Without a doubt, my favorite aspect of online marketing is the copy writing. Big surprise coming from the guy writing the blog, right? I love analyzing the way people use words to try to get other people to do things. I love learning new things so that I can pretend I know enough about them to write authoritatively on a company’s homepage. And, let’s be honest here, I love the sense of smug superiority I get when I catch someone’s spelling or grammar error. (The more obvious it is, the more power I gain!)*
With that in mind, I’d like to say a few things about the wonderful world of words.
Language is a funny thing. We all use it. Most of us use it every single day. It seems like that should make us all experts, right? Unfortunately, there is a fatal flaw in that logic. My band teacher used to tell us “practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” (I think he was trying to get that phrase down perfectly, because he practiced it on us a LOT!) The same is true with the language we use. My little brother has started every text conversation since he started texting with the word “Hay.” While it is certainly possible that he does it just because he knows it drives me crazy, I think it’s more likely that he has used the homophone for so long that he forgets it’s incorrect.
In the internet age we live in, poor grammar and spelling is everywhere. These mistakes often perpetuate each other, so won person seas some thing like “political poles” and just roles with it. (See what I did there?) As a result, many websites are riddled with mistakes, and for those who know better, that site’s credibility drops through the floor.
On the flip side, there are plenty of cases wherein a mistake is made enough (sometimes on purpose, but not always) that it is actually legitimized. There is probably no better example than Google, which is actually a misspelling of the word googol. Guess which one my spell check just flagged? (Hint: the one that’s been around since 1938) To further muddy the waters, there are common shorthand acronyms (lol, brb) and the increasingly ubiquitous Leetspeak (pwnd, n00b), which, depending on their target audience, can actually give a site more credibility.
In the end, the thing to remember is to never take your site copy for granted. It is always worth the extra time/money to ensure (not insure) that your message is clear and the language you use is both engaging and builds credibility. When you communicate well, conversions will skyrocket, and that’s just good for business.
*Any spelling or grammar errors I ever make are there on purpose, just to test you, and thus can’t be used to increase your own smug superiority.