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Business Start Up Advice

Why u nead a proof reeder

By 20 September 2012No Comments

You have 7 seconds to make someone stay on your website. When time is of such essence you really can’t afford to make any mistakes; that first impression means everything.

What makes a great first impression:

  • Professional and stylish design
  • Dynamic content
  • Creative copy

What ruins it:

  • Spelling mistakes
  • Grammar errors
  • Typos

These small errors make a big difference. First of all, it’s off-putting for any reader to spot mistakes. Second of all, it is incredibly unprofessional and (depending on the mistake) can seriously damage your business’s credibility. Thirdly, these mistakes can end up obscuring the clarity of your message – which needs to be crystal clear if you want to convert people reading your website into customers.

Our Quick Tips Checklist

The great thing is it’s incredibly easy to check! You don’t need to hire a professional proofreader. Any trustworthy friend who is good at concentrating and noticing small details will do. Why don’t you ask someone to use this handy checklist when reading through your website?

  1. Is it easy to read?
  2. Does it flow logically from one point to another?
  3. Is it easy to understand what every sentence is trying to say?
  4. Are all the technical/specialist words spelt correctly?
  5. Do you think all the punctuation is being used correctly?
  6. Are the paragraph breaks in the right places?
  7. Is the tone consistent?
  8. Is it appropriate for your target market/age group?

Remember clarity is key! If you’re not confident using different punctuation then just leave it out! Stick to simple, basic sentences. One sentence, one point, and a full stop at the end.

And once you’ve had your friend read through it, ask them to summarise to you what the main point is that you’re trying to make. Hopefully they’ll reply with one of your USPs. If not, take a chance to redraft.

Recommended Reading/ for the reference shelf

If you know that writing isn’t your strong suit and want to improve (perhaps, like me, you were never taught grammar at secondary school), or you just want to be able to quickly check when you should use a semi-colon instead of a colon, then I’d recommend The Student’s Guide to Writing: Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar by John Peck and Martin Coyle. It has a great index for looking up particular problems, and if you read it cover to cover I’d almost guarantee you’d see a marked difference in the clarity of your writing.