Why Spelling Mistakes Can be Costly

July 5th 2012       Sally Ormond       proofreading, the cost of spelling errors

This post originally appeared on Freelance Copywriter’s Blog:

When you sell face to face your sales pitch is entirely verbal. You can watch the other party for physical clues as to what they’re thinking or whether they are about to buy.the cost of spelling mistakes

But the world of online marketing relies on the written word.

The quality of the writing on websites therefore has to be high and that means no spelling or grammar errors.

But can a typo really have an effect on sales through your website?

According to a recent article on the BBC website, the answer is yes.


Spelling mistakes cost millions in lost online sales

Now if that sounds like scaremongering to you just listen to this. According to Charles Duncombe (an online entrepreneur) when a spelling mistake was identified on the tightsplease.co.uk website, the revenue from the site was twice as high once the error had been corrected.

If you multiply that one example across all internet retail you could be looking at millions of pounds of business being in jeopardy through spelling or grammatical errors.


The importance of proofreading

No one is perfect and we all make mistakes from time to time but locating those errors before your copy is published is imperative.

The process of proofreading is a laborious one. Quite often you can read through a piece of copy 3 or 4 times and still find errors that you passed by earlier.

And we’re not just talking about spelling mistakes that your spell checker will pick up. There are instances where you’ll spell a word correctly but it is the incorrect word for the sentence. Typical examples of this are using ‘you’ instead of ‘your’ or the wrong which, there and here.

The ideal process is for one person to write the copy and then having it proofed by a couple of other people.

Trying to proof your own copy is possible but you must ensure you leave plenty of time between the writing and checking process. The main problem is you become ‘blind’ to what you’ve written. In your head you know what you wanted to say so it’s easy to insert words that aren’t there.


Perfect copywriting

As a professional copywriter I would love to say I never make mistakes.

But I do.

That’s not an issue though because I check and re-check every piece of work to make sure, when it’s passed to my client, it is error free.

Usually my trusty dictionary is sat beside me on my desk so if I am unsure of the spelling of a word I can look it up.

Remember making mistakes isn’t a bad thing – not taking the time to read through your work and correct them is.

Tags: proofreading, the cost of spelling errors
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