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Whether you’re writing an article, a blog post, product description, or any other type of digital content, you should use caution to ensure it’s free of typos and errors before publishing it on your website.
Visitors will gauge your website’s credibility based on the quality of its content. If it’s filled with typos and errors, they may feel reluctant to stay on and engage with your website.
To make matters worse, typos and errors can have a rippling effect on your website’s search rankings.
Typo vs Error: What’s the Difference?
To better understand how typos and errors affect your website’s content, you must familiarize yourself with their differences. A typo is a typing mistake in which a typist unintentionally enters the wrong key or unintentionally doesn’t enter the right key.
Failing to include a space between two words or accidentally entering the wrong letter in a word are both considered typos.
With a typo, your brain knows which key you need to enter; you just don’t enter it.
An error, on the other hand, refers to any spelling, grammar or punctuation mistake.
Misspelled words, incorrect usage of apostrophes, comma splices and run-on sentences are common examples of errors.
With an error, you may think a sentence has proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation when it doesn’t.
How Search Engines Treat Typos and Errors in Website Content
Search engines can easily detect typos and errors in your website’s content. Google and Bing have advanced crawlers, also known as spiders, that will automatically analyze your website’s files for cues on how to rank it.
So, how do these crawlers treat typos and errors when they encounter them?
According to Bing’s Duane Forrester, the Microsoft-backed search engine looks for typos and errors when determining a website’s rankings.
Duane says Bing’s algorithm may demote websites with typos or errors that affect readability. If your website’s content contains major mistakes that discourage visitors from reading it, Bing’s algorithm may demote your website.
Several years ago, Google’s chief spam fighter, Matt Cutts, explained that while there’s a correlation between the number of mistakes in a website’s content and its PageRank, Google doesn’t use content mistakes as a direct ranking signal.
As a result, you might assume that typos and errors will adversely affect your website’s search rankings on Bing.
Although Google doesn’t use content mistakes as a direct ranking signal, creating typo- and error-free content is still essential to ranking high on the world’s largest search engine.
If your website’s content has too many typos and errors, some visitors won’t stay to read it.
When they see the poorly written content, they’ll assume it’s factually incorrect or otherwise not worth reading. Google will then interpret your website’s low average visit duration, as well as its high bounce rate, as a sign that visitors aren’t finding the content for which they are looking.
When Google sees visitors aren’t staying long on your website, as well as only visiting a single page during their session, it may downgrade your website’s organic visibility. Google’s algorithm is heavily influenced by engagement signals like average visit duration and bounce rate.
As the number of typos and errors in your website’s content increases, its average visit duration will decrease and its bounce rate will increase.
Other Ways Typos and Errors Can Impact Your Website
Aside from lower search rankings on Google and Bing, typos and errors can affect your website in other ways.
Fewer visitors will trust your website if it has too many typos and errors. After all, credible businesses tend to have flawless content.
They spend the necessary time and work to ensure their digital content is free of typos and errors. Neglecting to create flawless content for your website will result in a lower level of trust among visitors.
Typos and errors can even cost you sales. If your website sells a product or service, the presence of these seemingly harmless mistakes may deter visitors from making a purchase.
They’ll question whether your website is a legitimate business, which may prompt them to leave and visit a competitor’s website instead.
Finally, fewer social media users will share your website’s content if it contains typos and errors. Most social media users selectively choose the highest-quality content to share on their profile or page. With typos and errors, social media users will look elsewhere for content to share.
Tips to Avoid Typos and Errors When Creating Content
• Use a mechanical keyboard with strong tactile feedback rather than a virtual keyboard with little or no tactile feedback.
• Enable spellcheck in your web browser. Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari all have a spellcheck feature that, when enabled, automatically scans on-page text for mistakes.
• Slowly read the content aloud, at least twice, while listening for mistakes.
• Use a third-party text-checking tool Grammarly to further scan your content for mistakes.
• If you’re unsure how to spell a word, look it up at merriam-webster.com.
• Use our web browser’s zoom function to magnify text while you type. On most web browsers, you can zoom in by pressing Ctrl and + and zoom out by pressing Ctrl and -.
• Considering that a single article or blog post can take several hours to create, you should take breaks regularly to maintain a high level of typing accuracy.
• Don’t rush yourself when creating content. It may take longer to create content with correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but you’ll probably make fewer mistakes.
• Focus your eyes on the screen and not the keyboard.
• If you’re still struggling to create typo- and error-free content, consider hiring a freelance writer or copywriting to proofread your content.
Typos and errors are bound to happen when creating content for your website. Statistics show the average person makes about eight mistakes per 100 words typed.
Assuming your typing accuracy is on par with the majority, you’ll probably make plenty of mistakes when creating content. And unless you correct these mistakes, they could drag down your website’s search rankings and lower its overall performance.