How Spelling Can Affect Your Bottom Line

‘Content is King’ this phrase is repeated, and heard around the web on a near daily basis. Well what if your content is pretty solid, but your spelling, grammar and punctuation aren’t?

I’m a word person, I make my living currently as an editor. I also tend to read every word, instead of the standard, natural practice of scanning and reading by memory. I pick out typos on almost every site I visit. From personal blogs to Apple’s website I’ve found typos, or spelling errors, and whenever I find them I inevitably email the site owner and let them know. It’s my way of making my Internet experience that much more enjoyable.

You may not think typos and spelling mistakes hurt your site, or your business, but I can assure you that it does. A number of people I spoke with said that a site appears less professional if it has typos and spelling mistakes. The message it gives to your audience is that you’re lazy, and only interested in their money.

Now, I know what you’re going to say…a lot of blogs are written by people whose first language isn’t English. I’ll respond simply by saying that if they’re asking for me to buy something, or take their opinions seriously they should be able to communicate clearly. I’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet that would proofread a site for a small fee, or in trade for product. I have done this in the past, and it has benefited both the site owner and myself.

Now back to the topic at hand.

The content on your site is what will encourage people to visit your site more frequently, recommend it to friends and family, and convert visitors into buyers of your product. If you present them with content that is written poorly, contains spelling mistakes or typos, or loses its point part way through, you risk losing their attention. Now I understand that I am in the minority when it comes to using proper spelling at all times. I very seldom abbreviate or use typical texting terms when sending texts or using something like Twitter.

If the content comes across as unprofessional and sloppy, what are people naturally going to think? That you and your business are unprofessional and sloppy. If enough people get the same impression eventually word will get out that people should think twice before supporting your business.

Something as simple as taking the time to re-read your content can positively affect your site. It may be necessary to hire someone to do it, or get a second set of eyes to take a look. This is something that could be a small investment for a much larger return in the future. Every company wants to be perceived as the best at what they do, and proper spelling and typo free content are a part of that. Great content won’t save a bad product or business model, but it will give it a better chance at converting eyes on a site into money in the wallet.

I spoke with a few people, and another question that arises when your content isn’t word perfect is whether or not they can trust your brand. It’s harder for your potential customers to trust your brand as a whole if you can’t present yourself professionally in all aspects of your business. With brand trust being one of the most important things for any company to establish as soon as possible, and maintain throughout their existence, if something as simple as typos can effect it, what other things that weren’t worth the time are effecting it?

A Few Simple Tips:

Read your content more than twice, with some time in between readings.

  • This ensures that you’re not being impulsive and saying what you want to say, it also increases the chances that you’ll notice and be able to correct typos, grammar or spelling.

Get someone else to read it.

  • Fresh eyes always help.

Hire someone to write or proof your content.

  • People write and read content for a living. If producing and proofing content isn’t your strong point that’s okay, you don’t have to be able to do everything.

Read it out loud.

  • This will make sure that it reads the way it sounded in your head when you wrote it.

Don’t trust spell check

  • Although improved by leaps and bounds, spell check seldom catches typos. You may have meant to type ‘from’ and typed ‘form’ instead; spell check won’t catch this as form is obviously a word in the English language. This is why it’s important to read your things more than once.

Check it one last time before hitting post or print.

  • The old adage is ‘Measure twice, cut once.’ I think the same theory should apply to content ‘Read twice. Print or post once.’

I hope this post has helped you understand the importance that the written word still has on the bottom line.

Any thoughts, comments or opinions are welcome, leave them in our Disqus comments section below. Thanks.

Be reminded as well that a great content must goes with best web hosts.

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  • Stacey Cornelius

    I hear you, Marc. Typos jump out at me, too. Except in my own writing. But, as you say, that’s a hazard. A proofreader is invaluable, particularly when you have a fast turnaround and don’t have the luxury of letting a piece sit for a few days so you can look at it yourself with fresh eyes.

    When I find one of my own typos, I cringe. Usually it’s weeks later. Sometimes someone will spot an error and let me know right away, and I’m always grateful for that.

    I keep telling people details matter. Often that advice falls on deaf ears, so thanks for this.

    (Um.. did I make any typos?)

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  • Libby Fisher

    Hi Marc,

    You make an excellent point with this post! Typos bother me too, although I don’t always bring it to the writer’s attention.

    The biggest typing mistakes I make are from typing so fast that I skip entire words! :) I’ve learned to proofread my emails before firing them off, because you’re right – it is definitely worth taking the time to do it for the sake of professionalism.

  • Oliver

    For me as a german it’s very hard to write in english. I think the main problem for me is that I’m often unsure, if a native speaker would write it as I do. In combination with my nature of being very perfectionist, it always takes me a lot of time to write english content. Another problem is, that german language is often very complicated (e. g. hard grammatic – lot of commas) – english is much simpler, so I often have the tendency to overcomplicate things in my english texts. :-(

    (Hope, you understood me)

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  • Anonymous

    I spend whole words! :) I have learned to correct my e-mails before burning because you’re right – it’s definitely worth taking the time to do so for reasons of professionalism.

    Canada Pharmacy

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  • Me

    Nice article. I maintain our school district’s website and 1 of the big challenges I fight is having quality, accurate write ups. I tell everyone to proof their work because the district, campus, teachers, coaches, etc would look bad if they didn’t.

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  • Anonymous

    Ich spreche kleine Deutsch.
    Most people try to over complicate things when working with a second language. It’s natural. We want to make sure that we get our point across. It can also be frustrating when we spend so much time trying to get that point across and find out that we haven’t done it.

  • Anonymous

    I do the same Libby, and even though I know I can type w/o looking at the keyboard, I still tend to, and I think that contributes to my missing typos from time to time.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Stacey,

    It’s so difficult to pick typos out of your own work, and I like your perspective when it comes to a second set of eyes being even more crucial when dealing with a fast turn around. I think that’s when most people would let it slide, and I agree with you, that’s when a mistake is most likely to happen.

    Also, as far as I could tell, you had no typos!

  • Nrutter2000

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but:
    “This is why it important to read your things more than once.”

    See the problem…
    Other than that, great article.
    (That’ll be fifty pounds please 😉

  • Anonymous

    Hahaha, well spotted! I read the article a few times, on a few different occasions and missed it. Thanks for pointing it out. I was surprised when I couldn’t find a typo since they tend to crop up in almost everything.

    Corrected, and cheque’s in the mail!

  • Mousepeepers32

    This Article is very correct. It hit a lot of very good points.

  • Anonymous

    No harm no foul, no-one is perfect. I know this topic has opened up a lot of people’s eyes on this subject.

  • Anonymous

    No harm no foul, no-one is perfect. I know this topic has opened up a lot of people’s eyes on this subject.