Nothing sucks like….bad web copy!

Posted on September 2, 2013


“Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” – the infamous slogan and one of the biggest brand blunders of all time by Swedish company Electrolux, when launching their products on the US market in the 1960s. It is disputed whether the ‘double entendre’ of the word ‘sucks’ was in fact intentional, but one thing is certain – it went down like a lead balloon!

Similarly, if your website contains language errors it WILL negatively affect your business.  Writing for the web is actually a specialised skill – you need to think about your target audience, adopt the right tone of voice, and write in a clear and compelling way that is both to the point as well as being grammatically correct.  Your texts need to be organised in an easily navigated structure, with relevant links and keywords. With 5 billion websites worldwide, you need to stick out from the crowd and grab the attention of your target audience. However, many Swedish companies remain content to write their own web copy in English. This is risky business, and although verbal language mistakes can be more easily forgiven, web texts that are written in broken English look seriously unprofessional! Why invest huge sums of money on the design of your website, just to fill it with bad copy?

Whether it’s a massive blunder or a series of small, grammatical inconsistencies, the bottom line is that it WILL cost you business.  And even if a text IS grammatically correct, it is no guarantee that the text will have easy readability and a good flow. If a web text isn’t easy to read, your web visitors will get tired and irritated, and go elsewhere. That really defeats the object of your website, doesn’t it?

It’s a bit like enticing customers into your exclusive restaurant, only to serve them bland or even unsavoury food. They won’t stay for long, and they’re not likely to come back! Don’t make your customers think like that – serve an exquisite meal to them on a plate, and make sure the whole experience is enticing. Then they’ll be back for more.