To be human is to make mistakes, but rampant typos and grammatical mistakes can hurt your brand reputation and search rankings.

You do everything you can to give your brand a sense of professionalism and integrity. Every piece of brand content you publish should support this goal, which is why you get that sinking feeling when you realize there was an error in a live article. A recent Bing blog post from Senior Product Manager Duane Forrester admitted typos are an inevitable part of the human writing and editing process, but they can impact search rankings if they become habitual.

He revealed his most common mistake is typing “form” when he means “from,” an error that spell checker tools and editors may miss because it’s a real word used in the wrong context. (My biggest faux pas is mistyping “of” when I mean “or.”)

While Forrester acknowledged the very real possibility of small typos sneaking past four sets of scrutinizing eyes, he said this must not become a recurring pattern. It’s crucial that companies get a full editorial team to ensure there are people reading every piece of custom content their writers produce to scan for obvious errors. Both readers and search engines are likely to skip over content if there are consistent issues, from factual inaccuracies to glaring grammatical mistakes.

There are some editing approaches that can help content writers keep typos to a minimum.

“If you struggle to get past typos, why would an engine show a page of content with errors higher in the rankings when other pages of error free content exist to serve the searcher?” he asked.

Aside from becoming more judicious about fact-checking and carefully reading copy before hitting the “publish” button, there are some tactics marketers can try to reduce these writing slip-ups:

  • Take more time on each piece of content
  • Create style guidelines that ensure writers and editors are making consistent edits (such as when to capitalize “Tweet” or whether to use serial commas)
  • Get fresh eyes on the articles to avoid skimming

For more tips on how to address basic content writing errors, check out this blog post: Sloppy copy kills credibility – Why you need an “Editor who knocks”

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.