Did anyone notice the typo in the title? I intentionally wrote it that way because there are so many ways to improve your website and one of the most important ways is to use proper English and fix all your typos. Your customers notice this type of mistake and seeing a glaring error can mean the difference of getting your customer to the checkout page and making the sale or not.
Mistakes like this can equal a loss of credibility and this is not just my opinion. Dozens of surveys have been taken by marketing companies who discovered that bad grammar equals a loss of sales. What they didn’t tell you was how many times you can have mistakes before the customer leaves the site and never returns. But, what does bad grammar mean? Is it a misspelled word or an obvious typo? Is bad grammar a poor choice of a properly spelled word? Is it using slang or abbreviations where you shouldn’t or maybe even a cuss word? Who the h*** knows! Or using emoticons? For me the big problem I see in most sites is relevance. Ugh! Give me something worth reading, please!
Around here if you “publish” a completed article and we find a typo in it, you’re buying the first round of drinks at the next office function. Honest mistakes happen but for us, it’s difficult because a typo is one thing but we have to research all the information we write for our client’s websites that are relevant to their business and their products. Everything that’s written has to be approved and scrutinized for mistakes by a smart person who had nothing to do with writing the content. In addition, writing for the Internet is different than writing for print especially for e-commerce sites. Most people have a difficult time grasping this concept and they just blather on and on and on. Some believe that the Internet is killing grammar. There’s strong evidence to support the claim.
Chances are that if you’re building a website you’re doing so for a good reason and I’m sure one big reason is to generate some revenue. That makes sense. Great site design and well-written content (free of mistakes) make a big difference with your site and your company’s credibility. The last thing a customer wants to do is plunk down their hard earned money on a site that makes them wonder if they’re going to get the item they bought. That makes for an unpleasant buying experience and will hurt your business on several levels. I recently told a prospective client that I cannot in good faith endorse their business because their website was so bad it would have a negative reflection on RPG. Sorry!
Your customers think the same way about you and your website. We write content for many sites and we have a process of checks and balances that we go through that have to be completed before we publish that content and make it live on a clients website or on their marketing material. It’s very time consuming but, it’s better than reading an email from your client saying you spelled a word wrong or the information is inaccurate. We write tons of content and when you write this much you’re bound to make mistakes.
Spell checkers in your word processing program are unreliable at best. How about a show of hands where all anyone did was click the spell check button in the toolbar and call your writing completed. I’ll bet everyone one of you raised your hand. I have to have a cheat sheet of common word spelling problems and proper grammar handy at all times because apparently my memory is fading and I need the help and spell checkers are worthless. Good writing takes time, practice and patience but the real skill comes only after you break the spell-check habit.
So, if you want to improve your site’s credibility take the time to go over all your copy and correct the mistakes. Then, check for good sentence structure and improve it if you have to and make sure your information is relevant. We’ll talk about how to personalize your writing skills some other time.