27 replies
Hello everyone.

I have a very basic and simple question - On a scale from 1 to 10, how much does it affect a company's credibility if there are spelling, punctuation or mistakes on their website? Would it influence your decision negatively, to the point where you would recommend NOT to make business with said company?
#fresh #grammar #meat #punctuation #spelling
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Laura Varon View Post

    On a scale from 1 to 10, how much does it affect a company's credibility if there are spelling, punctuation or mistakes on their website?
    For a copywriter?

    10.

    End of story. I won't hire a copywriter who doesn't have a flawless command of English language, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I'll look the other way on certain colloquialisms... like, say, ending a sentence with a preposition or starting one with a conjunction or even the dreaded one-sentence paragraph... but you'd damn well better know how to use it for effect.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hesster
    While it would depend on the product, I'd have to say extremely negative also because IMHO it looks extremely unprofessional. If it were very minor (like say a silent e creeping in as a typo once or twice) then I'd probably ignore it, but I'd still wonder why it wasn't caught. If the product is something physical I'd say a 7, if it's for an info product, I'd say the impression would be much more negative. Probably a 9 or 10, because I'd expect the quality of the text in the product to be similar.

    For any type of writing services, I'd say spelling, grammar, and punctuation are a real deal breaker. You can go to certain other sites on the internet and find advertisements from content writers who are obviously not native English speakers. These people can barely string together a sentence, let alone write an entire article or (God forbid) write copy.

    I mean, really... Would you hire the person responsible for this?

    Online dating is being popular in this demanding world. Nobody has time to just looking the dates in the newspapers only, so you can find out your date very easily via internet. The long term relations are only limited to few peoples. A survey has shown that over 50% of the marriages are ending with divorce so it is very important to look out for the new date and the advices to make the date much effective. Internet can help the people to go through these things.
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  • Profile picture of the author whizkey
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author Global Greg
      If you have spelling and punctuation errors in this
      day and age, then it shows the customer that you
      are just reckless and lazy.

      There is spell check on everything, even this box
      I am typing in now.

      If I see somebody with bad spelling, I assume they're
      just reckless and who wants to give money for a service
      to a person who is reckless and careless, not me!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Lam
    Mmmm, fresh meat... "delicioso! yum-yum-yum-yum!"

    That'll be a 10 for me as well. I hate having spelling errors on a site. I find them in professional books, newspaper and magazines. The biggest turn off is from an unproven marketer/seller. Folks that get away with it are folks like Frank Kern and Mike Filsaime. Even Mark Joyner and Armand Morin gets away with it, but not the rest of us.

    Spelling errors, grammatical errors and so on can kill the sell almost 100% of the time. If I came across a site like that, I'd turn away without even thinking about it. It's just automatic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Lam
    Well, what I do is after a sales letter is completed is I open it up in FF and then copy all text. I then open up Microsoft Word and paste everything there. I then scroll down and look for words that have the red squiggly line underneath.

    Bam, there's your spell checker.
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  • Profile picture of the author snowtigress
    Ooh, that would be... 10. If a company can't produce a perfectly written page, then it doesn't bode well for their product either. Whatever they're selling could be just as sloppy! -- NOT worth the investment.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    Yes, I think it would affect my ability to do business with that particular company because if they are sloppy in one area they will be sloppy in another area. I always triple check my work before I publish it on line.
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  • Profile picture of the author pritesh
    10 for me..
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  • Profile picture of the author mavischan
    Originally Posted by Matt Jutras View Post

    Very negative because it shows that the company obviously doesn't care enough when presenting themselves to the general public.

    And if the company doesn't even care enough about themselves to at least appear professional, than what kind of quality could the customers possibly expect?
    agree. bad presentation = bad service
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  • Profile picture of the author Revolves
    Well, I'd agree with others. Unless the company has already established credibility in my mind, the mistake would be quite unforgiving. But, if the product is good and I know the company/people well, then I feel it's worth an email informing them about the problem.

    I've seen really bad mistakes being made (which I emailed the owners about). One of them was XSite Pro's site, wherein the order button in the homepage wasn't working. The second was another site (a quite popular one) whose support email was invalid. I figured out the "correct" support email and told them about the problem.

    It's thus not surprising for me to see blunders made all around. But hey, we're all humans.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by WordPro View Post

        Encylycopaedia / Encyclopedia
        Um... I don't think it's THAT different.

        I have trouble with the British/American English thing, because while I'm not British myself, I do tend to prefer the British spellings for reasons I just plain don't understand. I spent some time in England and Ireland, picked up the UK vernacular to some degree, and now I have to correct my own writing because about 80% of it is UK English instead of US English.

        For example, I write "manoeuvre" and "programme" most of the time, but not all of the time... and it just drives people bonkers.
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        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaka
    Poor grammar and sentence structure are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I recently read a blog touting a product where the writer wrote by instead of buy to indicate a purchase and used the word to instead of too to indicate also. It left a credibility gap and, since the quality, attractiveness, and accuracy of your webpage is all your potential customer has to judge you by, any mistake can cost a sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kirah
    Originally Posted by Laura Varon View Post

    Hello everyone.

    I have a very basic and simple question - On a scale from 1 to 10, how much does it affect a company's credibility if there are spelling, punctuation or mistakes on their website? Would it influence your decision negatively, to the point where you would recommend NOT to make business with said company?
    10 for me as well. I absolutely HATE to see careless spelling errors. Especially if they are in print ads. I've been known to call and berate companies who insult my eyes with this nonsense.

    I definitely have trouble changing between American/British spelling. I generally use the British spelling because that is how I was taught (being from the Caribbean). But I worked for an American company, proofing catalogues for an American audience and sometimes these "errors" would go unnoticed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    I can only speak from personal experience... however...

    From split tests I have done, unless there are errors all over the place, it doesn't seem to be that much of an issue.

    Far more important (again, based on my testing) is scanability, empathy, a logical layout, a killer headline, the "greased slide" approach... then things like fonts, background colors, headline colors, johnson boxes, images... etc etc etc.

    I assume (haven't tested it) that a very educated market... for example, English professors... may be a little more sensitive to this kind of thing, but in my testing it i so far down on the testing food chain to be more or less a moot point.

    That's not to say you SHOULD make mistakes... indeed, I do my best to ensure that my work is completely error-free... but sometimes things slip through the net.

    I'm just saying that in the grand scheme of things spelling/grammar errors don't really affect response all that much... at least based on my tests.

    -Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author Laura Varon
    Oh Dear Lord, I had completely forgotten about this post... I've read everyone's replies and I'd like to thank you for your thoughts. The question itself can be answered in one sentence, if not one word, so I appreciate that you took the time to elaborate
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Kent
    Yes, depending on the kind of users, it doesn´t have a bad impact. But anyway, you pay for professionality. So fire him...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Steel
    8 for me...
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  • Profile picture of the author reedcopywriting
    I used to work for a semi-famous internet marketer who actually wanted us to add in a few errors into our copy because he felt that it made the website more "down-to-earth" and less intimidating.

    I disagree.

    Of course, I DO think that short paragraphs and a conversational tone IS effective - even if you have to break a few rules.
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