3 Places Where Bad Grammar Can Hurt Your Website, and How to Fix It
There is plenty of research confirming that the perception customers have of a company is directly affected by the quality and clarity of its written communications. In other words, if your corporate and marketing material have grammar or spelling mistakes your brand is suffering from it and you might not even know about it!
Below you will find three places where you need to pay extra attention to avoid those mistakes, and after that we are going to go over some basic strategies you can use to fix the problem for good.
- Your website
The first thing consumers do these days when they want to research a specific product or company is to search on Google for its name and then browse the website to gather more information. Needless to say that if such consumer finds grammar or punctuation mistakes all over the place he will conclude that your product or service might not have such a high quality, after all you don’t seem to be able to accomplish even a trivial task like proofreading your website content.
- Your emails
Even though email communications have a more personal nature, they are still expected to be written in clear, correct English. Many websites rely exclusively on email to provide customer support, to interact with suppliers and so on. In those cases making sure that your email messages do not contain grammar and spelling mistakes is especially important.
There is another reason why you should pay extra attention to your email messages: once you hit the “send” button you won’t have another chance to fix present mistakes, even the most glaring ones.
- Your social media posts
These days social media is an essential part of any marketing mix, and ecommerce websites are no exception. Most social media platforms, however, allow for users to reply to you or post comments on your corporate publications. Guess what? Any English mistake that leaks through will probably get its fair share of criticism and possibly ridicule by your followers. This will amplify the number of people who is aware of your careless writing, damaging your brand and compromising your social media efforts.
Strategies to fix the problem
Now we are going to talk about strategies you can use to avoid having the problems described above in the long-term.
- Educate your team
Consider having a meeting or sending a memo to all your team about the importance of using clear, correct English whenever writing content for your company. You can also create a list of resources, including websites and books, that team members are expected to read or at least browse once in a while.
You can start this task by choosing a style guide. For example, the BBC News style guide is freely available online and you can ask your team members to go over it once to make sure that they know the basic rules and will therefore avoid the most common grammar, spelling and style mistakes.
- Consider hiring an editor
Having an editor who can go over all your written communications to make sure no mistakes have slipped through can be a smart choice. You can accomplish this even if you have a small budget, for instance hiring a freelancer who is going to edit and proofread only your website and marketing materials. If you have a larger budget hiring a part-time or full-time editor might be a good idea.
As for where you can hire such editor, I recommend freelance hubs like Upwork.com. There you can post your exact requirements and budget and then freelancers will bid to get your business.
- Use software
These days we have a wide range of software and tools that can help to identify and fix even the smallest and hard-to-find English mistakes. Grammarly.com, for instance, will identify not only spelling and grammar mistakes but also confusing sentences and style mistakes. You can also use plug-ins for your browser to make sure that such corrections will also apply to your email communications and social media postings.
One important point to keep in mind and to tell your team is that a spell checker is not bulletproof. Very frequently a mistake happens even when the word in question is correctly spelled, and for this reason it will go unnoticed by the spell checker. Hence the importance of using specialized software like the one recommended above.