What Does an Online Editor Do?

Dan Cavallari

The specific job functions of an online editor can vary depending on the company for which he or she works, but generally, this editor is responsible for managing a team that will develop content for that company's website and develop a long-term plan for creating an online presence for the company. The online editor may be solely responsible for developing content and editing that content, or he or she may work as part of a team that will develop content under the guidance and supervision of the editor.

Online editors may be able to work from the comfort of their home.
Online editors may be able to work from the comfort of their home.

The various qualifications an online editor must hold can vary depending on the industry in which he or she works, but in general, the editor must have exceptional writing and communications skills. Most companies will only hire candidates who have completed a college degree in English or another language native to the country in which the business operates; web design; business; communications; or other related fields. The online editor must have a keen eye for detail, a strong grasp of language, and an intensive knowledge of web design, layout, and advertising. Aside from content regularly published on the website, the editor may be responsible for developing ad campaigns to reach new users. Experience or education relating to advertising or marketing is therefore preferred.

An online editor will usually have significant input as to what type of information ends up on a website.
An online editor will usually have significant input as to what type of information ends up on a website.

The online editor will usually have significant input as to what type of information ends up on a website. He or she must decide on the general tone of the site, as well as the flow of information, the ways in which people will access the information the editor wants visitors to see. The editor will therefore often work closely with web designers who will create a functional layout for the site; the main page will be prime for the most important information, while subsequent pages may cover topics in more detail.

Another primary responsibility of the online editor is interpreting data regarding site usage to create more compelling content that will encourage Internet users to return to the site frequently. This may involve evaluating search engine optimization, or SEO, keywords, site usage data, and actual customer engagement in the form of e-mail messages, contact form usage, and more. The editor must be able to interpret user habits and figure out how to make the site more user-friendly, more accessible, and more present in search engines that will link to the site. Moderation of client use may also fall on the shoulders of the online editor, though webmasters are more likely to take on such duties.

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