and forth collaboration that helps you arrive at the perfect end product.

What key elements is a website copy editor responsible for revising?

Website copy editors will look closely at titles, making sure they are accurate and engaging. They will also look at subheadings for additional keyword opportunities. A website editor might also be involved with fact checking data, finding resources links, and necessary citations. Of course, all copy editing takes notice of spelling and grammar errors and website copy editing is no different. Additionally, website copy editors are specifically revising content to create a powerful story that engages the audience and makes them want to read more.

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