The influence of grammar and spelling errors
It wuld bee logical to assume that grammar and spelling errors effects one’s credibility.
But, how true is that statement?
Would you have surgery performed on your eyes by your surgeon who misspells ‘retina?’
Let’s analyze how the studies, data, and reports all add up.
1. According to Google
What is Google’s word on website grammar and spelling errors?
Google expressed, higher ranking websites generally correlate with accurate grammar and spelling. Though, both variables are not directly related via causation.
In other words, grammar and spelling errors do not directly affect Google rankings. Though, correct grammar and spelling may indirectly affect other ranking variables.
Such variables that may indirectly affect a website’s Google rankings include:
- Bounce rate.
- Organic traffc.
- Click-through rate (CTR).
Imagine, entering a website with grammar and spelling errors all over the page. Ask yourself, would you purchase services from this business?
How credible does a business sound and look like with misspellings and copy errors? Think about the impression and user experience your website leaves for your visitors. The point of the correlation between spelling and ranking is to provide a positive user experience. This leads to increased visitor engagement and visitor page times, to a decrease in bounce rates, all which effect SEO.
2. Climbing your career
Grammarly performed a study done on the predicter of good grammar and professional success in a person’s career. After analyzing and reviewing 100 LinkedIn profiles, the study discovered:
- The correlation between professionals who posses proper grammar ability associates with a higher a higher job title. Working professionals who made 2.5 times more grammar errors were unsuccessful in being promoted to a director title.
- Professionals with fewer grammar errors achieve a faster chance of being promoted than those with poor grammar ability. Those professionals with a 45% rate of grammar errors only had less than five promotions. Whereas, their counterparts had six to nine promotions within same duration of career time.
- The study also found professionals who hold better grammar change jobs more frequent. The speculations say that those with proper grammar tend to be more ambitious. Which then associates with high income.
3. Enfluence on sales
Even poor spelling jeopardizes an organization’s sales. Charles Duncombe, owner of an ecommerce and travel company witnessed this first hand. Imagine, running a multi-million dollar business and missing out on potential sales due to careless, easy to fix spell errors. Charles discovered a staggering increase in conversion rates once he amended eminent spelling mistakes.
4. Conversion rates and lower rankings
Poor spelling attributes to lower conversion rates within Google Ads.
A study done by Website Planet analyzed over 5,000 websites over a 14 day time period. Researchers found out that that websites with grammar and spelling errors accounted for over 85% of why website visitors left. The visitors attributed to not affecting website bounce rates, but decreased time spent on the website.
Bounce rate is a SEO metric that accounts for percentage of visitors who enter a page without clicking on elsewhere.
SEO specialists all know, high bounce rates, and the amount of time visitors spend on a website directly affects rankings.
For example, pages with high bounce rates are more likely triggered as negative ranking signals to search engines. These types of signals tell search engines the page may potentially be untrustworthy or have low quality content. In which results to lower rankings within the search engine results page.
The same pattern was also seen within a similar study done at Website Planet with Google ads.
Website Planet found out:
- visitors are 70% less likely to click on adverts with more grammar errors.
- visitors are also 20% less likely to click on adverts with spelling errors.
At the end of the study, guess what Website Planet discovered?
Surprise… lower position rankings for the Google adverts.
Visitors clicked advertisements less, prompting Google negative ranking signals.
Just imagine, paying for adverts for your business.
Then, those visitor clicks go to your direct competitors of the same niche.
All because of poor SEO ranking signals due to grammar and spelling errors that turn down your visitors.
Not only are you spending more, but you are losing revenue and customers.
In the end, only your direct competitors and lost customers win.
As a business owner, how would that make you feel?
5. People judge you
Even business owners and CEOs place an importance of proper grammar and spelling etiquette. Kyle Wiens from iFixit, explains in a conversation:
- The ability to possess skilled grammar ability affects one’s job ability, performance, and reflects their intellect.
- How people with good writing and grammar signify a person’s attention to detail within their work.
- Good grammar signifies one’s credibility and is a projection of your business.
6. Your grammar and spelling errors can get in trouble with the law
Here’s an insight to real legal court cases:
- The Most Expensive Typo in Legislative History. All because of one inaccurately placed comma, costed tax payers in the year 1872 over $2 million dollars. Or nearly $40 million dollars in today’s rate of inflation.
- NC Business Court Takes On The Oxford Comma. In the court case, Medfusion, Inc. v. Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., Medfusion attempted to sue Allscripts for over $4 million dollars of costs. Neither party was successful in winning the case due to the ambiguity and misinterpretation over the Oxford Comma.
- Re LL & E PETROLEUM MARKETING, INC. v. STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE. On the topic of the Oxford Comma, caused a dispute between Alabama and gasoline taxes owed. There was an unclear definition of the word gasoline, therefore was not subject to taxes. The dispute costed over millions of dollars to be settled
- DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER. All because of a comma, misconstrued the interpretation and influence of the Second Amendment of the U.S. We’re talking guns now… Yikes!
7. Credibility **
Lastly, Global Lingo surveyed over 1,000 adults in the UK regarding their online retail buying routines.
Roughly, three quarters of respondents expressed they notice quality of grammar or spelling on a company’s website.**
Nearly 60% respondents had also expressed they would not do business with companies with evident grammar and spelling errors.
Wise move on those 60%.
Imagine reading advice from an expert, only to find out grammar and spelling errors. Would you still deem this person an expert in their field?
Reasons why proper grammar and spelling matters
- Trusted credibility.
- Positive user experience in website copywriting.
- To avoid confusion. For example, consider the following :
- Let us eat, dad.
- Lettuce eat dad.
- Let us eat dad.
Real life grammar and spelling mistakes
Check out these real life examples seen on the web.
Ultimately, you have the power to make your own impressions from these scenarios.
Does the research explained above back these images in terms of credibility of a business?
What are your thoughts, reactions, or impressions after seeing these screenshots?
Please, share them in the comments below.
Should you worry about grammar and spelling errors?
Without a doubt.
Would you hire an accountant who misreports how much money you owe in taxes due to keystroke errors?
Why not leave a professional impression to visitors to increase chances of doing business with them?
Sure, having perfect grammar and spelling may not increase sales or conversions. But, the cost of having mistakes outweighs accurate grammar and spelling.
** Are you a part of those 3/4 of people who notice grammar and spelling errors on websites? Did you catch the 4 grammar or spelling errors on this page? Comment below if you caught all 4 errors!