The Importance of Proper Grammar and Punctuation in Your Web Copy

by Michelle Salater on September 14, 2011


When you’re trying to make a good impression on clients and prospects, you need to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation in everything your company publishes.

While some argue that a significant portion of web communication doesn’t follow grammatical norms, your web copy needs to put your company’s best foot forward, so to speak. Yes, some rules have relaxed over the years, and web copy tends to be somewhat informal, but correct grammar and punctuation are necessary to create a professional web presence.

People notice when your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are incorrect, and some even use it as a criterion for buying. They believe that if your web copy is unprofessional, you’re not the company they want to work with. Can you blame them?

Of course, an occasional error or typo may slip into your copy even if you use a professional editor, but we’re talking about copy with bad grammar or incorrect punctuation throughout. Following are some ideas to help you create web copy that informs and persuades while following the rules of our language.

Before you start writing, leave your ego outside.

You’ll be asking several people to read your copy, and some of the comments you’ll receive may not be what you want to hear. Most will be constructive and meant to help you improve the copy, but others will not. Evaluate each comment by itself to determine its merits, and don’t be afraid to try something new or incorporate suggestions. You can always change the copy later.

Use spell check.

While spell check software sometimes makes a mistake, it will catch the more obvious errors. Use it as your first review after you’ve read it over at least once.

Always have at least two more people read the copy.

Remember: the more eyes, the better. When you write copy, it can be difficult to spot errors yourself, so ask several people to read it for clarity as well as for grammar. You may be surprised at the suggestions you receive on ways to improve the copy. Listen and learn from them.

Use a professional editor.

The most professional websites use copywriters and editors. If you prefer to write the copy yourself, at least hire an editor to polish the final draft.

Keep an eye on your web copy, and update as needed.

Unfortunately, many companies write successful copy and rest on it for years. A good rule of thumb is to revisit your copy every 12–18 months to see if a rewrite is needed. Businesses evolve and objectives change—so should your copy.

What do you do to keep your copy fresh and grammatically correct?

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If you like this post, you might also like:

  1. 10 Web Copy Blunders to Avoid
  2. The Importance of Telling a Story through Your Web Copy
  3. Make it Simple for Customers and Prospects to Read Your Web Copy
  4. 3 Simple Steps to Revamping Your Current Web Copy
  5. 7 Ways to Generate More Creative Web Copy to Ignite Interest in Prospects

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 writing blogs September 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Awesome article
once again. Thank you;)

2 webcopywriter September 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Thank you!

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