Getting your Small Business Online is absolutely crucial in staying ahead of your competition in the world of Digital Marketing. But, you have to utilise your online presence to the best of its potential.
Part of this is making sure that no spelling mistakes exist anywhere on your Website. Spelling mistakes will cause potential clients to distrust your Website, seeing it as unprofessional and even a little dodgy.
On top of this, Google’s algorithm actually punishes poor copywriting. Whether that involves spelling mistakes, or just poor grammar, the copywriting on your Website needs to be optimised to the best of its ability to get the most out of your Websites Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If your SEO is being negatively affected, your chances of gaining substantial Website traffic is near non-existent! All from a little thing like a few spelling mistakes…
To help you, the Small Business Owner, avoid such a catastrophe, we’ve created this blog post that identifies the most common online spelling mistakes, along with some helpful copywriting tips!
Who Are You Writing For?
As a Small Business Owner, this is where you start. It is highly important that you identify your industries market and who you are selling to because this will determine what grammar style you need to write in.
All over the world, countries have different variations of grammar. The classic example is American versus Australian, where words like “Optimize” in America is actually spelt “Optimise” in Australia.
If you’re selling products to an American audience, yet writing in Australian grammar (or vice versa) your customers could distrust your products. They will begin to question if you really know them and their needs at all, which you really don’t want to happen.
Incorrect grammar style is one of the biggest reasons people will choose a competitor. It makes you look as though you don’t particularly care about your own product or customers at all.
So, first things first, identify your market and make sure you’re speaking their language – literally. You’ll be amazed at the benefits this can bring, with customers trusting in your products or services as they recognise your Business as an authority in the market.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a highly experienced professional writer, or you barely ever pick up a pen, typos happen. They just do. But, while typos are a natural part of life, putting processes in place to identify and prevent them occurring on your Website is crucial.
Unfortunately, 75% of people skim content rather than read each word. This means you’re often likely to glaze over any typos you’ve made within your own content during the editing process.
But don’t stress, there are a number of strategies to help you identify typos that are imbedded into the copywriting of your Website. Sitting down and printing off your content, rather than reading it on the computer, can work wonders in identifying typos in your Website copy. You can even take this one step further and read the copy aloud! Better yet, get someone else to read it out for you. A fresh set of eyes will really help you pick up on mistakes you missed yourself.
Below, you’ll find some of the most commonly misused and misspelt words in the Digital Marketing World, according to Google. So sit down and look at the following words on your Website, and make sure they are used properly…
There, They’re and Their
While these words have exactly the same pronunciation, they differ greatly in meaning.
“There, there, she said. They’re all horrible and live in their own world”…
Yep, confusing isn’t it. But mixing these words up, especially in a sentence like the one above, could be detrimental to your Website copy. So here is what each word means, and how best to use them;
There – (Adverb), is representative of a place, “there” is used similar to the word “here”. For example, it can be used as “it is over there” or “there are two apples”.
They’re – (contraction), is a shortened version of the words “they are”. Correct use of this word would be “they’re coming over tonight”.
Their – (possessive pronoun), is used to indicate a person or individual. For example, “someone left their book on my desk”.
Now that we’ve defined these words for you, go forth and claim your mastery over them on your Website!
Your & You’re
Another widely misunderstood pair of words that again are pronounced exactly the same, yet mean vastly different things. So let’s clarify exactly what each means;
Your – (possessive adjective) is used to show that something belongs to “you”. For example, “is this your coffee?”
You’re – (contraction) is a shortened version of “you are”. The use of this contraction is typically through statements like “I hope you’re coming tonight”.
Now that we’ve explained the difference between the two, you’re well-armed to use them both appropriately on your Website!
Accommodation or Accomodation
According to Google, the most commonly misspelt word on Websites and typed into their search bar is “Accommodation”. Often spelt with only one “m”, this word in all its variations is causing strife across the World Wide Web!
If you’ve used this word on your site, go back and check it now! Especially as many content management systems within the Websites backend don’t show misspelt words.
Definitely or Definately
Closely behind accommodation comes “definitely”, ranked second by Google in their list of misspelt words.
Spelt wrong with the inclusion of the letter “a”, “definitely” definitely does not have an “a” in it at all! So go ahead and check how this word has been spelt on your site!
Receive or Recieve
The “I” before “E” except after “C” rule has plenty of exceptions. However, not in this instance.
“Receive” follows this rule, and I’m sure you all have the sing-song way it was taught during primary school stuck in your head! Coming in ranked at third by Google in their list of misspelt words, this is another one to go through and check on your Website.
A lot or Alot
In an incredible display of irony, “a lot” gets misspelt as “alot”…well, a lot, according to Google.
Given that people tend to “skim read” their own copy, such a minor typo like “alot” can be extremely hard to spot. With this is mind, make sure you go back and check for this typo, it might just be hiding in your text somewhere!
Affect or Effect
Despite their similarities, these two words do mean different things. So here is a quick definition of the two;
Affect – (verb) is an active way to describe the way something makes a difference or influences something or someone. For example, “the cough was starting to affect her health”.
Effect – (noun/verb) is used to describe result or consequence of an action. Use of the word “effect” can be sentences like “move the cursor until you get the effect you want”, or “the effects of SEO benefit Small Businesses”.
The easiest way to distinguish the two is that “affect” is used as an active verb, while “effect” is almost always used as a noun to identify the cause of a result.
One of the more difficult elements to check on your Website, it still should be scrutinised closely!
Style is Just as Important!
Don’t ever underestimate the impact that the style of your copywriting can have on your conversion rates! If your content looks great and is formatted correctly, you are going to be more trusted by your Website visitors, significantly increasing their chances of purchasing your products or services!
Make sure that your style is consistent where the font size is all the same and that you have only used one font type. Additionally, make sure that your text is all aligned at the same point, whether that is in the middle, to the right, left or justified.
And always optimise your copy for maximum conversion. What this means is that you should always keep your clients in mind when deciding on the style and formatting of your content. For example, there’s no point choosing Times New Roman font in size 12 if your Website is selling fun party products! Create the ideal optimal style that reflects your products and appeals to your prospects.
You’re now armed with the best intel on spelling mishaps in the Digital Marketing World, use it wisely! Don’t kill your conversion rates prematurely with silly spelling, poor grammar and typos. Double and triple check your content to ensure you’re viewed as professional and trustworthy, and that SEO is working best for you.