Post anything on the subject of grammar and spelling on social media, especially relating to business, and it is guaranteed to attract at least double the comments of any other post, if not more.
Not only that, but the discussion can quickly become quite heated with some participants adamant that grammar matters while others are equally adamant that it doesn’t because language is dynamic and evolves.
Clearly, it is an issue that arouses passion even in an age where it is said almost as frequently that thanks to text messaging and the use of abbreviations and emoticons we are less exercised about accurate grammar and spelling.
However, when a business’ marketing relies on the content of its website, its blogs and its regular emails or correspondence, it still pays to be scrupulous about such details. Many readers notice the grammatical errors more than the actual message.
Why are grammar and spelling so important?
Firstly, the website may be the first impression a potential customer will have of a company they may be considering buying from or doing business with.
If the text is littered with mistakes the new viewer may quite reasonably ask if the business does not take the time to proof read and correct errors how reliable will be their quality and service. Like with job applicants, an easy way of refining a shortlist of potential suppliers is to discard those with poor grammar and spelling.
Secondly, according to research, most websites will have less than 15 seconds to persuade a new visitor to stay longer and when online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe measured sales revenue per visitor on a website in 2011 he found that it was twice as high after an error was corrected. This still holds true, more so with the rise of website browsing via mobile phone.
Lastly, remember that search engines like Google are much more sophisticated these days. They consider spelling when they display the search results. Content with poor grammar is also turned to lower positions, which affect the overall ranking of a website. Google itself classifies web pages on different reading levels.
So how does a business ensure that its marketing materials are all perfectly grammatical with correct spelling?
Firstly, take a break before proof reading, beware of online spelling checkers, they are not good at understanding context and better still, get someone who has not been involved in the writing to check the text and preferably use a professional proof reader to give it proper scrutiny.
It is not expensive and it may make all the difference between OK and excellent sales figures.