Can you spot typos and spelling mistakes? Do they even really matter in the modern age of text speak?
Yes, they do.
Take this simple phrase. One little apostrophe can give it 3 different meanings.
looking after our clients matters
It’s important to us to give good service.
looking after our clients’ matters
We take care of their affairs.
looking after our client’s matters
As above, but the apostrophe there means we only have one client!
Take our proof reading test below, and see how you score.
We all have TLAs (three letter acronyms) in our business, and words and phrases that mean nothing to people outside our world. When we talk with colleagues, we drop these into conversation quite casually. In fact, we don’t even realise we do it. It’s important that your website readers understand what you are talking about, so let’s bust some of that jargon.
Here’s an example:
When you get your eyes tested, you probably refer to it as “going to the opticians” and that is what you will Google.
But actually, it’s the optometrist who tests your eyes. He will write a prescription, and the optician will fit your glasses with that prescription. You may also be referred an opthalmologist – a medical doctor specialising in eye surgery. Think: surgeon ; GP ; pharmacist, and the eyecare equivalent: opthalmologist ; optometrist ; optician.
Stripping the jargon from your website text will make it more readable to the public, and your visitors will be less inclined to leave your pages. Stripping the jargon from your keywords will also make your website more likely to be found by the search engines.
Can’t think what to say? Don’t know where to start?
Talking about yourself is one of the hardest things to do. Your business is very much a part of you, so talking about your business and what you can offer is just like talking about yourself. You may not know what to say, or worry that you sound a bit too much like you’re blowing your own trumpet. Or that everyone already knows what you have to say. You’ll be surprised. Things that are blindingly obvious in our own businesses are only that way because we’ve been doing it for years. There was a time way back, when you didn’t know stuff. This is what your customers want to hear. And blowing your own trumpet? Go ahead, do it. They want to know you’re good at what you do.
And we can help. Over the years, we have learned to listen in a different way. Just by chatting, we can pick up the really important points about your business, especially your unique selling points. You won’t even realise you’re telling us everything we need to write good quality engaging copy for you for your website.
Oh, and our trumpet – we’re pretty good at talking to search engines too.
Here’s the test
The first gull below looks fine, until you look at the other gull. Then the error is obvious. If the second gull hadn’t been there would you have noticed? Some errors jump out of the page at you; others are harder to spot. Our brains processes what we are expecting, rather than what our eyes actually see. Can you spot the 10 mistakes we’ve built into the text below? Roll your mouse over the text for explanations
YourIn this context, we mean you are and so should be written you’re reading this thinking theirIn this context, we mean they are and so should be written they’re going to ofYou’re right! we have written loads of mistakes into the text. Because we have, you should be using have, not of. written lots of mistake’sPlurals don’t have apostrophes. Apostrophes indicate ownership or that there is some text missing, usually a letter. It should read mistakes into this txtTxt is not a real word. Save txt for texts and use text in text.. canThis is the start of a new sentence and should have a capital letter. It’s fine to make all your titles lowercase, as this softens the effect to the user, but sentences in text should always start with a capital. uU is not a real word. Save u for texts and use you in text. spot them all? AreThe sentence here is about the team, not the team members. Team is singular, so requires is rather than are. your team doing any better? ShudShud is not a real word. Save shud for texts and use should in text. you ofThink of the term should’ve. It’s short for should have. Although we may pronounce it should of, we should have used should have. done better? Does it even matter? ItsIt’s is short for it is. Its means owned by it. In this context you need it’s. not an exam.
You’re reading this thinking they’re going to have written lots of mistakes into this text. Can you spot them all? Is your team doing any better? Should you have done better? Does it even matter? It’s not an exam.
beyond red pen
Did you get 11 out of 10? If not, you may need our proof reading skills. It’s not just putting red pen through typos and grammatical errors. We can check for inconsistencies in information across different pages; we can check you are using the same fonts, sizes and colours throughout your website, and most importantly, we can ensure you are giving your customers the right message.