Proofreading is good for your health
Yes, you did read that headline correctly.
I’ll be the first to admit that a healthy diet and physical activity are way above proofreading when it comes to looking after your long-term health. However, I have had a couple of discussions in recent weeks about the link between sloppy writing and a perceived health risk. Let me explain.
About three years ago I visited a hotel website with a view to staying there. At first sight the website was very appealing – good photographs, attractive lay-out and pages that linked well. The problems began when I started to read the content. Oh dear. My perception of the site, and therefore of the hotel, went downhill rapidly. There were about 50 spelling and grammatical errors strewn across the 7 pages on the website.
I have recounted this experience to various people since then and the reaction is nearly always a negative one towards the hotel. The most recent conversation I had with someone led to the typical comment: “If the website is like that, then what is the kitchen like?” Comments like this reflect my original reaction to the errors on the website.
As a result of their inability to proofread the content on their website, or get someone to check it for them, they are giving rise to the suggestion that their business doesn’t take attention to detail seriously and, extrapolated to the kitchen, that could lead to food poisoning. A bit of a leap from a lower case “s” in Full scottish breakfast, but once the reader has a negative thought it is hard to regain their attention. When it comes to online activity, attention spans are extremely short.
Getting your website proofread might not improve your physical health, but it could prevent your potential customers drifting off into thoughts of salmonella, botulism and hopping across to a competitor’s website.
Errors on a website aren’t good, but they can at least be corrected in the next few minutes. You don’t have that luxury when you’ve just had a box of leaflets delivered or a book published.
I recently proofread someone’s website and pointed out that there were two different spellings of his name on the website. “Aw, you are kidding me!” “Nope.” When I went on to tell him that his leaflet had the same two spellings of his name he added another word to his reply. The website is now corrected, but the errors on the leaflets will be there until he orders a revised run of the leaflets. An altogether more costly mistake.
Whether it’s a website, business card, leaflet, book or sign for the side of your vehicle, it pays to get it properly proofread by someone external. Don’t let a sloppy spelling error lead to lost business.
I can provide the attention to detail that will stop your potential customers drifting away and save your business money.