In one afternoon last week, I stumbled upon two websites with unprofessional copy. Although both were professional in appearance, showed good lay out, and were mobile friendly both had poor grammar and misspelled words in the copy. One of them had seven misspelled words in three short paragraphs on their about page. One of the misspellings was the city where they were headquartered. So, have your read your website?

How Does Poor Copy Look to a Customer?  

Obviously, this doesn’t speak well of the organization’s attention to detail, inspire trust, or make anyone want to jump up and purchase their product. Would you? I not only saw two cases of this in one afternoon, I find website copy errors nearly every day. Heck, we even had one. We used stationary when we meant stationery. A visitor to our site found the error and told us the mistake didn’t inspire confidence. I understand. My questions is how does this happen, and how can it be avoided?

In our case, Spell Check wouldn’t have caught the improper usage, which means our human editing system was lacking. The TKO editing system is as follows:

  • Write without editing
  • Let the copy sit for 24 hours
  • Reread
  • Read one sentence at a time beginning at the end of the copy
  • Proof with Grammarly
  • Read and review one more time before publishing

Check it and Check it Again  

The errors I found on the two websites weren’t homophones, words that sound alike, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They were common misspellings that Spell Check should have caught. My guess is that Spell Check wasn’t available.

If that’s the case, don’t trust your spelling ability alone on something as critical as your website. If nothing else copy and paste the content into a word document and check it there. Or better yet use Grammarly or other copy editing apps.

It might also have been that the owner’s cousin’s new son-in-law wrote the copy and got college credit for it, or the intern, or the office manager, or… The cure for this is to hire professionals to create your web page content or at least retain a professional editor.

Don’t Leave it to Chance

We made a web copy mistake using stationary when we meant stationery. It can happen to anyone, but the key is not let it continue. Don’t let it fester and chase prospective customers away. If the copy on your site wasn’t written by a professional, take a good long look at it, or better yet hire a copy editor to review the content. If you’d like us to look over your site Contact Us. We’ll try not to overlook anything when we look it over.

Unsplash Photos Photo by Hal Gatewood