The BBC recently published a report stating that internet businesses lose millions of pounds a year in the UK as a result of spelling mistakes, which lower credibility and consumer confidence. This applies across all industries and sectors, online or traditional, print or digital. Excellent proofreading will give you no reason to notice it, though you will certainly notice its absence... as will your readers! It is important to note that proofreading will not improve your writing in any substantive way (if this is what you’re after, you need a copyeditor!), it simply ensures it is free from error.
The cost of errors on websites and in marketing/communication materials can be substantial, especially if these make it to print. It is essential you ensure your copy is spot on before publishing in order to maintain a professional image and avoid putting off readers (and potential clients) with embarrassing errors that could easily have been avoided.
Don't stand out from the crowd for the wrong reasons; have your text proofread by a professional.
What does proofreading include?
The final stage in the editing process*, proofreading is primarily about error detection, and includes:
line by line correction of spelling, punctuation, and basic grammatical errors;
queries for sense-making;
edits to ensure consistency of spelling, punctuation (e.g. hyphenation), and style;
correction of contextual spelling errors;
edits to ensure adherence to house or copyeditor's style sheet.
Proofreading does not include:
intervention to improve style or language choice, or indeed ‘improve’ the writing in any way;
engagement with content to identify inaccuracy, contradiction, or inappropriateness;
changes to sentence or paragraph structure;
alteration to punctuation choices, e.g. comma use, or any punctuation or syntax edits to improve readability.
* It is difficult and inadvisable to proofread a text that needs copyediting first.