Show of hands: How many people noticed the typo in the title?Â My guess is that those who did were ready to jump all over my mistake.Â It was done intentionally to help prove my point: Visitors notice typos. (For those who are still confused: loose = free or released from fastening or attachment; lose = to come to be without.)
These days, most people are less skeptical about the internet.Â We think little of viewing bank statements, paying utility bills, and entering our credit card numbers online.Â More often than not, visitors won’t think twice about making an online purchase, that is, until you give them a reason to.
Imagine this scenario:Â You’re on a site, and you find the perfect TV.Â You’ve seen it before in stores, talked to sales people, done your research on consumer reports, AND now you’ve found it 45% off and with free shipping!Â You’re already imagining who you’re going to invite over to watch the big game… until you notice that there are 3 typos on the homepage, including the brand name of the TV you’re purchasing, and there’s no way to enter a shipping address that is different from your billing address.Â Notice how quickly you’ve gone from ‘cloud nine’ to ‘too good to be true’.Â Chances are, you are not going to be making this purchase and you rationalize that watching the big game on a little TV isn’t so bad, even if it doesn’t have HD.
Credibility is yours to lose.Â Visitors will give you the benefit of the doubt until you don’t meet their basic expectations.Â I often will give our clients little pointers about misspelled words or broken links as part of our efforts to improve their marketing results via an OnTarget subscription.Â I am always a little surprised when they don’t seem too concerned about it.Â The truth is, every visitor who notices these little things is less likely to convert on your site, return to your site or recommend your site to someone else.
The 3 most common credibility mistakes I see online:
1. Typos and grammatical errors. Examples: loose/lose;Â their/there/they’re, its/it’s, a lot (it’s two words, people) etc.Â Pick up a copy of Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” if you want to set yourself straight on what is proper.Â At 85 pages, it’s the most concise miracle ever written on grammar.
2. Lack of (or un-clickable) security assurances in checkout.Â I even have a client whose privacy page is the most visited page by visitors who convert.Â This is not un-likely if you have a very methodically minded product like insurance or software because people come to your site expecting to look for detail oriented information.
3. Un-professional design. Optimization is an ongoing task.Â What may have been the norm for website design a few years ago is likely to be obsolete now.Â If visitors come to your site and have to think about what they’re seeing, you’ve already lost.
So, proof-read your site, have someone else (preferably not involved in the creation of the site) go through it and make a purchase online, and remember not to give visitors an excuse to leave!