Best Practices for Testing, Previewing Pages/Posts before Publishing

First things first - if no one edited this article before it was published you would see a lot of grammatical errors and thought bubbles that don’t belong in the final copy.  Psst, I'm hinting at the first and most important thing to do as part of your checklist to publish.

Grammar and spelling only graze the surface when it comes to editing; with the wealth of knowledge available at our fingertips online, we need to fact check and consider readability (otherwise no one will read your creative yet factual post). 

In this article, I’ll break it down into three categories:

  1. Copyediting
  2. SEO edits
  3. Visual edits and optimization

 

Copyediting

Remember in school when you learned the structure of a story or a good essay? There should be a few defined sections:

  • Headline - grab attention
  • Intro - if your reader gets into the first few sentences, chances are they may read the whole thing!
  • Sub-heading - main goal, keep the readers into it
  • Content -
    • create emotional connection
    • Tell the user “how to” do something - sign up, become a member, donate, etc.
  • CTA - Send them there!

Next, check your spelling and grammar - I like Grammarly as it’s pretty good at catching most things but it won’t catch inconsistencies, so have multiple eyes on your content looking at various things.

If you’re like me, you write like you talk and this is not a bad thing - in fact, it helps you try not to sound like something you are not. Last item on the copyediting topic: if you’re the one doing the writing and editing - don’t burn yourself out, look at it with fresh eyes the next day. 

 

Editing for SEO

BUZZWORD alert! I know all your eyes lit up over the chances of moving the needle on a Google search results page, so how do we do that in our blog posts?

Start out with adding your main keyword right in your H1 title, and for even more weight, make it part of the first half of your title.

If your article title is really long and you can create a URL slug, help everyone out including your readers by shortening the URL to only include your keywords. 

Use images! Images are great; not only do they add visual interest to your post/page but the further down a page someone scrolls the better, Google is everywhere and it signals there’s some quality content on your page! 

Links are also important; if you are citing another source, link to it. If you have other keywords in your article, link those words to other pages on your website. Don’t overdo it - try for 3 - 5 links in your post.

Optimizing Visuals

I'm a designer - I love images! What I don’t love, along with most of the readers out there, are overdone useless stock photos. Your images should be screen shots if the page content calls for it, or artfully designed by a designer. If you think I'm just saying that because i’m a designer - Hubspot would disagree with you; check out this list of “Hilarious Examples of Truly Awful Stock Photography.”

Make sure your images fit the full width of your content; it looks a little weird when images are not uniform in your content or at least the same width as the content we’ve been looking at.

After you feel like you’ve edited and looked over your content following these guidelines, post!

 

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