It’s incredibly easy to make a typo. Even the most seasoned of writers and editors can’t stop a stray error from occasionally slipping through the cracks. Whether it’s a blog post, a billboard, or a newspaper, typos are a problem in any written media. Research even indicates that these mistakes can have a real impact on your business by driving a significant number of your potential customers away and costing you real dollars.

We’ve all seen those posts on Facebook that have avoided punctuation to the point of being illegible or swapping out “there” for “their”. While these aren’t a big deal on a personal account, a business’s image can be seriously harmed. Typos and poor grammar give the impression that your business is either so lazy, lacking in quality control, or unprofessional that the mistake was missed or at worst too incompetent to realize that there’s an error present at all.

While statistics vary regarding the financial impact of an error, estimates show that a website can lose over 50% of potential sales from even a single mistake in online text. So a simple letter switch may be a minor oversight, it could be costing your company a lot of missed sales opportunities as visitors take their business elsewhere.

There’s no foolproof method to prevent any mistakes. We’re all only human, and our eyes tend to skip over words that we’ve already read a dozen times. However, some simple steps will cut down the likelihood of errors driving your customers away.

  • Have at least 2 pairs of eyes read everything before it’s published. 3 is even better, but never post anything without having an editor read over it.
  • Before launching a website, have someone who hasn’t been involved in the process look over the entire thing. They’re less likely to skim over buttons, banners, and graphics that might have errors, which carry even more impact than a mistake in your text content.
  • If your staff is making consistent errors, address the issue at its root. For instance, if your writer keeps using “too” incorrectly, have them review and clarify the rules behind which one to use.
  • Make sure staff members take the issue seriously. A typo on a website carries a very real impact for a business, and your writers, editors, and other staff need to understand that. Obviously no team is perfect and mistakes will occasionally happen, but taking the issue seriously will keep editors and QC checkers attentive.

As more and more business interactions take place online, the text of your website becomes more likely to be the only voice you have to reach many of your customers. Don’t underestimate how important it is to present your business in the best light through your website’s text. Making every effort to avoid typos and mistakes could save your business from a serious profit loss.