An interesting article on the BBC News site the other day discussed the impact of spelling mistakes on online sales.
An entrepreneur, Charles Duncombe, noted that “sales figures suggest misspellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website’s credibility” – especially when one only gets “about six seconds” to capture the viewer’s attention on a website. He quotes a proof point: after a spelling error was corrected on one of his company’s websites, revenue doubled.
The article added:
William Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, says that in some informal parts of the internet, such as Facebook, there is greater tolerance towards spelling and grammar. “However, there are other aspects, such as a home page or commercial offering that are not among friends and which raise concerns over trust and credibility,” said Professor Dutton.
So where’s the acceptable limit: one proofreading error in the document? Ten? One hundred? A thousand? At what point does a reader’s tolerance for “the occasional mistake being inevitable” and “nobody’s perfect” compromise your credibility – and are you prepared to take the risk?