Why Mistakes Happen
The English language is not an easy one.
It provides pitfalls galore for many people,
regardless of their intelligence and/or education.
Here we’ve moved on to what sometimes causes even the most intelligent and well-educated business owners to make what I call “grammar glitches.” These are minor errors that can easily deter website visitors from staying on a website. If only they would stay, they might discover the excellent quality of the goodies that you are offering.
Time can be Your Enemy
For most of us, running a business means that time is in short supply. Our weekly, monthly and yearly plans may call for a 36 hour daily cycle, but we are on the wrong planet for that. Our hurried fingers may have fumbled at the keyboard and spelled “whether” when we are thinking “weather” but we don’t notice it. Commas and other forms of punctuation play tricks on our perception.
Every attempt at prioritizing and scheduling “website grammar and typo checking” othe to-do list may leave that item far below the mid-point, and careful proof-reading takes a lot of time. The list of difficulties goes on and on.
One of the advantages of having me as your website copy editor is that once it is on my calendar, concern about your website’s grammar and “typos” need no longer occupy blocks of time on yours.
Your Perspective? Or Theirs?
Perspective may also be important. Quite naturally, most website owners see their website from their own perspective, but that may not be the perspective, and may not use the vocabulary, that website visitors find comfortably welcoming. (I recently saw a very well written website that told all about the history and achievements of the would-be business owner coach, but provided not one word about website visitors and how they could benefit by hiring her.)
The English Language Itself
There are also specific problems caused by the English language that can trip us up and contribute to our word words being less easy to read than we had intended. It is frequently illogical. Homophones, acronyms, gender issues… these are just a few of the many traps that language can set for us. As a result, our wording, intended to attract, may fail to do so. Because of the wide variety of environments in which I have lived and worked over the years, I am usually able to help with this when needed. (I say “usually” but the truth is that over the course of several years I have never yet found a website content problem that I could not solve to the satisfaction of the owner.”)
The Words Matter page clarifies how seriously mistakes in website content can negatively affect businesses. If your page is not converting as well as you had hoped, this may provide an explanation. On that page, a sub-link takes you to the responses to a brief survey that I posted on Facebook some time ago. It vividly demonstrates how people react when they encounter grammar glitches and typos on a website. Those responses are, for the most part, not what any website owner would hope for.