Bridget Rooth

How Bad Spelling and Grammar Affect Your Content KPIs

By: Bridget Rooth | April 26, 2016 | 
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How Bad Spelling and Grammar Affects Your Content KPIs

By Bridget Rooth

There’s a huge amount of pressure on marketers nowadays, not just to be creating content, but to be creating lots of it.

This pressure can lead some down a slippery slope where quality is forsaken for quantity.

Spelling and grammar is a key signal of quality content which must not be neglected.

Here are some ways how it can directly affect your content marketing KPIs.

Brand/Business Credibility

Particularly when it comes to potential customers who are completely new to your brand and business, poor spelling and grammar can be a big turn off.

No matter how big or small the products or services you’re selling, you may be planting a seed of doubt in your prospective customers’ minds.

They may start wondering how seemingly small errors translate to the rest of your business.

This can ultimately affect everything from conversions to engagement metrics such as bounce rate.

CTR of Headlines

Anyone with experience of promoting content on social media will know how well-written headlines can affect click through rates (CTR).

As you aim to craft a headline that is both an invitation to click and a concise description of the article itself, don’t overlook actual English.

Making sure your headlines are spelled correctly and are grammatically flawless is the least you can do.

Bad Grammar Affects SEO Performance

One of the big draws of a content-focused strategy to marketers is the promise of increasing traffic from organic search.

Although Google has said that spelling and grammar isn’t specifically one of their ranking signals, they have also made it clear there is a correlation between websites which use correct spelling and grammar and those which they deem to be high quality.

Even if it’s not a ranking signal now, it could change, so it’s a good idea to future-proof your content.

Local Language Variations

Don’t forget that using local variations of a language can mean that users find the content more relevant, which boosts conversions.

Let’s take British English and American English, as examples.

If your website specifically targets users in the UK, it wouldn’t be appropriate to see the American spelling of words (color vs. colour, for instance) that could be causing users to leave your site without making a purchase.

As always, know your audience and target your content to them as much as possible.

Desired Actions

Calls-to-action are inextricably linked with conversion rate.

Poor spelling here can appear more visible to your potential customers.

Grammar is also hugely important; slight differences in the way something is worded can lead to confusion for users resulting in a lost conversion.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, build a quality check into your existing workflow so, before publishing anything, at least two sets of eyes have looked over the content beforehand.

image credit: shutterstock

About Bridget Rooth


Bridget Rooth is the founder and CEO of an English editing company – English Trackers. She helps her clients to communicate their ideas clearly and fluently so they have the greatest impact.

  • Predictably, I love love love this post! I especially love your appropriate usage of a semicolon because that never happens these days! Even without some of the finer points of your piece (like the click through rates etc), as you said it just reflects how much care the author took with the content if things are spelled correctly and the grammar is right.

    • Thanks Paula,
      The semicolon is still alive and kicking in a lot of the academic work we edit for clients. But I agree, getting the little details right often means the person has taken care of the big stuff too!

  • I will leave the appropriate use of the semicolon to others – like my Copy Editor, who reads everything and corrects spelling, grammar, etc. I may be well in the minority, but I think, with the exception of the occasional clever manipulation of the language in an advertising headline, sloppy grammar and incorrect spelling are never acceptable. This is always a sign of a poorly structured or managed content team, and it does reflect very poorly on their brand. It still amazes me how often we see website copy with the typical mistakes, such as the you/your thing, which can be easily found and fixed with a bit of proofreading.

    PS: My Copy Editor has not reviewed this!

    • Totally agree Steve. It often seems like companies pay a fortune to create a website, or launch a product, but forget to invest in checking their writing. Every company – and every person – should have their own copy editor!

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