National Proofreading Day – Your Short Content Checklist for SEO and Growth in 2018

Jen Saunders

Proofreading is a very necessary task, and one that is often overlooked. In fact, to be brutally honest, I don’t always proofread my articles. I’m simply too busy. Also, I figure that because I actually write my own articles (as opposed to using a freelance writer), it ought to account for something, typos or not.

Honestly, a few typos in your content isn’t going to kill your SEO efforts. And as long as your subject offers value and you present yourself as a thought leader, people aren’t going to judge you too critically for a misspelling or an isolated extra keystroke or misplaced word that seems to make no sense. Pony.

Here is where spot-on proofreading matters the most: when you are proofreading your content for conversion opportunities and SEO value, and not for grammatical godliness. When incorporating the following short proofreading checklist into your content strategy designed to rank and convert buyers in 2018, you will be putting yourself in a better position to grow your business through SEO and various digital channels.

targeting your audience

Audience Targeting

Is your content targeting the right audience(s)? If not you run two massive risks that can kill your digital business growth potential. If you write solely for ranking primary keywords, you are failing to create content for a semantic search strategy. Your articles will read as generalized, non-structured blogs that won’t resonate with buyer pains.

When proofreading your content, look for verbiage that addresses common problems related to your products and services while including language that mirrors your buyer’s pains. If your content is designed to resonate with your buyer’s emotions while showcasing how your business can provide the best solution to their need, then you can tick this one as complete. Make sure you craft careful buyer personas as used in the WEBITMD Growth Stack for inbound marketing clients to better prepare the right messaging to the right people.

content marketing

Educational and Psychological

Does your content take a psychological approach to educating your customers? Once you create your buyer personas, you will understand what the various pain points are of each group. Create content that educates each buyer group with contextual and topical considerations most likely to resonate with their psyches and the conscious awareness that they NEED your product to resolve their problem. When proofreading your content for this point, make sure the educational portions address various scenarios, best practices, common challenges, multiple usage, and how the item can improve one’s life relevant to the subject at hand. When your words offer value as opposed to keyword stuffing fluff, the customer will have a clearer vision in their head as to how they can use your products and improve their life.

Remember, when you can get into your buyer’s mind by presenting powerful content, their engagement in your site will garner a lower bounce rate, longer session duration and an increase in new visitors–all things that impact organic ranking. Also, the longer one engages your site, the greater the chances are they will convert into paying customers.

marketing strategy


Does your content have a storytelling or narrative component? Studies show that people form more intimate connections with brands that tell a story. Storytelling allows your buyer;s to put themselves in your protagonists shoes and better seeing themselves using your products and services.

Buyer persona development will help you create strong stories. For example, let’s say you sell are a range of dry bags used by people to keep their change of clothes and electronics completely dry when active in and around water activities. If one of your buyer personas reflects 30-something mothers who take high-end luxury vacations with the family to resorts with multiple water activities, you can center an article around the story of a mom who is able to join her family on the boat knowing that in between creating her marketing reports for her clients, she can seal up her MacBook in the drybag and have full confidence that splashing won’t damage the device. Her “pain” would be how to find an alternative to staying behind in the hotel room to ensure her work gets completed without the threat of any water damage inflicting its menace on her electronic devices. With a good relatable narrative designed to woo this buyer persona, a deeper connection will likely result, and so will a sale.

content cluster

Structure and Linking

When proofreading your content for SEO and growth value, make sure each article reflects a working piece to a content cluster model. This means it must reflect one of many topics related to the main subject, and link out to both the pillar page (main category page) and other service or product pages relevant to the page content you are proofreading.

This is good for SEO because Google will see all your multiple articles in a structured format that touch on unique topics, while staying relevant to the primary subject. The linking improves the user experience, which also adds SEO value. In addition, linking out to other articles addressing similar subjects can increase sales because you are giving your readers the opportunity to navigate to content that provides answers to other questions they might have. Make sure that each page has a CTA placed and designed appropriately so that people can make a purchase directly from the source of information. Otherwise they may drop off into a limbo for misplaced leads.

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Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.

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