Personal versus Personnel? Does it really matter?
Why does your business need to proofread its website content?
One cannot help but believe, or feel, that the desire for more time in our ever modern society of text messaging and Twitter have discouraged people from caring about spelling and grammar by forcing them to compact their sentences. But, something as simple as a single letter written in error can change the context of what you want to get across to your customer, affecting your sales and costing you money! Remember your client, or prospective client, is judging you from the quality of your website content, the document you distribute, or even the menu board outside your restaurant.
85% of your client’s judgement is made by a first impression!
An innocent typo can cause your potential client to deliberate your precision in executing what you promise to deliver! If you can’t be bothered to take the care to ensure your content is accurate, can you really ensure a smooth transaction for your customer?
What about the inconvenience of mistakes in a contract? A mistake in a contract could be costly on several grounds, and at worst could make the contract null and void.
Should I take on the help of a proofreading service?
At a cost, a proofreading service will scrutinise your website content, document or any written piece of work you have created with a professional clear mind and fresh eyes before you send to print or publish live. They will check for typing or spelling errors, grammar errors and inconsistencies and include the correct use of punctuation marks. Furthermore they should ensure your written piece is correct in its context, layout and remains consistent in its message and tone for your target market.
What can I do if my budget is tight? You can proof your own document or content quite effectively yourself by remembering to at least check and act on the following:
- Correct all grammatical errors and ensure correct grammar is consistently used throughout your content.
- Correct all punctuation errors, and insert correct punctuation marks where required.
- Make sure your content and context is consistent throughout.
- Check the layout is consistent throughout.
- Check that blatant errors, e.g. company name, are eradicated and corrected.
Five quick and easy guidelines to help you proofread:
- As simple as it sounds, have a tidy desk – you are your own worst interrupter if things catch your eye!
- Always proof from a hard copy. Avoid proofing from the computer screen as it is straining on the eyes and more difficult to add edits (especially when a team of staff are helping to proof your content).
- Proofreading backwards is ideal for checking spelling and punctuation as the words are seen outside the context of the sentence. Begin at the end of your piece of work and work back through the article, document or content.
- Proofread for one type of error at a time. One proofread for spelling and punctuation, then another for grammatical errors. Thirdly, do a factuality and consistency check.
- Do the maths. Check your prices versus your codes and promotions.
Remember, spelling and grammar do matter today because if you cannot write clearly, people won't care what you are saying, or selling!
Article by Natalie Eastaughphoto credit: sj_sanders via photopin cc