How much are spelling and grammar errors costing your business?

A single spelling mistake can cut your online sales by as much as 50%.

Your company website is the voice of your business. It’s the worldwide public face that potential customers see when you aren’t around to personally articulate your message. But is it making you sound dumb?

The accuracy of your online content is an important trust cue for your customers. They may not even realise it! If you can’t do something as simple as sell yourself without making a silly error, how can you possibly deliver on your promises? Not ideal.

In a BBC news study, William Dutton (Director of the Oxford Internet Institute) said that although there’s a certain level of forgiveness for errors on social media sites, e-commerce businesses don’t get that same luxury.

“In these instances, when a consumer might be wary of spam or phishing efforts, a misspelt word could be a killer issue.”

Not just total ball ache for your online presence, misspellings on product packaging and within contracts are also massive money holes with the potential to hit you where it hurts in the revenue stakes.

If revenue and reputation weren’t enough of an incentive to take the accuracy of your business comms seriously, consider the social backlash. Remember President Trump and his “covfefe”? Or his misspelling of the word “unprecedented“?

It’s enough to make you roll your eyes, isn’t it? And just think…that could be you.


How to prevent errors in your copy

The first and most obvious way for you to avoid errors in your content is to hire me. If you feel like my copy prowess is too intimidating to work with (and let’s face it, who can blame you) you can try it yourself by teaming my DIY business writing tips with these basic proofing techniques:

Don’t just rely on your spell check

The number of times that damn thing has been set to American English, auto-corrected a word to something completely different or failed to pick up an error is shocking. There’s no excuse for laziness, guys. Especially when it could cost you valuable revenue.

Get someone to check it for you

This is one I preach until the cows come home. Get someone else to look at your work before you push it live. Even I have someone check my work for me, and I write for a living.  As I like to say; even Hemingway had an editor.

Set aside time to do it properly

Make a black coffee. Block out some time. Lay out your objectives on a piece of paper and take the time to do it right. It’s not just about errors, it’s also about how well you articulate yourself and your business message, so watch out for repeated words, rambling and nonsensical statements that don’t equate to anything real (yeah, just like that).

Read it backwards

Sounds bananas but bear with me. Reading your copy backwards prevents your brain from auto-correcting the words because they’re being taken piece by piece, rather than being read as a sentence you’ve seen 100 times already. You can also try printing a hard copy of your work. Different formats are a good way to jolt your brain out of laziness and will help you catch errors more easily.

Remember; accurate and articulate copy demonstrates professionalism, attention to detail, a good level of critical thinking and high intellect. If these aren’t incentives for potential customers and clients I just don’t know what is.

Don’t be like Trump…

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