A New Approach to Administrative Support Services

March 5, 2010

Spelling, Grammar, and Syntax! Oh my!

Over the years, I have become a stickler for spelling and grammatical errors. I wonder how people can write and publish something without proofreading it first. Specifically, I am referring to business websites. On MANY occasions, I have visited a company’s website only to see spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and poor syntax.  I am not talking about the design or layout of the website since that is a completely different issue. I am speaking about simple errors that should have been corrected before the website went live! It reflects poorly on the website, and the company who owns the website.

Recently I joined a Facebook Fan (Business) Page of a business who was offering copywriting services. I visited the website of the business, and on EVERY single page, I found the same poor sentence structure. I also found MANY spelling errors. I understand that we are human, and we do make mistakes. If you are advertising that you do copywriting, I would think that you would want your writing style to make the best impression possible. It was obvious to me that the website copy was never proofread, nor was the text run through a spell checker! This immediately turned me off to the company that offered these services. The website was the only means I had to see the copywriting that this business offered. I feel that if they could not proofread and spell check a website that represented them, what would they do with their customer’s projects? That was a road I was not willing to travel.

Now I do not pick apart every website I visit, but certain words (and errors) just stand out — especially when they are spelled incorrectly. I have often thought about contacting the company or the webmaster to report errors that I have found. I have never done it though. I just do not know how to tell someone that their website is riddled with errors. It might be the nice thing to do, but how can you do this in a diplomatic way without stepping on someone’s toes? It would be a lot easier if it were someone that you know who would understand that you had his/her best interests in mind. A stranger might not feel this way.

As someone who offers proofreading services, I may be more conscious of the errors that I find. It may be that my brain and eyes look for this type of thing. I have to wonder if, in this busy world, proofreading and editing have simply taken a back seat. Yet, if I am turned off by these blatant errors, I have to believe that other people are too. That can cause a business to lose money, sales, and web traffic. I think it is important to read your website (or your brochures, flyers, newsletters, or other printed material), and do your absolute best to be certain that all words and sentences are spelled correctly and the content makes sense.

Almost all computer and web design programs come with a built-in spell checker (and possibly even grammar correction) that will catch many of the errors that are overlooked. Another good idea is to ask someone else to review your work. Another set of eyes can notice things that you do not see.

Spend a good amount of time reviewing your content throughout your entire website (or other printed material). Check it once…. Check it twice! Perhaps even check it a third time. That third time could be the charm! You might find that one error that will turn off a customer to your business. Other than a little bit of time, you have nothing to lose. However, the gains can be tremendous!

If proofreading and editing is not something you are comfortable doing, then find someone who is a “stickler for spelling and grammatical errors” who can help with this task.

Does your website contain errors? Do your printed materials need to be proofread or edited? Are you unhappy  with your current business marketing media? Then contact us for a FREE, no obligation quotation. We can give your business a completely new … and professional image!

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