The Mueller Writing Blog

Blog posts, eBooks and other content marketing resources written by Heather Mueller

Easy Copy Fix to Keep Visitors from Hitting the Back Button

I’m about to share one of the most overlooked, yet easy, ways to fix poorly performing web copy.

Small businesses overlook it. Entrepreneurs forget about it. Even many digital marketers and agencies overlook it.

What is it?

Proofreading.

Depending on your target audience, one typo or glaring grammatical error could be all it takes for an otherwise potential customer to hit the back button.

We can all be forgiven the occasional blip. The high-tech life is fast-paced and we’re often “typing” on small, keyboard-less touchpad screens. I get it.

But we’re talking about the web. Not a printing press. You can edit and update. From anywhere. Any time.

If you want your customers and clients to see you as credible and professional, uncorrected typos and grammatical errors aren’t going to do you any favors. I’ve seen friends post screengrabs on Facebook and publicly ridicule grammar blips via Twitter feeds.

So before you hit “publish,” have someone, anyone with a solid knowledge of spelling and grammar, proofread your web copy. (Here’s a tip for DIYers: My favorite resource for proofreading is Patricia O’Conner’s “Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English.”) Then audit your pages and posts regularly for overlooked mistakes.

Otherwise, you might end up with credibility-busting bloopers like these:

Proofreading could have caught this web copy mistake.

Doh! Subject-verb agreement is crucial in headlines. This one should read: “Here ARE a few things to know about me.”

Grammar goofs like this hurt credibility.

A good proofreader would have caught the misplaced “s” at the end of the word “mean.”

This blog writer needs a copyediting.

How did that “r” go unnoticed by Search Engine Watch’s blog editors? A lack of copyediting, no doubt.

Or these, which should have been triple-checked before going to print:

Always proofread!

Was the Ross marketing team intentionally breaking the rules of English grammar for creativity? Or did they fail to correct “everyday,” an adjective, to the appropriate, two-word expression of time: “every day”?

Grammar mistakes like these are embarrassing for businesses.

When this photo was posted to Facebook, dozens of people immediately “liked” and commented on it…but not in a positive way. “My tax dollars paid for this sign,” posted one person. “More than one set of eyes saw this during the process of it being made,” commented another.

Fortunately when mistakes like these are made on your website, you can find and fix them with a simple content audit. Better yet, find a good proofreader before you hit “publish.”

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