There is nothing more off-putting than reading through the first line of a blog article, email newsletter or even a website and BAM! There’s a misspelt word jumping off the screen and smacking you in the face.
Spelling mistakes are bad for business because:
They give a bad first impression of your business.
It appears unprofessional to have spelling and grammatical errors.
Spelling mistakes allude to the fact that no-one is checking your marketing material.
Spelling mistakes insinuate that overall your business does not pride itself on attention to detail.
They disrupt the flow of the sentence and the reader will lose momentum and possibly the entire message that you were trying to get across.
If you have keywords spelt incorrectly on your website, you can kiss that chance for SEO good-bye!
Spelling mistakes are a waste of time and money. How much did it cost to print out 3,000 brochures that you can’t use because there’s a typo? How much time have you spent creating that email campaign to only receive replies about your ‘End of Season Sail’?
There’s no secret that the average standard of grammar, spelling, sentence structure and the general use of the English language is on the decline. In fact, there is even an official organisation called the English Spelling Societywhich offers tools and tips on how to use (and spell) the English language correctly.
Many people blame technology for this deterioration in spelling standards and in part it is true. Just as calculators took the guess work out of timetables, Spell Check has taken the guess work out of spelling and even grammar to some degree. On the flip side of the coin, due the existence of such a wonderful technological service such as Spell Check, why oh WHY are we still subjected to spelling mistakes and sentences that have words missing?
This is why. As clever as our computer systems are, they are not human. They are reading these symbols on the screen as code, not as a potential client sipping coffee while flicking through your brochure. The problem is, the likelihood of these potential clients in simply dismissing a typo or grammatical error on your website or marketing material, is extremely low. This is because unless your clients have been hiding under a rock for the past twenty years with no access to computers, they are well aware of this ‘Spell Check’ function. There is no excuse for spelling mistakes – ever!
Yes, there are some graphics programs that do not have spell check and even some website programs which do not have a spell check function. This is still no excuse. Here’s some tips on how to get rid of those annoying spelling mistakes:
If the program you are using does not have spell check, write your content in a program which DOES have spell check. Copy. Paste. Vula!
If you are not sure if you are using a word in the right context, whack it into Google. You will be ambushed with meanings, spelling, examples and explanations of that word. You can even Google ‘Spell Check’ where you will be supplied with a list of free services that can offer spell check, grammar and even thesaurus functions.
Get someone to proofread! Yes, unfortunately it all comes down to that human interaction. Have a colleague, friend, staff member, spouse – your neighbour if need be – read over your content. Sometimes there may not be a spelling mistake, but a wrong word used (e.g. there and their). There may also be a word or two missing. Getting a fresh pair of eyes is always the best way to pick up on those obvious and not-so-obvious mistakes.
Slow down. Everyone is so impatient to get their website up, brochures distributed and email campaigns out that they are not spending enough time checking and proofreading. It can be very easy to be distracted by the amazing presentation, eye-catching colours and spectacular graphics that you can completely miss the fact that there’s a spelling mistake in the big bold letters which make up the title. When proofreading your content, take it slow and get rid of the distractions. Grab a cup of tea, turn the phone off and just read your content from top to bottom.
When promoting and marketing your business, you want your brand and message to be clear. You want your clients and potential clients to have confidence in your business through your marketing material. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and missing words are not going to instil that sense of confidence.