That One Typo Will Kick Your Ass

Typos affect content marketingWell, look at you. You took a long, hard look at your site and decided to fix up the copy, just like I told you to. Well done.

But what’s this? In the first paragraph there’s a misspelled word. And there’s a period missing. Well, congratulations. All your hard work was for naught. Believe it or not, visitors to your site will take you more seriously with that God-awful “Welcome to our website!” copy than they will if your on-point, optimized copy is rife with errors. Don’t believe me? Try it. No wait, don’t. Just take my word for it.

Typos are an understandable red flag for anyone who’s visiting your site. If you don’t even know how to spell, how are you going to be able to follow through on the goods or services you’re offering? If you don’t know the difference between they’re and their, you must still be in second grade and therefore not to be trusted with client accounts. Do you see now how much power one or two little errors can have?

There are, of course, things that you can do.

Find someone you know to read your copy

I recommend this even if you’re sharp as a tack when it comes to the English language. If you’re too close to what you wrote, or have read the copy you paid for so many times that you know it by heart, you’re never going to be able to spot errors, even obvious ones. A fresh set of eyeballs is your best defense.

Pay someone to read your copy

This is going to depend on your resources; you can pay a one-time fee to have your web copy cleaned up, but since you should be updating your site’s content on a regular basis, you should probably arrange to have an editor on retainer to keep an eye on anything new before the world gets a look at it.

Avoid spellcheckers like the freakin’ plague

I know people who swear by them, but listen and listen good — spellcheckers are machines. And until SkyNet becomes self-aware or Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation travels back in time, the spellchecker machines will remain primitive dinosaurs that will never understand a writer’s feel, or nuance, or even colloquialisms. They’ll continue to put squiggly lines under anything and everything until you don’t know what to believe. Steer clear.

Am I a Grammar Nazi? Yes. Yes I am. I will defend the English language to my dying breath. And if you want your website to be taken seriously, you will too.

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