By Elin Enrooth
As a journalism graduate, I can spot a grammar mistake a mile away. I cringe when I see a misused “their” and “there”, or when sentences just don’t make sense.
Luckily, I’m not the only one that cares. Correct grammar usage is pretty important if you want your website to rank well online.
These days, business owners tend to focus more on their SEO strategy than making sure that their website has a sound foundation in the first place. Principles such as grammatically correct web content must be integrated into your SEO strategy in order for your website to be successful.
Error-free content has a better chance at ranking higher in search engines. Not only should you want users to understand your content, but you also want Google to understand what it’s about so that it will help direct relevant traffic to your page.
While Google has stated that they don’t penalize sites for grammar or spelling errors, they have confirmed that more reputable pages do tend to have better spelling and better grammar.
Matt Cutts, the head of webspam at Google, produced a video addressing the relation between grammar and SEO. He said that no, spelling and grammar are not officially included in the list of factors Google considers when ranking websites. He said it would be difficult for Googlebot to first decipher the language of the page and then differentiate between multiple languages.
However, Bing looks pretty carefully at the quality of website content.
“If you struggle to get past typos, why would an engine show a page of content with errors higher in the rankings when other pages of error free content exist to serve the searcher? Like it or not, we’re judged by the quality of the results we show. So we are constantly watching the quality of the content we see.” - Duane Forrester, Bing
Correct grammar usage greatly improves the experience users have on your website. When it comes to content, user experience is based on comprehension and readability. As users, we expect proper grammar and spelling. It’s a baseline and an indication of professionalism. Good grammar establishes trust and credibility and will therefore result in a better user experience.
A bad experience, in turn, will negatively affect a website’s ranking. While search engines may not have an exact algorithm to assess spelling and grammar, they do have algorithms that detect bad user experiences. Website content with typos and bad grammar is seen as unreliable and untrustworthy. Users will quickly leave a website and go somewhere else if the content is poorly written. High bounce rate and low time on page are signs that the website isn’t credible and therefore not worthy of high rankings.
Authority websites will only link back to a website if the writing quality meets their standards of quality and accuracy. The more authority a website has, the stricter they will likely be when proofreading.
Try these three proofing methods for error-free content:
This will help you catch run-on sentences and misplaced words. Your ears will hear mistakes your brain missed.
Ask a colleague to give your work a once-over. No one’s perfect and often a fresh set of eyes will catch errors you may have missed.
After you’ve finished writing, take a break and step away from your computer. Take as much time as you need, then proofread your work. This will give you some much-needed distance so that you can approach with a fresh perspective.
Need help producing error-free content?