Do You Agree? Misspellings Can Affect a Website’s Sales and Profits!

Hi everyone. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to our first ever “Community Timeout.”

As I mentioned a few days ago, we are devoting Mondays here on the WebIncomeJournal to readers discussing in-depth issues that has to do with running a successful business on the net. And so today, I want us to look into an issue I consider a serious one.

As a blogger or webmaster you definitely know the importance of your communications on the net. Besides, there is no doubt that our online communications are carried out mainly with the written word. This means therefore that being able to communicate clearly with your written content is crucial to your success.

Now, a few days ago, I came across an article by BBC News education correspondent, Sean Coughlan, titled: “Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales.” In the article, Sean Coughlan reported a web entrepreneur, Charles Duncombe saying, an analysis of website figures showed a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half.

Mr Duncombe, who runs travel, mobile phones and clothing websites, made it very clear that poor spelling is a serious problem for the online economy.

Said He,

“Spelling is important to the credibility of a website. You get about six seconds to capture the attention on a website. When there are underlying concerns about fraud and safety, then getting the basics right is essential.”

Could this be an indictment on SEOs Advice on Misspelt Keywords?

Misspellings can affect your website sales and profit!Reading that report I was amazed but not really surprised. You see, as a professional freelance content writer, I had always advocated that businesses use professionally written, well structured web content on their sites. This is really necessary if you want to convince your site visitors that you are a professional in your field. It will also help you to communicate powerfully with your site visitors and be able to build trust with them.

But then as an SEO enthusiast, I’ve heard the search engine optimization experts advocate the use of misspellings on web pages. Their argument is that many people make mistakes when using the search engines for searching for information. To them, these misspelt keywords form a bulk of traffic  and optimizing your web content for these misspellings, could help you ‘corner’ some of these traffic and direct them to your site!

Good reasoning, right? And I’m sure you may have used misspelt keywords at one time or the other. Personally, I’ve done it on a few occasions but then, I was more concerned with traffic than sales!

Did you read that very well?

But is traffic any use if it does not translate to sales on an e-commerce site? I doubt!

So, here is what I want us to discuss:

1. Do you really believe misspellings can greatly affect sales on the internet?

2. If this is really true does it therefore mean that business persons who may have hired SEO companies to optimize their web content and who may have received misspelt keywords as part of their optimization strategy, actually paid those SEO’s to drive away sales?

3. Would you, from these findings, encourage bloggers to be more careful about proof-reading their blog posts before publication?

and,

4. Would you encourage online businesses to use professional writers for their web marketing content or produce just anything they think is ok for their sites?

Please post your comments below and make your discussion useful and relevant. We want to gain something from you.

About Chadrack

Chadrack Irobogo is a web entrepreneur, blogger, business coach and author. He’s a vastly experienced online marketer and runs a digital marketing agency where he helps local businesses drive valuable online leads. On this blog he shares business strategies and proven marketing tactics that delivers tangible results for SMBs and enterprise bloggers.

View all posts by Chadrack →

35 Comments on “Do You Agree? Misspellings Can Affect a Website’s Sales and Profits!”

  1. Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one
    and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam
    comments? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or
    anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

    1. @affordable seo package,

      Must say spam comments is one thing I think will have to live with! I’ve tried various plugins but the spammers are growing more desperate by the day. Presently, I use the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin which I know many bloggers use but, I must say that has not stopped the spammers. It has only reduced or given them an new style of doing it.

      There are powerful ones I have tried but one thing I don’t like about them is the catpcha. I really do not want to subject my readers to all that because of some spammers. GASP is good since the spammer must visit your blog before he/she can post the comment. Only thing you have to do is simply delete it when you see. So the loser is the spammer because he/she visited and wasted time posting the comment! 🙂

  2. I agree with Sean Coughlan,

    Spelling mistake can be a dangerous thing when it comes to reviewing a product or selling something, but in case of Blogging, I don’t think that spelling mistakes can cause traffic loss.
    BTW thanks for your first comment on my blot Chadrack. Keep coming bro.

    1. @Ehsan,

      I like that angle Ehsan. I know that many bloggers will not really care if there are mistakes on your blog or not. However, let’s say you are blogger who promotes yourself as a freelance content writer. When someone comes to your blog and on a single post, there nothing less than 4 noticeable misspellings. What impression do you think that person will have of you? Or do you think it really does not matter?

      Oh, it was really a pleasure. Must say you have a great blog there and I’ll definitely be visiting more.

  3. Deliberately misspelling is ridiculous. Google auto-corrects misspellings and they have even reported that level of spelling and grammar is taken into account when ranking websites.

    The better the spelling and grammar = better rankings. Please don’t misspell on purpose guys!

    1. @Sandip,

      That is really instructive. I really did not know that Google is also using spellings to rank websites. But like I said in the post, SEOs deliberately and misspelt words for the traffic benefit. They know many people make mistakes while using the search engines and they only want to capitalize on those mistakes. But I don’t really know if those same people who make such a mistake will really see it as a mistake when the visit the site.

      Thanks for the comment and that great lesson! 🙂

  4. Yes,I am 100 % agree with the fact of misspellings and its bad effect on the website’s sales and profits because sometimes misspelt words or keywords give a very strange meaning.

  5. I think it can absolutely hurt a websites sales and profits. Not only are you limiting the viewability it receives from searches and SEO, but you also make the website look less professional than others in your niche. For those reasons spelling is a big factor.

  6. I also agree that misspelling can lead to not so good things. Though it doesn’t happen mostly, still it can make a big difference.

    1. @bj,

      Thanks bj. This issue of first impression is really very important. Creating a bad impression will only rob you of your success.

  7. I think every blogger should care about the spelling in their blog. To do show is to work with an appropriate attention to detail. It shows the reader that they are serious about what they are doing. Every part of your business counts and failure to deal with any part could be to your downfall.

    1. @Elena Anne,

      Well spoken Elena Anne. I know as humans we from time to time let slip one mistake here and there but spending time to re-read and proof-read your articles will remove most of the mistakes. Most times I spend 2 or 3 days on an article. I truly care about the impression I create. 🙂

  8. It’s true that bad spelling and grammar will turn visitors away the headline logic is flawed. Poor spelling is not costing the lots of money in lost revenue. It is just moving customers onto a different website. But spelling is not the biggest problem IMO. I’d say its grammar, grocers apostrophes, over use, of, commas, there / their … etc.

    1. @Sarah Mills,

      It’s really funny that in one breath you say, “bad spelling and grammar will turn visitors away” but yet turn around to say, “the headline logic is flawed!” If you agree that bad grammar and spelling turn the visitor away, moving them (the customer) to ‘different’ websites, don’t you think that is losing the sale to another site? That is of course if you’re selling something on your site.

      Ok, I may agree with you that spelling may not be the biggest problem, but come to think of it, don’t you think a wrong spelling will somehow affect the grammar therefore changing the meaning of a sentence?

      For example, “you’re” instead of “your,” “there” instead of “their,” which are very common on most web copies as a result of automatic correction while using Microsoft Word in writing.

      You need to understand that the aim here is not to put down anyone but a simple call for us to be more careful with our writing. It will not only make our readers more comfortable but also add to our bottomline as businesses or don’t you think so?

  9. You really have hit the nail on the head with this post Chadrack. It surprises me how many people don’t check their work. Misspelling can really discredit an individual, or even an organisation. The misspelling is often not representative, however if users see one of 1,000’s employees spelling wrong, is sends out the perception to the customer that the firm may not be reputable or trustworthy.

    I never thought about the SEO impact, but I suppose you are right, you could really mess up your keywords!

    I always try to check my own work, and try to let fellow bloggers know when I find errors with theirs.

    On a slightly off topic note to finish Chadrack, have you entered Technology Bloggers latest competition yet?

    1. @Christopher Roberts,

      What beats me dry is that most bloggers want to argue that spelling or grammar doesn’t really matter especially since most bloggers do not have English as their first language. This is understandable but as I’ve always let some know, if you have decided to write your blog in English, nothing stops you from learning to use the language well.

      But those are really extreme cases because even with those who have English as their first language, many do not care to proof read their work. This is bad. As it’s commonly said, first impression matters. If I come across a site with 2 to 5 errors on a page, I simply conclude that the person behind that site is not serious. And I believe I’m not alone here.

      Doing business with someone who cannot ensure that his/her language carries the correct meaning is really taking a risk, especially when it comes to online dealings where, in most cases, every thing is done digitally.

      Ok, never knew you are running another competition. Will just check it out.

      1. @Chadrack, totally agree with you. Ironically I found one small error in your text! I hate to bring it up, but as I said above “I always try to check my own work, and try to let fellow bloggers know when I find errors with theirs.” so here I am, letting you know your error – first I have found for a long while mind you!

        “As it’s commonly said, first impression matters.” – impressions should either have an ‘s’ after it, to say ‘…first impressions matter…‘ or you should have the word ‘a’, ‘your’ or ‘the’ before the word first.

        Sorry to be picky, just helping you out 😉

        How do you get on with the competition? Are you in with a chance of winning $50 USD?

        Always good to chat Chadrack 🙂
        Christopher

        1. @Christopher Roberts,

          Oh, great Christopher, it’s simply what we are talking about here. It’s really a good thing that you brought this up. Thanks for the correction. That has also added to my knowledge! I would have gone ahead and corrected it but I’ll be leaving it there so that others who care to read it later can also gain something from it as I did! 🙂

  10. @Chadrack

    Being a Student of Human Resource Management, I strongly believe that mistakes always cut away our objectives. As we human always focus what the company do offer how do they offer and how strongly they believe to communicate clearly and concisely with their visitors. Now come towards the point of Spelling mistakes cut away sales of the online companies.

    Spelling mistakes are something to misguide someone. Therefor spelling mistakes means a lot in the effective sales management, one have to be care more than anything specially in online business each and everything deals in the written form, means there is very less oral communications in online business, the company must look over the companies official sites before hiring them as their SEO”s workers.

    1. @merry,

      Of course, as a human resource management student, your communication skills some thing that must taken very seriously. How can you interact or relate intelligently with others if you cannot communicate clearly. I think you are really in a good way to educate us in this area or don’t you think so?

  11. Yes, I absolutely believe that misspellings can greatly affect sales on the internet. One of my friends has a website, and its name is very hard to pronounce, and you know what happens, there is not much traffic to this site.

    1. @viec lam hai phong,

      It is clear that your friend did not think of the search engine value of that name before going for it. All the same, I think if the name is what is keeping away the traffic then it is time to choose something else. And why don’t you let him know this?

  12. We absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome web log!

  13. Yes! I think it affects them massively. If I go to a website and the copy is badly written it really puts me off. E-Bay is an exception but if it is a company website, sometimes I won’t buy. I work in print and so getting the copy write on things is really important as you don’t get a second chance. I know it’s slightly different on the web because you CAN edit it if something is wrong. I still think people need to be more diligent when checking their websites for copy though, as there is a lot of rubbish out there!

    1. @Printing Kent,

      Indeed many people are with you on this. Credibility matters and having misspellings in your e-commerce site does not in any way tell good about you. Thanks for the comment.

  14. Hey Chadrack,

    Personally I have a hard time believing that a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half. If that was the case then nobody would be making any money online because we all make spelling and grammar mistakes from time to time.

    Do I think you should misspell words on purpose for SEO purposes? Absolutely not.

    I think you should always try to be as professional as possible, but I also don’t think you should lose sleep over it if you misspell a single word here or there. I don’t think a single misspelled word makes a website look shady unless it’s a really bad spelling mistake like, “He wood go to the store if he could.”

    In some ways, it makes it more “human” because most of us aren’t perfect spellers or typers for that matter.

    At the same time, your post or page shouldn’t be chock full of these type of errors either. A couple misspellings is acceptable. A whole page of them is not.

    1. @Derek,

      I agree with you that a single misspelling may not affect sales in such a high manner. But that was the result of a research. However, a page with more than 3 misspellings will lead me to asking questions.

      On misspelt keywords by SEOs, this really happens. In fact, it is a tactic that many of SEOs teach as very effective. I’ve even believed it over the years until I saw this report and it came to my mind that, that tactic is faulty!

      Thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

  15. This is great post, Chadrack!

    Spelling mistakes can run down your credibility greatly.

    I remember an Info-graphic that provided social media average ROI. The word “Sequence” was wrongly spelled in one of the sub-heads.

    A viewer left a comment asking why she should trust statistics from someone who can’t spell the word “sequence” correctly.

    In all fairness, the statistics may have been correct. However, the fact that the company’s editorial team could not detect that spelling error cast a pall of doubt on the integrity of all other communications.

    1. @Yeremi Akpan,

      Hmm, that is really touching. Many marketers don’t realize the fact that customers are becoming more and more critical with online promotions. Knowing fully that any one can claim to be a guru in any field, many people only use what you are putting out as a yard stick for assessing you.

      Thanks for the comment.

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