A website proofreader find errors on websites and recommend corrections to their client to improve their website. For many small businesses, the idea of hiring someone to tell them everything wrong about their website isn’t something they’re particularly keen on, but the service can actually bring a lot of value.
Impressing potential customers and ranking high in search engines are essential for getting the most out of a small business website. By hiring a website proofreader, you can increase your chances of convincing customers to contact (and pay!) you.
Why websites matter so much for small businesses
Every bit of marketing is important for any business, and a website is usually the most expensive marketing tool for small businesses.
Imagine you’re looking for an accountant. When visiting Accountant A’s website, you find it littered with spelling mistakes and odd punctuation choices. Everything else about the business looks good, but you want to keep your options open. You visit Accountant B’s website, which is just as promising but doesn’t have any spelling mistakes at all. Which accountant would you trust to work efficiently for your business?
Typos and spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors can cause a customer to think the business isn’t trustworthy or reliable. They can also affect your ranking by search engines, which is especially damaging for online businesses.
Common website problems that turn away customers
There are all kinds of problems on websites that might turn away prospective customers and clients from your business. You might be worried mostly about tech-related errors, like your website going down, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about the website content.
Common problems I come across when looking at websites include:
- Missing words in a sentence
- Misused punctuation
- Long strings of periods instead of an ellipsis (…… doesn’t look very professional!)
- Images overlapping text
- Broken links, even on the homepage!
All of the above are caught by a website proofreader, whose unfamiliarity with your content is a big advantage for catching all kinds of mistakes.
How I work as a website proofreader
When I proofread websites, I work through a checklist to ensure every part of your website is focused on. Using this checklist, I read through each page before checking other sections most people forget, such as image captions, alt-text, header and footer, and links.
I pull together all of the mistakes I find in a Word Document, highlighting what the problem is, where it is, and my recommended correction. Corrections are handled entirely by my client, or their IT person, so I ensure I’m as clear as possible when recommending how to fix something.
While some website proofreaders prefer to have access to the website to implement corrections themselves, I find many businesses are cautious about who is given access to their websites. By providing my website proofreading report, I can do my job and my client can pick and choose which corrections to make. Sometimes people like what they’ve written, even if it’s grammatically incorrect or looks a bit strange to outsiders, and that’s perfectly okay.
As a bonus to my proofreading, I also compile recommendations for SEO, including resources where needed. This is especially beneficial for small businesses who don’t have a budget for a digital marketer yet.