Are You Losing Customers Because of Typos?

Overlooking simple steps such as proofreading and grammar can affect the credibility of your website. How are you protecting yourself?

A potential customer on the internet has a disadvantage over a customer walking into a brick and mortar store. Whereas the physical store has the credibility of location, physical presence (you can find them if there's a problem) as well as community reputation, a customer on the internet can only rely on your words to determine if they can trust you or your services. To do so they judge the credibility of a site by a variety of criteria.

Do Customers Really Care?

A Consumer Report by WebWatch looked at the factors that influence a person's opinion of the credibility of various websites. The report indicated that although the look of a site had the most influence on a visitor, the tone of writing and functionality of the site also affected the visitor's opinion of whether a site was credible or not.

Simple steps such as providing clear information, checking that links are working, using proper grammar and checking for typos are often overlooked in the excitement of building a website or writing a sales letter and driving traffic to it. Although the site might look wonderful, what impression is left on the customer when links are dead and the copy is poorly written or hard to follow?

It's Easy to Fix

By reviewing your site from the viewpoint of a customer, ask yourself; is the information is easy to understand? Do the relevant links work? And is the navigation of the site easy to follow? Since website surfers are known for short attention spans, and marketers spend much time and effort getting them to a website, you do not want them to leave because of avoidable mistakes.

Easy reading also relates to simple color schemes. Black print on a white background is almost always the best choice. Although funky or trendy colors may work well for attention, they can cause strain to the eyes of the viewer when used for copy. Save the color for other areas.

Also choose easy to read fonts like Arial, Times New Roman etc. Fancy fonts are difficult to read and may be distorted on different browsers.

Get an Outsider's Viewpoint

Naturally, it is difficult to be completely objective about our own work, so ask a friend or family member to check things out for you. If they are similar to your target market, even better. Don't ask someone who will not be honest. Remember, your business depends on your contact with customers. It is better to see where your copy needs improvement from the beginning than to miss out on customers who were put off because of mistakes, bad links or unclear information.

If you do not have someone who can help you, you can also hire the services of a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are available for many specialties, as well as general business needs such as proofreading.

Whichever you choose, do take pride in your writing and show respect of your customer's time and intelligence by providing the best information you can for them.

Shannon Emmanuel owns and operates 'Your Virtual Assistant'. Great service and reasonable rates for the small business owner:

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