Mar 5, 2008

How You Present Yourself Matters!

Everything in your website is part of your presentation. And a lot of people visiting your site may be there for the very first time. So the architecture of the site, how easy or difficult it is to navigate, the design, the palette in use, the logo, the tag line, the wording, EVERYTHING is part of your first impression with a potential customer.

Good news is that you (your company) can look way bigger and better than you really are. Bad news is that you can make a horrible mistake and chances are that you will not be visited again by that person.

The one below is a good example. They contacted me asking if we can add their website to a list of resources I manage. I click on the link and Voila!:

.... I truly find "mistakes" like this one painfully unbelievable: once I read PROFESSIONAL TRANLSATION any sense of professionalism is gone. I know that shit happens and that it may be easy to overlook things like this.

Anyway, I see that mistake and now I feel I can't trust this company (and I may be totally wrong and maybe they are extremely good with their services) but I start having my doubts about the quality of the services they offer. So, their chance for a good first impression went to hell. And to make things worst....

...this was the second line I read right after that nice misspelling!

Instantly, all kind of jokes started popping in my mind, like "Of course Mindy didn't find any error, she doesn't speak Spanish and that is why she needed a translation to start with...¨and more of the same. Lame jokes maybe, but the whole situation makes them happen. And once I start giggling, any possible good impression is gone.

So, next time you put your site together, before marketing it to ANYONE, make sure someone else reads it and uses it. If possible, not just one more person, but several. Find a friend with an "eagle eye" for errors and ask him to check your website. Is worth the time and the wait.

Addendum: The company has fixed the mistake (if you go to their website the typo is not there anymore) but now they are threatening to SUE ME for noticing the mistake and pointing it out in my posting! I courteously offered to include an addendum about the fact that they have fixed the mistake, but it seems they just want to make it like it never happened and want me to take this posting down, so I got a second threatening letter. As I don't deal well at all with threats -and especially so when I know I have done nothing wrong-, the posting stands still along with the images which were pulled from and are the property of SpanishTarget, as seen on their site on March 2008. Is not my fault if I noticed it first! (More to come on this issue, I guess...)

PS: Do I have misspellings and typos? Of course I do! But not only I am not a native English speaker and I am not selling translations or proofreading services, I am sharing knowledge and ideas. Now, check these bad translations from English to Spanish (they are hilarious!) or what these names mean in Spanish

PS2: On the other hand, if you want to see how someone made a great presentation from a not-so-great past, check this resume.

Spanish Target


Anonymous said...

Hilarious!! One thing I have noticed over and over again is that when people proofread they only look at the general text but very often miss the title. Probably that´s what happened in the case of this company´s tagline.

Thanks for the reminder, and I am going to double-proofread my website right away :)

San said...

You are absolutely right. Most of the time the titles are overlooked...

Anonymous said...

It's like when Chevy had the brand Nova - unfortunately in Spanish it means doesn't go - not a good name for a car!

Anonymous said...

The nova thing is urban legend.

Anonymous said...

Lame jokes maybe, but the whole situation make them happen.

Should read: Lame jokes maybe, but the whole situation makes them happen.

San said...

Thanks! :) I will change it right now... but I'll leave your comment published. Thanks again!

Unknown said...

This is very entertaining Sandra!

As a counterpoint, I would offer that I like to get websites going quickly and I usually don't mind trading off some errors for the speed. The advantages can be many --

One, you get help from other people who spot your errors.
Two, you get a feel for the interest level of your audience or customers before investing thousands of hours in perfection.
Three, you may beat some competitors so that your content is seen as more original.
Number four, search engines are tracking the age of your domain and whether your content is unique and original.
Five, the sooner that you start building links, the better.
Six, your errors will most likely be forgiven and forgotten.

On the other hand, that guy's blunder goes a little beyond my comfort level with errors. Even so, he should be grateful for the links and visibility you gave him and simply submit a gracious thank you. Your links will help him get ranked for his terms regardless of whether they are positive or negative comments.

Anonymous said...

they made another mistake! Look at the second to bottom paragraph on their front page, they forgot a comma, and they spelled exist wrong.

San said...

Yes, you are right.... :)) They have changed the whole page, and fixed the logo, but you are right, they misspelled 'exist'. Also, the first paragraph has a closing quote mark but not the opening one... just beware, if you point out their mistakes, they may threaten to sue you! (Good thing you posted anonymously...LOL)