Let's say it's your first day of work at a new job. In preparation, you'll probably do your hair, pick out a new outfit and put your best foot forward before heading out the door.
Why not take the same approach with content? Make it so appealing from the start that your customers can't stop consuming more and your colleagues can't wait to link to it.
The easiest way to accomplish this is by presenting a polished product. I'm talking about getting back to the fundamentals: proper spelling and grammar!
S&G might not be the most dynamic duo in terms of excitement, but both are important when making your company look professional. As Google continues to point to quality content as the way of the future, coming across as a refined expert when delivering your message can help improve your bottom line.
Although there has been no direct proof that correct spelling and grammar affects search quality, it can impact other aspects of your site. Matt Cutts says using proper spelling and grammar will lead to higher quality pages, making your business more reputable. Not only will you come across as an expert, your quality work could be rewarded with higher PageRank.
How do you get a higher PageRank? With links. And how do you get more links? With quality content! It's the digital circle of life. Paying attention to the flow of your writing will provide a more enjoyable experience for your customers and also naturally incline others to want to link to your amazing content.
If your content comes off as low-value, people won't want to stick around and read it. Unhappy visitors will leave your site, driving up your bounce rate and driving down your ranking and conversion rates.
Nobody is expecting you to turn into Shakespeare overnight, so here are a few easy tips to help get on the right track when it comes to buffing up your content.
Get A Second Set Of Eyes
When you've finished putting together a piece of content, try and get somebody else to give it a read. Whether they're a pro editor or not, getting a second set of eyes to edit your work and provide feedback can give a new perspective on your writing before presenting it to your customers.
It sounds redundant, but if you can't get somebody else to check over your work, at the very least use a spell check tool to examine it. Sometimes we make silly spelling mistakes or grammatical errors that can slip through the cracks and confuse the meaning of our content. Spell check can sometimes catch these errors for us. For example …
They're, their and there; you're and your; accept and except; words that sound the same but are spelt differently and have different meanings. Homophones can be tricky, but ensuring you use the right form of a word can make or break the meaning of what you're trying to say.
Try and keep your target audience in mind as well. There are several English words that have slightly different spellings depending on if you are Canadian or American and are not always caught with spell check. Take a look at this list of common words that have different American and Canadian spellings.
I'm sure everything you're writing about in your content is really important and you want to reach and connect with everybody in your audience but you need to make sure you're getting your point across in a clear, concise way. Run on sentences are those jammed with several ideas that are full of conjunctions and punctuation linking them together. For example, the first sentence in this paragraph.
If you come across a sentence like this, try to distinguish the separate ideas you're trying to get across and break them apart. This will make your content easier to read and your brilliant ideas easier to digest.
With texting and online communication becoming more and more popular, its not uncommon 2 c slang pop up in regular conversations, rite? Even though it's easy to weed out obvious neglect of spelling and grammar, improper uses of contractions are harder to distinguish. A contraction is when two words are combined using an apostrophe (you're, I'm, it's). If you're not sure if you need to use a contraction, think about what the two words being combined would be and see if they make sense with what you're trying to say.
By practicing proper spelling and grammar you'll end up with better quality content, which is great for your customers as well as your business. Your high quality content will stand the test of time and live to see many shares and likes among your peers and customers.
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Kari is an Account Coordinator at Search Engine People. Her background in English and journalism inspires her to expand her experience in the fields of publishing, marketing and communications in a way that can help her continue to explore the digital world.