Spelling Your Way to Disaster
If I had a nickel for every time someone used "they're" instead of "their" and "it's" instead of "its", I'd be... well, rich. A professional image demands more than just proper grammar. Spelling mistakes can be a sure killer for online stores.
A recent analysis for an online store boasting more than 4,000 products included a plethora of misspellings; nearly 25% of product names included misspelled words.
Incorrect spellings are not only embarrassing (they prompt customers to question the integrity of the site and the information provided), they affect the bottom dollar. Search engines, pay-per-click campaigns and affiliate marketing are all affected by the way words are spelled. And with Google's "Did you mean..." feature, spell checking is more important than ever.
While it's not so easy to see exactly why search engines aren't ideally ranking your pages when it comes to spelling, there are some simple steps you can take to find and fix the problems.
Use a "Good" Spell Check Tool
Most word processing, spreadsheet and database software programs provide a decent spell check tool. The key is to NOT overlook any flagged words and use the "add to dictionary" feature for uncommon words (like specific brand names or acceptable abbreviations). By adding properly spelled uncommon words to the dictionary, the program can catch alternative, incorrect spellings for you, which is more reliable than skimming through ourselves.
Of course, incorrect word usage, such as using “they’re” instead of “their” aren’t always caught in a grammar scan, so you still need to read all content before posting live.
Don't "Trust" the Manufacturer
If you import data directly from feeds provided by a manufacturer, spell-check those, too. Some of the biggest offenders of grammar and spelling are the bigger guys. It's funny, since they should have more resources, but I've seen plenty of manufacturer-provided content riddled with all kinds of errors.
Spell it Wrong in Site Search Keywords
Words that are often misspelled may actually hurt your internal site search. Hidden keyword fields used by the search tool should contain any common misspellings. Collectible is often spelled with "able", by the way.
Remember, Computers are Stoopid
Computers only do what we tell them to -- we give them commands and they follow them. When locating and fixing spelling errors, some human interaction would be nice. After all, I don't know anyone who drinks from a beer stain, cleans carpets with a vacum, or lights a candel during the holidays.
Use Resources or Professionals
If your budget allows, hiring a professional copywriter or content editor may be your best bet. A reputable writer/editor will also take time to learn about your product line, target audience and overall goals. Such professionals do not come cheaply, though. Expect to pay $25 to $90 per hour (depending on experience and demand), and keep in mind that such a task takes time.
If you are confident in your own work, expect to spend several minutes or more on each product name and corresponding keywords. Descriptions take longer since they often require additional research. Since you might have a lengthy project in front of you, tackle names, title tags and keywords first, then go back and work on other content. This will help you fix issues that may be costing you incoming traffic first.
Definitely Pamela, i agree with you. Misspelling creates a bad image not only for you but also for your customers. According to serve many people likes clean and easy to understand sentences. This is a very serious problem for an e-commerce sites because misspell product name can keep their customer far from the real thing. From promotion point of view it can also affect your ranking.