Ahhh the good old days of marked up reports in red pen ink. I can practically smell that stuff just thinking about it. These days you aren’t banging out a report on a typewriter with no error correction, instead you get a lovely little underline in red on your computer screen. What a handy tool to have, yet you’ve probably noticed that a lot of people didn’t seem to catch these when you browse through their websites littered with typos. Sometimes I actually write to them through their contact page if I feel it was a good enough site, but more often than not, I don’t. What do you do when you come across errors, especially multiple ones on a single site? Do you abandon it altogether or keep reading? If it was a retail site, did you still buy from them?
Building confidence in your audience is important. For me, coming across typos (especially on a retail site), makes me think they’re not legitimate. At the very least, they should have had an extra pair of eyes look it over for mistakes. Sometimes that little red underline doesn’t catch everything. I just happened to be on a site today that had a large quote in huge font in the middle of their article and they failed to put the last set of quotes on it. Little things like that, for those who notice, says something about you. It happened to be a graphic designer’s site…hopefully she is more focused on design than writing!
I’ve reached out to people in the past about helping them fix errors on their site because I knew they ran a great business and hated to see their website bring them down in any way. Let’s face it, if English isn’t your first language, it can be very difficult to get things right sometimes. I know my Spanish is nowhere near perfect and I would absolutely butcher a site if I tried to write it myself. If your audience is mainly English speaking people, then your site should reflect perfect English. Even if you are a native English speaker, have at least two other people look over your site or blog posts and offer up corrections. Often, it may be that your grammar is fine but your point isn’t coming across clearly. Re-wording or correcting run on sentences can make a huge difference in how your information resonates.
With the advent of Wix and DIY websites, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and rush through the creation process. You’re excited about getting your brand out there, but it takes a lot of time to get things right. Make sure your site flows in a logical manner, especially with the menu items. Be sure that your design is consistent and your fonts don’t change on each page. Don’t overdo the colour scheme and check out the effect of colour on your audience. It’s amazing how subliminal advertising works, or DOESN’T work with whatever it is you’re selling. For example, if you have a site that sells food, don’t use blue or purple if you want to appeal to people’s appetites. Red and yellow stimulate the taste buds and appetite (why do you think McDonald’s uses those colours).
If you need help, get in touch with me and let me offer up some suggestions for making your site better. Need someone to write out blog posts for you? It’s a major chore for a lot of folks who realize they need to create fresh content but can’t find the time or words to do it. Don’t let your site deter people because of some silly little mistakes that could have been avoided. A small investment can get you back on track and instill confidence in your audience!