Typos, spelling, and grammatical errors: we’ve all come across them on the web. Chances are, we’ve probably even written them ourselves in client emails, our agency social media posts, or on our business website.
One thing is for certain: no matter where you find them, spelling and grammar errors are unprofessional. To make matters worse, they are probably losing you customers, hurting your brand, and damaging your website’s ranking in search engines (SEO).
Today we’ll discuss why you should keep your website and digital assets clean and error-free to achieve the best results.
Poor grammar causes you to lose credibility and opportunities.
Here’s a statement that I bet you won’t be shocked by:
Poor grammar and spelling are unprofessional.
What you may be shocked by, however, is the repercussions of poor spelling and grammar.
First, let’s talk about offline.
Poor spelling and grammar can cost you:
It’s proven that employers won’t give you a second thought if your resume is full of errors.
In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, explained why he wouldn’t hire people who use poor grammar.
Promotions at Work
According to a 2013 survey of LinkedIn profiles by spelling masterminds at Grammarly, professionals with fewer grammar errors in their profiles tend to achieve higher positions in the workplace.
No, not like January 13, 2021. We’re talking about the other kind of dates.
“A study of online daters in the Netherlands has found that spelling mistakes in a dating profile, such as writing “the” for “the” or using iRRegulaR CapS, are perceived as signals of sloppiness or lack of care, which in turn affects the profile holder’s perceived attractiveness.” – Source: The Guardian.
Poor spelling and grammar can cost your business:
Poor spelling and grammar on your website can cause would-be customers to lose faith in your brand.
Think about it.
What’s your first impression when you visit a company’s website to find it filled with typographical, spelling, or grammatical errors?
If you’re like the vast majority of people, you’re likely to dismiss that site (and company) and move on to the next one, which can be catastrophic for the company’s long-term survival.
Here’s a funny tidbit:
The White House press office misspelled the name of British Prime Minister Theresa May three times, with one such error referencing a “bilateral meeting” between Trump and “Teresa May.”
Teresa May is also the name of a British former soft porn actress and model. Talk about a huge oops.
Do you see how a simple typo can change the entire meaning of something, causing your credibility to plummet?
If you don’t have a website for your small business, contact us today to learn how we can help you enlarge your digital footprint.
There is a proven correlation between web mistakes and lost business.
In 2019, Website Planet ran an A/B split test with two similar landing pages. One page had immaculate grammar, and the other had several spelling errors. The study found that:
The mistake-riddled webpage lost over two times the number of potential customers than the typo-free page.
Time spent on the page with spelling and grammatical errors was eight percent less than visitors’ time spent on the error-free page.
The findings of the Website Planet study confirmed previous research carried out by Charles Dunscombe, a serial entrepreneur.
Correct spelling and grammar are critical!
You might as well assume that users will lose trust in you and your brand if the content on your website is anything less than perfect.
How do spelling and grammar mistakes affect your website’s SEO?
Just as in real life, mistakes on your website have consequences. Not only can they cost you visitors and engagement, but they can also be harmful to your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
To put it in layman’s terms, spelling errors can cause you to lose page rank and get beat out in search engine results pages by your competition.
So, how do errors hurt your SEO?
Lower Dwell Time
One of the factors that Google and other search engines use in ranking websites is the amount of time visitors spend on a website and which pages they visit.
If a visitor’s time is short, search engines assume that the visitor didn’t find what they were looking for, causing your rankings for the search term that they entered to find you to slip.
Or, search engines could write your site off as being unreliable or of low quality.
Either way, a decrease in ranking will result in less traffic to your website, which affects your bottom line.
Higher Bounce Rates
Website Planet’s study also gave some insights into the effect of high bounce rates.
“Bouncing” is when a user visits a page on your website and leaves without visiting any other pages.
WP’s study tracked more than 5,000 site visits over two weeks and found that the bounce rate on landing pages with bad spelling and grammar was over 85 percent higher than those that were correctly written and free of spelling and grammar errors.
High bounce rates damage your SEO and ranking because they signal to Google that your site isn’t trustworthy or doesn’t match the search query, as we explained above.
Low dwell time and high bounce rates are bad for your site’s position in organic search results.
Website Planet’s study also gave insights into the effect of high bounce rates. Tracking more than 5,000 site visits over two weeks, they found that the bounce rate on landing pages with sloppy spelling and grammar was 85 percent more than those that were correctly written and spell-checked. This is further damaging to your SEO ranking, as high bounce rates signal to Google that a site is not trustworthy, therefore lowering its position in the organic search results.
Poor User Experience
Google and other search engines’ spiders cannot determine if a website is visually appealing, easy to use, trendy, etc.
They aren’t able to adapt a user’s point of view, however…
They use signals from the site’s traffic to calculate whether visitors have a positive or negative experience on your website.
If users aren’t hanging around and browsing your website, Google takes that as a sign that you’re not providing a good user experience, and, you guessed it, your rankings suffer.
Here’s what SEO Guru Matt Cutts (and former head of webmaster spam with Google) has to say:
How does Google distinguish excellent the good grammar and spelling from the bad?
What’s interesting is that spelling and grammar aren’t considered direct ranking factors with Google.
However, the correlation between search engine ranking and poor spelling and grammar can be nailed down to:
As we said earlier, your dwell time and bounce rates directly impact your search engines’ rankings.
More typos and spelling errors = less dwell time and a higher bounce rate.
Links from websites to yours are considered a significant ranking factor with Google and other search engines.
People are less prone to link to poorly-worded content than reputable sources. Spelling errors and typos can cause you to miss out on backlinks and traffic from other websites.
Six Simple Steps to Make Your Website Free From Spelling and Grammar Errors:
For your website to help you reach your marketing goals, it has to draw customers in and not drive them away.
You’ve worked hard on your online presence, so don’t let bad grammar and spelling ruin it for you! Here are some good habits to practice to ensure your content and blog posts are error-free and attracts (rather than repels) visitors:
Proofread, proofread, proofread
Before you hit the post button, it’s a good idea to check (and recheck) all of your content before publishing it.
Good quality content can’t be rushed!
Always allow for extra time at the end of your writing to check your work for errors.
Read your content out loud.
This may seem a little silly, but trust me – it works! Reading your work out loud forces you to slow down and allows you to pick out mistakes.
If something doesn’t sound right or sounds awkward, then rewrite it.
Serve the searcher!
Have someone proofread it for you
If possible, have a grammatically-savvy friend or colleague read over your rough draft. Four eyes are better than two.
If you’ve been pecking away at the same section of text all day, the words will all run together. Even the sharpest proofreader can miss things that a fresh set of eyes won’t. Ask a friend or team member to proofread your content.
Use an online spelling and grammar tool.
There are scores of tools online (both free and premium) that you can use to check your spelling and grammar to avoid sounding like a fool.
Here at BlakSheep Creative, we run every piece of content through Grammarly, which is an incredible asset.
You can use others, but we promise, if you use Grammarly once, you won’t even remember their names, so we won’t even mention them.
Don’t downplay social media.
Even though social media platforms tend to have a more laid-back messaging style (and scores of unnecessary emojis and abbreviations), don’t get over-relaxed. Don’t assume that just because they are more casual than spelling and grammar errors are OK.
By getting into the habit of proofreading all of your digital content, you’ll be more prone to pick up on mistakes irrespective of the platform.
Read our recent blog post to learn about the effects of social media spelling and grammar errors. The effects may surprise you.
Hire a professional copywriter
A website full of spelling and grammar mistakes will undermine all of your marketing efforts and attempts to establish your business as experts in your industry.
If grammar and spelling aren’t your forte, then consider hiring a professional copywriter to generate your content for you. By hiring a professional, you can have trust in your web content that it will do what you have it for, and that’s sales.
The return on investment (ROI) is higher than you may think if it means you are keeping website visitors and converting them to customers (or clients).
Spelling and grammatical errors have happened to all of us; we’re human! But, by getting into a habit of proofreading before you hit the post button, you can boost your website’s user experience, SEO ranking, and conversion rates.
We believe in spelling and grammar so much, we’re offering a FREE site audit. We will check your entire website and provide you a spreadsheet of the spelling and grammar errors, the page they’re located on, and proposed fixes for FREE.
No strings. No commitments.
Simply complete the form below to have your results emailed to you.