When it comes to developing quality content for your business, proper spelling and grammar are just as important as keyword usage, optimised headings, and relevant subject matter.
But why? Well, good spelling and grammar are signals of professionalism, credibility, and quality writing – all of which are crucial aspects to the development of a streamlined user experience. A poor user experience will directly impact your page rankings and reliability.
Let’s take a closer look at just how bad spelling and SEO are related, what Google thinks about bad grammar and SEO, and why you should always do a check.
What Google Says About Bad Spelling and SEO
As far as Google is concerned, their search algorithms do not penalise poor spelling. However, Google does admit that bad spelling and SEO are associated due to the importance of readability.
Google’s John Mueller states:
“With regard to spelling errors…I think that’s something that’s a bit more of almost like a grey zone in that on the one hand, we have to be able to recognise what a page is about. If we can’t recognise that because there’s so many errors on the page in the text, then that makes it harder.”
Mueller elaborates that bad spelling and SEO does affect the user experience.
“It is more a matter of how it is received from a user point of view…if you are a banking website and you have terrible English on it, then I assume users will lose trust in your website.”
At Safari Digital, we talk a lot about the necessity of a quality user experience and how this directly impacts your page ranking. Although the Google algorithms do not specifically target grammar and spelling when ranking web pages, it is clear that bad spelling and SEO are strongly related.
What Google Says About Bad Grammar and SEO
Like bad spelling and SEO, Google has admitted their algorithm does not target poor grammar when ranking pages.
Google’s John Mueller states:
“We can find better ways of finding lower quality content than just checking the grammar…because something like grammar is really hard to do across the internet, where there are so many different languages and so many variations of language.”
Despite this, bad grammar and SEO are still correlated. As previously mentioned, bad grammar is a signal of low-quality content. If a user is having trouble understanding what is being said in an article, they’re less likely to trust the information and subsequently, the web page. A bad user experience, in turn, affects your ranking. The user will soon turn away from your site if they’re experiencing too many errors.
The Impact of Grammar and Spelling on Readability
As we know, Google wants to rank websites with high-quality content over websites with poor-quality content in search engine results. User experience centres around comprehension and readability when it comes to content – if users cannot read your content with ease, then it’s not high-quality.
A Harvard Business Review article elaborates on this topic, detailing an excellent study that supports the notion of solid readability in the context of user experience.
The study surveyed 547 businesspeople, specifically people who write at least two hours per week and spend an average of 25.5 hours per week reading for work.
“81% of them agree that poorly written material wastes a lot of their time. A majority say that what they read is frequently ineffective because it’s too long, poorly organised, unclear, filled with jargon and imprecise.”
If your reader has to exert themselves unnecessarily to read and interpret your content, they’ll pick a more accessible, readable source. A post that has been carefully crafted with little to no errors conveys that the writers and thus the business behind it have invested time and effort into their work and subsequently, can be trusted. Users are human – we like things to be easy.
As such, this is why Google does not need an exact algorithm for spelling and grammar to assess content quality. They can rely on users and other authority sites to tell them whether or not a page is valuable and trustworthy.
Format Spelling and Grammar for Your Target Country
Now that we’re aware of the importance of spelling and grammar regarding SEO, it should be said that the language used must be relevant to your target country.
For example, British and American English has some differences in grammar and spelling. For maximum SEO, ensure that the grammar and spelling used aligns with your target country.
For international reach, it is not enough to use an online translator tool as it is not 100% effective – there will be grammatical errors. If your company plans to target an international audience, the article should be written organically in whatever language is applicable to preserve readability.
How to Ensure Readability
So just how can you make sure that your spelling and grammar is credible and error-free? Here are some sure-fire methods we recommend that’ll keep your content engaging and maximise quality.
• Read it out loud. Your ears will hear the mistakes that your brain is missing.
• Have your co-workers read the article. A fresh set of eyes will often catch errors you have missed.
• Use an online proofreading and spell-check tool. Safari Digital recommends Grammarly – a free-to-use spelling and grammar checker that’ll make your life easier.