I have a confession to make, I am a bad speller. I am not alone though. A leading technology advice helpline discovered that 28% of the 18-21yr olds using their service could not spell the word gadget and 3% of users aged 30+ also struggled with it.
This problem becomes exaggerated when you are selling or communicating via the internet because 99% of the time, it is done by written word. With more companies going online and a growing percentage of their sale through digital channels, having poor spelling and grammar on a website can become very damaging.
You may have seen a website where they were bragging about how “there offers” were the most competitive or using their product had numerous “benfits”. Buying online is a trust based interaction and many surfers are still and quite rightfully cautious about buying online. It is worth recognising that email spammers have universally poor spelling and bad grammar. With this in mind, it is no surprise that cautious shoppers will hear alarm bells at the sight of some inaccurate spelling.
Serial Entrepreneur, Charles Duncombe, did some research into one of his own websites www.tightsplease.co.uk The results were quite dramatic; after correcting a single spelling error on a critical page, he found that his revenues increased 100%. Mr Duncombe extrapolates that if you project these increases throughout the web, worldwide business is missing out on millions if not billions in revenue.
There are a few things that can be done to minimize the chance of spelling mistakes rearing their ugly heads on a website.
- Don’t become over reliant on spelling and grammar checkers
- Be consistent using American or British spelling
- Use a dictionary and thesaurus
- Read the final text out loud – a well-used writing trick
- Refer to this list of the 100 most often misspelled English words