Does spelling really impact sales?

Think you don't need to hire a professional content writer or proofreader? Well, you could be risking 70% of your potential business. Find out how.

In August 2019, Website Planet ran a study testing if spelling and grammar really impacted clicks on ads and time spent on webpages. The results were astonishing

  • Ads with spelling errors had 70% less clicks than those with them.

  • The bounce rate of landing pages with spelling errors was 85% higher, while the time spent on the site decreased by 8%.

Spelling and grammar errors on a website and in advertising indicates to users that little attention has been paid and it may indicate a lack of care—something you don’t want 

Photo by Nicole Honeywill / Sincerely Media on Unsplash

9 Most Commonly Misused Words on Websites & in Advertising

Definitely / Defiantly

Definitely means without a doubt.

Defiantly means to be disobedient or show resistance.

Specialise / Specialize

In Australia, we use an s in place of the z in specialise, realise, organise, recognise, etc. The z is used in American English and use of it could indicate to people that you are not a locally run business.

Their / There / They’re

Their is associated with something belonging to someone else.

There is used to indicate a position (here/there).

They’re is a contraction for they are.

You’re / Your

You’re is a contraction for you are.

Your is used to indicate something being associated with a person.

To / Too / Two

To is a little tricky as it has a few different uses. Normally it’s used to indicate a direction of movement, but can also be used to define a relationship between words. If you’re not sure, tick off if it is one of the other uses, and if not, use to.

Too can normally be used if you can replace it with the word ‘also’ and it still makes sense. It also means something is in excess. 

Two indicates the number 2 spelled out in full.

Example: It was too difficult to walk to school for the two children.

Stationery / Stationary

Stationery refers to office materials, while stationary means to remain still. A little trick to remember is to think of an envelope. An envelope is stationery and starts with an e, so use the one with the e.

Compliment / Complement

Compliment is to offer courtesy, while complement is something that is accompanying something else well. To remember this one, think of ‘I complimented her’.

Licence / License

If you’re using the word as a verb, use license. When referring to a permit document, you should use licence.

Practice / Practise

To practise is to do something, whereas a practice is a place.

Its / It’s

You want to use its if something belongs to someone. On the other hand, if you could say ‘it is’ and it makes sense, you want it’s as it’s a contraction for the two words.

Whose / Who’s

Forget everything you know about English because this will confuse the heck out of you. Who’s is the contraction for who is while whose indicates a possession.

5 Best Proofreading Tips

The trick to proofreading is to trick your brain into thinking it has not read the copy before. This will make it easier to pick up any errors, as our brains tend to glaze over things we’ve written ourselves or read multiple times. 

Here are a few tips for effectively proofreading your own work:

  1. Change the font.
  2. Print out the copy.
  3. Read backwards.
  4. Revise at 3 different times of day.
  5. Hire a proofreader.
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