It can be a bit time-consuming, but it truly makes the difference between a perfectly polished final product and something that looks rushed and unprofessional. Plus, a failure to proofread can make the reader feel like you’re not a credible source, despite the fact that you might be extremely knowledgeable about the subject. Bottom line: grammar matters.
WHAT IS PROOFREADING?
Something that often has people mixed up is the exact definition of proofreading, and the answer will probably depend on who is being asked. A publisher, for example, will give you a much different answer than a university student. A lot of people view proofreading as a way to check for grammatical/spelling, formatting, or typographical errors, which is correct in a way; but it’s a bit more complex than that.
The job of a proofreader is to compare the proofs of a document with the edited copy to make sure no new errors have occurred after printing. For reference, proofs are all the printed versions of a document that will be included in the published version. It’s meant to be the very last step taken before any document or manuscript is published, submitted for a job application, turned in for a class, or however it’s meant to be shared. Of course, in a digital landscape, the frequency of printed proofs is less and less. Still, the same rules apply regarding online content; once your content is completed, edited, and ready-to-go, a final proof ensures the best possible final product before publishing.
HOW DOES IT RELATE TO SEO?
When considering what ranks well from an SEO (search engine optimisation) standpoint, it’s important to keep in mind that sites like Google only want to rank sites with top-notch content. High-quality writing and content typically go hand-in-hand with good grammar (among other important things like links and graphics). More often than not, the lower the quality, the worse the spelling and grammar will be.
Not only does it make a difference for your search engine ranking, but it will also make a difference in the amount of organic shares your content receives. Me personally, when I read an article that’s full of typos and grammatical errors, I immediately start to feel like the site isn’t very credible. I most likely won’t even finish reading it, and I definitely won’t be sharing. On the other hand, an article with little to no errors shows effort and pride, meaning they put a lot of time into their work and more than likely have accurate information as well. This is something I’m more inclined to repost on my own pages and share with friends.
ACCORDING TO GOOGLE…
Since those who work on SEO usually focus more on the technical aspect of their work, the subtleties of grammar and spelling tend to get lost in the shuffle. But that’s definitely a problem if you want your site to rank as high as it possibly can. According to Google, the better the grammar and spelling, the higher a page will rank. So, proofreading is definitely something you’ll need to do before any post, page, article, or other document is submitted anywhere. Not only will it improve your website’s ranking and visibility, but it will also improve your credibility. We hope this article was helpful to you! Check back for more useful content from our ongoing “SEO Explained” article series.