Don’t Let Word Errors Drag You Down

What’s the price of cutting a few corners when your business prepares copy for advertising, news releases or important announcements? A few grammatical errors or typos here and there? Big deal.

Sorry. It IS a big deal. Do a search on “typos” and you’ll find many websites devoted to making fun of them. But more than merely being embarrassing, typos cast yourself and your company in a less‑than‑professional light. In an extreme case, errors might even cost you money.

BBC News recently reported that spelling mistakes cost companies millions in lost sales. According to the article, an analysis of e-commerce websites showed “misspellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website’s credibility.” The article quotes online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe that “spelling is important to the credibility of a website. When there are underlying concerns about fraud and safety, then getting the basics right is essential.” A New York Times blog post “The Price of Typos” by columnist Virginia Heffernan points out that misspellings could keep a website out of the Top 10 search results listings. “Search engines look for strings of characters in sequence,” she explains. “If your site has misspellings, Google is less likely to list it at the top of search results.”

Fred Vultee, a journalism professor at Wayne State University, recently conducted a study on the value of editing. Respondents read four edited news stories and four unedited news stories and answered questions about each. He found that readers, especially regular readers, can distinguish an edited news story from an unedited one. They notice errors and are bothered by them.

Do errors of grammar or spelling bother the readers of your website, blog or business letters? Rather than find out the hard way, maybe it’s a good idea to have someone else check your copy before you hit the Send button. An experienced editor can spare you embarrassment and sharpen your message. Contact an editor today: mikegreenstein.com.

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