Does grammar matter? You bet it does! Start your new year off on the write foot. Did you catch the mistake in the title and first sentence? Think that most people won’t? Well they do. Multiple studies have shown that your potential customer is a discerning consumer and will notice spelling and grammatical errors on your website, blogs or in your promotional materials. More importantly, for many, that error could be the deciding factor in whether they choose your services over those of another. It turns out your Grade 10 English teacher was correct. Grammar matters and accuracy counts.
We’ve talked before about the importance of precision and clarity when it comes to language use. We’ve also addressed how much of a challenge that can be. English is an oft times confusing shambles of a language with many words (say root and route for example) sounding exactly the same but having different meanings. These are called homonyms. Still others, called synonyms, offer a plethora of choice to portray pretty much the exact same thing. A great example might be the variety of words used to describe being “tired” including: weary, exhausted, fatigued and lethargic. With all this to consider, plus spelling and sentence structure rules, it can be overwhelming.
- To provide perspective, numerous studies have found that on average, better than 60% of your customers will notice if you have a spelling or grammatical error on your website.
- Of those that notice errors, an almost equal number, 59%, state they would not use that company because of the errors.
- Over 70% of potential customers report that spelling and grammar errors demonstrate “an obvious lack of care” meaning consumers consider the company to be “unprofessional.”
As I report in seminars I offer on Communications Strategies for Entrepreneurs, industry averages suggest varyingly that people spend a total of between 10 and 30 seconds on a webpage. Jacob Nielsen states: “unless your writing is extraordinarily clear and focused, little of what you say on your website will get through to customers.” As a business, you need to consider that if that 30 seconds was spent noticing spelling errors or the improper use of grammar you will be memorable but for all the wrong reasons!
Start your new year on the right note. Book some time to review all of your promotional materials, your website and blogs. Have someone else do it for you. A second set of eyes often catches what you might have missed. Always be sure to run your words through spell-check. It’s amazing how many don’t and yet, this simple step alone would save many a poor speller from the future expense of having to re-edit website content or reprint promotional materials. Running a business is expensive enough. Doing the same thing twice because of a spelling or grammatical error is a costly error that can be avoided easily. Write it right – because grammar matters.
As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed? Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.
Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.
Writing Right For You
Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!