The Applecado blog

The cost of a typo, and four tips on how to avoid them.

Keyboard and iMac

You know by now that 'Content is King', but is your content's credibility being affected by grammatical and spelling mistakes? We’ll discuss whether typos have an associated business cost, and share four simple things you can do to make sure you’re publishing the best content possible.

We happened across this BBC article ‘Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales’ and were intrigued. The article references a website called who noticed a spelling mistake in one of their main category titles – when they corrected their category, conversions increased by 80%.

Now, that is a whopper of a number so it might be unfair to compare that figure and suggest that all typos we find on the internet have the same sort of effect by turning your audience away, but there is a strong argument for making sure your work is just right.

If you were looking to buy from a company that you knew well, a simple spelling mistake in a blog post, or in a lengthy product description might not affect whether you continue or not. Everyone makes mistakes right?

However, if you're still working on earning your audience's trust, the effect of a spelling mistake is amplified. If the mistake is on an obvious and important piece of content on your homepage, more of your visitors are likely to question your eye for detail.

Correct spellings are crucial when you’re sending prospective, even cold-emails – consumers are (rightly) wary of phishing attempts so it’s likely your email will be deleted immediately if it raises any red flags.

These are all digital examples, and a content management system will help you correct any mistakes easily. The cost in printed documents or marketing materials is far greater, obviously, so it's even more important here to check everything thoroughly if you don't want to have to waste time and money re-printing.

At Applecado, we are especially careful and try to spot any errors in our proposals. It’s so important that our clients understand that we’re going to put every bit of attention into their project, and we can’t stand out amongst the competition if we can't convey that at such an important early stage.

Here are our top tips to writing readable content, without typos:

  1. Read your copy out loud. Reading quietly to yourself, but as though you are reading to an audience will help you understand if your content flows nicely.
  2. Print your content. People often find reading from paper easier than reading on screen so you're more likely to spot spelling mistakes if you print your work out first.
  3. Read backwards. We all scan read our work, unconsciously, so if you know what you meant to write, it's quite likely you'll skip words that look 99% right because that simple four letter word couldn't be wrong could it? If you read your sentences backwards, one word at a time, you can read out of context and focus on the order of the letters. You'll be surprised how much this one helps.
  4. Get help. This one's probably obvious, but ask for help. You can ask a friend to check over your content, or you can even enlist a copywriter or proof reader for a professional level of help.