People ask me ‘how can you make my content excellent?’ I say: let’s park excellent for a few minutes . Let’s first make it credible.
What do I mean? Well prepare to stifle a yawn, but I’m talking about the grammatical gaffes, spelling slips and punctuation problems that lurk within your website. You have to find them, and kill them stone dead. Never to return.
Oh, come on. In the world of text speak, people are more relaxed about this, aren’t they? What they want is a winning proposition. And if you spell that wining, they won’t be. If you see what I mean. They just want top product.
Well, maybe. But when you’re fighting for every eyeball, why give potential customers any reason to head for the exit? And there is a significant number (a majority?) of clients who do notice, and do not appreciate, sloppy syntax.
Getting these fundamentals wrong breaks two of the golden rules of copywriting. First, always know who you’re writing for, your audience. It’s what they, not you, think about correct spelling and grammar that matters. And second, be clear about the key signals you want to give. Some of the most powerful messages can be unintended, like “our service will be like our website – slipshod and amateurish”. Ouch.
Perversely, I find creative agencies are among the more persistent offenders in this regard. I can only surmise this is because they are (a) primarily staffed by people under 30 (constant texters) who (b) frequently have a generationally reduced attention span and (c) like to express their creativity enthusiastically, at times almost in a stream of consciousness. Too often, this results in misplaced apostrophes, missing words, inappropriate capitalisation and shoddy spelling.
If you eradicate these blights from your site, and keep them out, your content will at least be credible. You will have reached base camp. Then you can start the ascent to excellence.