General content editing good practice

Learning from journalists

You might not be writing news articles, but you can increase your site's communication punch by following a newsroom's best practice. Good content editing strives to achieve clarity, coherence, consistency, and correctness.

  • Prioritise content:
screenshot triangle of prioritising content showing most newsworthy at the top, extra details in the middle, and least important info at the bottom
  • Summarize the page content in the first paragraph
  • Ensure page headings convey meaningful information
  • Front-load with important information-carrying words in headings and bullet points
  • Use an active voice

Remember, site visitors will scan your web-pages, most often in the F pattern. If what you want your visitors to take most notice of is at the top of your page, they won't miss anything vital when their interest wanes.

  • Prioritise the order of your main menu site links too 

Keep it simple

Simple means every piece of content should be there for a reason. Your site visitors can easily find the information they are seeking.

  • All elements on a page should work together to tell “your story” 
  • Avoid out of context content
  • Only use images and videos if they add value. Bad images and filler videos could be a distraction at best and an irritation at worst

People won’t always find it easy to view content on mobile devices, especially over public WiFi, due to bandwidth issues.

Be consistent

Using templates can help you achieve consistency. For example, place "contact us" or "further resources" in the same place on each page. This will train site visitors to expect to find types of information in the same place wherever they are on your site. 


Standardising means your site will provide a recognisable experience to the site visitor. It is easy for them to learn based on their experience of other websites. 

Further resources

Nielsen Norman Group Rewriting digital content for brevity