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by Stephen Logan on 14th July 2011
Mistakes are a part of being human. Even as a writer, there are occasions when the brain freezes a little and spelling or grammar goes a little awry. In fact if you read enough of my blogs, you’ve probably seen a fair few examples. But just how costly could a typo really be?
Well, a study by the BBC shows that simple spelling mistakes could be very costly indeed. In fact, it has been estimated that online businesses are missing out on millions of pounds (cumulatively, not individually of course) worth of revenue each year, simply because of lexical clumsiness.
Outwardly, this seems a little far-fetched. After all, surely it’s the quality of service, comparative value and professionalism of a business that people really care about, isn’t it? A little typo in the product description or company profile isn’t going to taint it irrevocably, surely?
The simple truth is that if you’re trying to project a professional image, there just isn’t room for silly errors. After all, if you aren’t able to show attention to detail when it comes to something as basic as spelling, then why should a visitor believe that you are any more thorough in other areas of your business? Whether you’re selling budget goods or high-end technical services, the potential impact of a typo is exactly the same.
Credibility is essential for any online business. Many people are naturally wary of dealing with companies who operate solely on the Internet. Therefore if you’re unable to provide the necessary reassurance with regards to your professional credentials, then why should they take a chance on you? Whilst spelling and grammar have been devalued in some forms of communication, it’s still as important as ever for website content.
According to the aforementioned BBC report, online sales account for around £527 million of business each week in the UK alone. It’s a huge market. As such, it is also hugely competitive. With issues of trust and rivals ready to snaffle wayward consumers, it is hugely important for all online companies to take their copy seriously.
Whilst it is difficult to measure the individual impact for particular businesses without diving into analytics statistics, it’s safe to say that lexical laziness doesn’t pay. So if your ROI is suffering and you’re clueless as to why, make sure you review your content. A five minute proof read on each page could see your conversions soar and customer retention improve.
So whilst awkward wording or stale content aren’t ideal, it’s flagrant typos that could really be costing your business. Content isn’t just on a site for SEO purposes, so make sure you invest in it appropriately and look to attain the highest standards throughout. Attention to detail is key for any serious outfit, so make sure you don’t fall at the first hurdle.