Bad spelling and grammar could be costing you
Did you know that poor spelling is costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue for Internet businesses? Shocking news to be sure, but according to Charles Duncombe (who runs travel mobile phones and clothing websites), an analysis of website figures revealed that a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half! If you consider that Internet sales in the UK for one week run at an average of 527 million we are talking serious money here.
You may at this point be scratching your head and wondering how exactly one gets to prove that spelling mistakes may impact sales figures. The answer is that Mr Duncombe measured the revenue per visitor to a particular website, and found that the revenue was twice as high after an error was corrected.
Sales figures suggest that misspelling calls the websites credibility into question, putting consumers off and sending them elsewhere. With underlying concerns about fraud and safety on the Internet at a premium, internet surfers are justifiably wary of dodgy companies. William Dutton of the Oxford Internet Institute said: “When a consumer might be wary of spam or phishing efforts, a mis-spelt word could be a killer issue.” Getting the basics right is essential. We all know how those grammatically nightmarish emails from Nigeria put us on instant alert (well, most of us anyway). Make sure that your website doesn’t set off alarm bells anywhere. Potential clients don’t want to feel that they may be dealing with a “Mickey Mouse”company.
Unfortunately people don’t just notice sloppy spelling – they notice bad grammar too. Even casual bloggers now recognise the need to use good English. This is because search engines look for strings of characters in sequence, and if a website has spelling errors, Google is less likely to list it at the top of search results.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your spellcheck will have it all figured out. Sometimes a misplaced apostrophe could have a catastrophic effect on the meaning of a word, and your message.
The only foolproof solution if you want to make sure that no spelling or grammar gremlins slip through the cracks is to have someone else read your work (and preferably someone with a good command of the English language). If you’ve been working on something for an extended period of time, it is also common to overlook your own mistakes.
Should some kind soul point out a mistake on your website, be grateful they are doing you a favour. Say thank you and fix it pronto.
After all we are talking money here!