Go and read some content published by Apple.
There’s a good chance it will be free of any errors: no dodgy spellings, bad grammar or other inconsistencies in the writing. Why? Because most large corporations have editorial workflows that mean content is checked meticulously before it’s released to the public.
Imagine if Apple were trying to sell you their new iPhone for £700 with a sales message that included typos. It’s unthinkable. Apple’s reputation is too valuable for them to tolerate such errors.
OK, you’re not Apple. But I bet you still care about representing your business well.
People buy from businesses they can trust. Part of that trust is based on the impression that visitors get from your website. This leads to a simple conclusion:
Improve your website ➡️ build trust with customers ➡️ improve sales and retention
How many potential customers have you missed out on because your content wasn’t good enough to convince them to get in touch? It’s hard to judge this accurately. Services such as Google Analytics can tell you how many visitors your site has had, but they won’t tell you how close people were to buying your product or taking up your service before they gave up.
Perhaps small improvements to your site would be enough to convince more people to pick up the phone, send you an email or press a ‘buy’ button.
But how to make those improvements?
Improving your website
Here are some activities that could improve your website:
- Redesign the site (e.g. rebranding, restructuring, mobile optimisation)
- Add relevant photos & videos (e.g. product demos)
- Create new pages (e.g. case studies)
But there’s a problem:
All of these are good things to do but they can be expensive. Think carefully before pushing ahead with any major changes.
In contrast, a cheaper approach that can be done at any time is to invest in getting your existing content checked by an editorial professional. Their fresh pair of eyes can help you improve the clarity, accuracy and rhythm of your writing.
Did you know?
Each day, more than 2 million new blog posts are published. That’s a lot of competition for attention!
If you want some tips on improving your own text, see 8 practical ways to improve your business writing.
Say that your business is repairing sprockets. You have a page on your website that promotes the service. That page racks up about 3000 visits per month. You receive 5 customer contacts each month from potential customers, and 3 of them turn into confirmed jobs.
Here’s the problem: the page promoting your sprocket-repair service contains errors. Instead of attracting more customers, you’re turning people off. Those people click away and go searching for a different service provider.
A low-cost way to improve your website content
An experienced editorial pro could look at the page and apply a number of improvements, such as:
- fixing typos and bad grammar
- clarifying the service offering
- optimising the use of keywords.
These actions will make the page more relevant, interesting and trustworthy to the target audience. Done properly, this should have a positive effect on the numbers associated with our scenario.
Imagine if an editor’s improvements led to this:
The optimised page now racks up 3500 visits per month. You receive 8 customer contacts each month, and 6 of them turn into confirmed jobs.
So, what’s happened?
The optimised content has led to more visitors finding the page. That means your web traffic has increased.
The content is now free of errors. That means that you’ve built more trust with readers, making them more likely to get in touch.
And finally, the service offering is clearer and better presented. That means that people who do get in touch are more likely to turn into confirmed customers.
For a modest outlay, you’ve turned a page that was earning you 3 jobs a month into one that’s pulling in 6 jobs a month – all by improving the written content on the page.
Can editing really have a positive impact on business?
Although my scenario above was hypothetical, you should always see some form of uplift whenever you invest in improving your content.
Sometimes, the uplift can be very hard to measure.
For example, better writing might mean your website makes a better impression on the reader. That reader happens not to turn into a customer, but weeks later they remember your service and recommend it to a friend, who then does become a customer. Perhaps that wouldn’t have happened if the original reader was put off by lots of mistakes on the site.
By now, you might be thinking ‘I’d know if people weren’t happy with my website.’ Really? Check out these stats shared recently by customer experience expert Alasdair McGill:
- 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain
- 91% of them leave and move to a competitor.
Still not convinced?
Even Google’s public guidelines state that bad spelling and grammar can erode trust with your potential customers:
Whatever you think of Google, you’d be wise to take their advice when it comes to search engine rankings.
How much does website editing cost?
It’s tough to say without first seeing a sample of the content.
The length and complexity will determine the cost, but a likely maximum is £150 for correcting and optimising any given page on your site.
It usually makes sense to update and improve several pages at the same time, in which case the average cost per page might be a lot lower, eg. £300 to edit 5 pages.
If you’d like a free quote, get in touch and send me the full web addresses of all the pages you’d like me to review.
I don’t believe in trying to make a hard sell. If your content is good enough as it is, I won’t attempt to promote an editorial service that you don’t need.
Before you pay for me or anyone else to edit your content, take a look at my top 10 tips for proofreading your own writing.
Over to you
What steps are you taking to improve your content? Have you made changes that are helping you get more business? What would stop you hiring an editorial pro to make your text better? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.
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Who wrote this?
John Espirian – the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter
I write B2B web content, blogs, user guides and case studies – all aimed at explaining how your products, services and processes work. I also offer LinkedIn profile critiquing and rewriting.
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