Search Engine Optimization UK – The Importance of Spelling and Grammar

February 9, 2015 - Digital State Marketing

When it comes to search engine optimization in the UK, it is important that all of your content has good spelling and grammar. Sites with bad spelling or grammar often confuse or put off the reader, and this will increase bounce rates and reduce numbers of repeat visitors. This, in turn, will negatively affect your rankings and thus your efforts at search engine optimization. Below are a few things to consider when writing your content if you are concerned about search engine optimization in the UK.

Spelling

Spelling can sometimes cause confusion or misunderstanding, such as the misspelling of a homophone (night vs. knight). Spelling a word according to different rules, such as those for the US, can also confuse a reader as they might incorrectly think that the piece is aimed at American readers (or vice versa). Either of these issues can cause users to be deterred from using your site. Additionally, having misspellings in your content can make it seem unprofessional and therefore discourage readers from engaging with your content.

Punctuation and Grammar 

Whilst bad spelling can be harmful, bad punctuation or grammar can ruin content. Misuse of apostrophes and commas can cause drastic changes in meaning, and the omission of commas can cause ambiguity and confusion. This can make your content very easy to misunderstand, or not understand at all, and thus deter readers. Take, for example, the classic comparison of:

  1. The panda eats, shoots and leaves
  2. The panda eats shoots and leaves

You’ve probably heard it before, it’s from a joke that goes something like this:

A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down at a table and orders a sandwich. Once he has finished eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun, shoots the waiter and walks towards the exit. “Hey! Where are you going? You just shot the waiter”, shouts the manager, “why did you do that?”. “I’m a panda, look it up”, replies the panda. So the manager looks up the definition of panda in the dictionary, and the dictionary entry reads: “a large black and white mammal who eats, shoots and leaves”. It might not be very funny, but it highlights the issue pretty well.

Common grammatical mistakes include lack of subject/verb agreement and misuse of their/there/they’re or your/you’re. Lack of subject/verb agreement occurs when the subject and the verb don’t agree in number. For example, in the sentence “the cats is meowing” the subject ‘cats’ is plural whereas the verb ‘is’ is singular. Although it isn’t always quite as obvious as that example, it does always come across as rushed or too colloquial. Misuse of their/there/they’re or your/you’re also makes the content seem rushed, too informal or simply that the writer doesn’t have a good grasp of English. Although meaning is usually clear when these mistakes are made, they still make the piece look less professional or less informed. Pieces that include common grammatical mistakes are less likely to be trusted, and so they should be avoided.

For more help and advice with content writing visit Digital State Marketing today.