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The big vision and statement behind EditorNinja is to reduce the number of companies that are hurting their own revenue by not editing their website copy, which then lowers their conversion rates and hurts their business inadvertently. I call these “unforced errors,” and they are preventable.
I wrote a post last November titled “Typos are costing your business money. A lot of it” that you can reference to see the studies, though the main takeaways include:
- 74% of UK online buyers notice spelling and grammar online.
- SurveyMonkey found that 86% of Hiring Managers are less likely to hire someone with mistakes in their resume.
- Ads with typos saw a decrease of up to 70% in clicks compared to correct ads.
- Typos on landing pages increased bounce rate by 85% and reduced time on site by 8%.
There are other instances of typos costing companies a lot of money in direct ways, such as:
- An errant hyphen cost NASA $18.5 million dollars when Mariner 1 veered off course seconds after launch.
- One “exotic travel” company lost 80% of their business when her ad said “erotic travel” instead.
I spend a lot of time in SaaS (software as a service) world and speaking with software founders. Because of this I was curious exactly what percentage of SaaS homepages have spelling or grammar errors, or both.
In this article I am going to share:
- The findings, including a few charts.
- The most common errors found
- What the data means and why you should care
- The methodology used
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How many SaaS homepages have spelling and grammar errors?
Let’s not bury the lede:
- 97.25% have possible spelling errors
- 94.37% have possible grammatical errors.
Of the 799 SaaS homepages we crawled for errors, there were just 22 with no spelling errors and just 45 with no grammar errors.
This means that just 2.75% have no possible spelling errors and 5.63% have no possible grammatical errors.
I don’t know about you, but to me those numbers are SHOCKING.
If we accept that “Typos on [a] Landing Page Increased Bounce Rate by 85% and Reduced Time on Site by 8%,” this means that pretty much every SaaS company is seeing dramatically increased bounce rates and reduced time on site. We’ll try to quantify that in the next section.
To dig a bit deeper:
- The average homepage has 21.58 spelling concerns and 10.79 grammar concerns.
- The average homepage has a median of 15 spelling concerns and 6 grammar concerns.
I will note that the tool we used to crawl and find spelling and grammar errors for this study, Screaming Frog, does flag brands that are not widely recognized as spelling concerns but they do not flag them as grammar concerns. I did spot-check about 50-75 SaaS homepages though and only found 1 that did not have any errors when the system said they did. Extrapolating that out, there may be 10 or so in the dataset that are false positives in the numbers above.
The most common errors found
My curiosity got the better of me after seeing these numbers, so I decided to go even deeper and find the most common grammar and spelling errors for B2B SaaS homepages.
Most common grammar errors
Here are the most common grammar errors:
Interestingly, some of the errors I expect to be more prevalent were not:
- Just 1% used “your” when “you’re” should have been used
- 1.3% misspelled “WordPress” as “WordPress”
- 9 sites, or 1.1%, did not include the hyphen in “HIPAA compliant”
Largely, the errors were not surprisingly around commas, spaces, and other punctuation.
Most common spelling errors
Common spelling errors were harder to find, because most were simply 1 or 2 instances out of the whole dataset.
The vast majority of the most common “spelling errors” are actually judgment and style calls, not true “errors”. See the image:
You can see that:
- There is no standardization across B2B SaaS homepages about if “electronic commerce” should be “ecommerce”, “eCommerce”, or “e-commerce”.
- There are a fair few homepages using Queen’s English because they are based in Canada or the UK. While this is fine when going after those audiences, if their primary audience is US then they should write using American English. For example, use “organization” instead of “organisation”. It’s not technically a misspelling to use the latter, but it will affect conversions.
What all this means and why you should care
If we accept that the presence of a typo on a page increases bounce rate by 85% and reduces time on site by 8%, every SaaS founder reading this study should listen up.
Let’s try to put some real numbers behind these numbers.
Let’s first assume that the average SaaS homepage receives 2,500 visits per month. Your site converts at 3%, which is SaaS median. Your ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is $1,000.
According to CXL, the average B2B site has a bounce rate range from 25-55%. Let’s take the middle and say that the average B2B SaaS site has a bounce rate of 40%.
If your homepage gets 2,500 visits with a 40% bounce rate, you’re losing 1,000 of your visitors from the start. At a 3% conversion rate, your 1,500 visitors that stick around turn into 45 customers and so you make $45,000 from them.
If you have a typo though, you’re receiving 2,500 visits and have a bounce rate of 74%! This means you’re potentially losing 1,850 of your visitors, leaving you with 650. At the above 3% conversion rate (which is also likely lower), you’re only converting 19.5 new accounts and making $19,500 from them.
In this scenario, by simply having spelling and grammatical errors on your homepage, you’re losing (or not making) $25,500 per month or $306,000 per year.
This is why you should care. The presence of spelling and grammatical errors is directly affecting your bottom line.
Our methodology for creating this study is as follows:
- We first found a list of 1,000 B2B SaaS companies. We used this list from GrowthList.
- We copied the domains into Google Sheets.
- We pasted them into Screaming Frog and started the crawl.
- After the initial crawl finished, we removed the URLs that did not resolve (most of those have been acquired) or redirected.
- We then took the URLs that redirected to a different URL (most common was that they included WWW in their URL, and we did not have Screaming Frog follow that redirect chain) and put them into a new list and added WWW to the URLs.
- We then took those URLs and ran them through Screaming Frog.
- After both crawls, we spot checked
- Once this crawl was finished, we brought the data together in Google Sheets for analysis.
In total, we ended up with 799 B2B SaaS homepages to analyze. The results are seen above.
What to do next
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