How to Write Great Service Descriptions for Your Proofreading Website
Having a website is a great way to promote your proofreading services. But how should you describe the work you do? Your service descriptions are vital for winning new clients and finding work, so it is worth taking some time to perfect them. We recommend:
- Distinguishing between different types of editing and proofreading.
- Setting out each service in terms of “features” and “benefits.”
- Using clear, concise language when writing your service descriptions.
- Doing some keyword research and including these terms to boost SEO.
- Include client testimonials to show how your services have helped people.
For more on writing service descriptions for your proofreading website, read on below.
1. Distinguish Between Different Types of Editing
“Proofreading” and “editing” can mean different things to different people, especially outside the publishing world. As such, you will want to clearly distinguish between different services on your website. Remember to include descriptions covering:
- The different levels of editing you are happy to provide and the kinds of changes each one involves (e.g., proofreading, copy editing, substantive editing).
- Any specialized services you offer (e.g., novel editing, academic editing), plus any relevant qualifications, subject knowledge, or experience in that field.
- Any additional services you provide, such as manuscript critiques or formatting.
- Services based on document format (e.g., PDF proofreading as a distinct service).
Remember, though, that it pays to be flexible! As a proofreader or editor, you might need to adapt your services based on the client’s brief or the type of writing at hand. Thus, you may want to note somewhere that you are happy to tailor your services to your clients’ needs.
2. Think in Terms of Features and Benefits
When writing up your service descriptions, think in terms of features and benefits. Features are what the service involves (i.e., what you do when you’re working on a document). And benefits are what your customer gains from the “feature” of a service.
For example, key features of a copy editing service would include correcting errors, tweaking vocabulary, highlighting inconsistencies, and revising sentences for concision. If we wanted to write these features up alongside their benefits, we might break it down as follows:
|Correcting typos and other errors…||…to help you communicate your ideas.|
|Suggesting changes to vocabulary…||…to help you connect with your audience.|
|Highlighting inconsistencies in the text…||…to ensure clarity and professionalism.|
|Editing sentences for concision…||…so your writing has maximum impact.|
For each service you offer, think about the tasks it involves and how your client stands to benefit in each case. You can then work this into your service descriptions.
3. Make Your Service Descriptions Easy to Skim Read
When people are looking for a proofreading or editing service, they don’t want to read an essay before they know what they’re getting. And if they look on your website and see big blocks of text, chances are they will leave immediately and try elsewhere.
As such, you should make sure your service descriptions are easy to skim read. This means:
- Adding clear headings to identify each service description.
- Using everyday language and avoiding technical jargon unless necessary.
- Writing concisely, using short sentences where possible.
- Using bullet points to highlight key details (e.g., features and benefits).
If you have several services on a single page, you might also want to include a hyperlinked list of the options available at the top so readers can jump to the section they need.
4. Include SEO Keywords
To help your proofreading website rank in search results, it is a good idea to consider SEO (search engine optimization). In particular, think about what words and phrases potential clients might search for when seeking the kinds of services you provide.
These search terms are known as SEO keywords. Ideally, you will work a few of these naturally into your service descriptions, including headings and page titles.
To select which keywords to include on your website, you can:
- Use a keyword research tool like SemRush to find which terms people search for most often when looking for proofreading and editing services. You can also use these to find related keywords when you’ve picked out a few.
- Look at how other companies and freelancers describe similar services, then pick out relevant words and phrases for your own descriptions.
Keep in mind that the more common a keyword is, the harder it will be to rank for it on search engines. If you pick just “proofreading” as a keyword, for example, you will be competing with every other proofreader and editorial company online!
As such, it pays to make your target keywords and phrases more specific. You can do this by focusing on a type of service or client (e.g., “novel editing for self-published authors”). Or you might want to focus on your local area (e.g., “proofreading services in Timbuktu”).
5. Add Testimonials
Finally, giving people a sense of how your work has helped others is a good sales technique. You may thus want to include testimonials with or alongside your service descriptions. Anyone visiting your website will then see proof that you provide excellent editing results.
To get testimonials, ask clients for feedback on your work. This can be a valuable exercise in itself, helping you spot areas you could improve on. But when you get a good review, you can ask your client if they’re happy for you to share it online, then include it on your site.
In some cases, you may need to edit testimonials to make sure they read clearly. This is fine! However, never make edits that change the meaning of what someone said. And if you do need to change anything, make sure to check it with the client before it goes live.
Becoming A Proofreader
Another important step is proofreading your own service descriptions, as errors will look bad to potential clients! Speaking of which, if you need to sharpen your proofreading and editing skills, sign up for the free trial of our Becoming A Proofreader course.