The Importance of Proofreading

Written: 15-Nov-2011 | | Filed under: Conversions & Sales

You’ve heard me say before that SEO is not just about rankings. Rankings that don’t bring in traffic are worthless. And it’s not about traffic. Traffic that doesn’t convert is just a waste of bandwidth. It’s about conversions. Getting your site visitors to do whatever it is you most want them to do.

Absolutely, rankings — if they’re done right — do bring traffic. Traffic — if it’s properly targeted — can increase conversions. But neither of these are a slam dunk.

You can have the highest rankings for all your most desired and valuable keywords. You can get tons of traffic from customers who are positively drooling with eagerness to buy whatever you’ve got. But if your pages stink, none of that will do you all that much good.

There are a lot of things you can do to make your pages (and your site as a whole) better. But improvements don’t necessarily need to involve complicated testing, costly redesigns or months of laborious effort. Sometimes, all it takes is a spell checker and a dictionary.

Seriously. When you post to your blog or your website, how often do you run spell check against your article or product page before you post it? How often do you ask someone else (preferably a good speller who knows the rules of grammar) to read over your page before it goes live?

I know. You don’t think a typo or two will really matter all that much. Wrong.

I’m sitting in an professional conference right now. The presenter probably knows her stuff — she certainly gives that impression… as long as you only listen to her. If you actually look at her slides, on the other hand, your opinion might change. A headline copied across an entire section of her presentation had a prominent word misspelled. Obviously misspelled. And there were grammatical errors in several slides.

It’s hard for me to listen to what she’s saying. My eyes are drawn inexorably to that giant ALL CAPS misspelled word, over and over. I’ve probably missed a big chunk of her presentation because I’ve got an internal dialog going: “Is it possible she really doesn’t know how to spell that word? How can she not know? How embarrassing! Wonder if she was a last-minute addition to the speaker roster? Maybe she had to put her presentation together quickly. Or maybe she’s just not that good at this. Hmmm…”

The same thing can happen with your site. You may think it doesn’t matter if it’s just every now and then. But even one or two misspellings or grammar errors will stand out. Customers will notice. And, like me, they will be distracted by the errors, which takes their attention away from your offer.

Look, it’s hard enough getting customers to buy from you as it is. Don’t make it harder on yourself than it needs to be. Don’t give them an excuse to get distracted.

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