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July 28, 2011 / Steve Hennigs

Elusive Website Misspellings


After three years of selling software that routinely checks web sites for misspellings I have seen some very interesting variations on your everyday words (did you know that judgment is not spelled judgement in the United States?) but I am going to save those for another post.

What I would like to provide you with are a few observations on where on a web page that misspellings tend to slip through the cracks so that you can avoid these embarrassing mistakes.

The Page Title
A misspelled word in a page’s title can be very hard to catch if you do not do so when you first create the page and this can have a very negative impact on your SEO efforts. Some content management systems (CMS) allow you to spellcheck the page title field and others do not. Regardless of the functionality in your CMS be sure to check the titles of your priority pages often to be sure they are correct.

Meta Information
This area of the web page is very prone to having mistakes because it is rarely seen by your everyday web site visitor. That being said your Meta description (and the page title for that matter) will appear if someone sees one of your web pages when searching on Google, Bing or other search engines.

Misspellings in your Meta keywords can also have a negative impact on your internal site search. In many cases those keywords are referenced to assist in ranking your pages and if a word is misspelled visitors may not find the most relevant content when performing searches on your site.

Site Navigation
This may be the trickiest area to keep up with and where I see a great deal of mistakes. Drop down and expandable menus can add some visual appeal to a web site but that is all for naught if there is a misspelled word. There is no check in a CMS for this area of your website to my knowledge as most systems treat menus like data objects rather than text fields so either manually check this area routinely or find software that can do so for you.

The Footer
I cannot begin to tell you how many “accesibility statements” or “privicy” options in the footer of a website I have seen but let’s just say I have seen enough. This is another area that if you miss it the first time it can be hard to catch but really hurts the credibility of the site because that footer is on every page.

Those are the most common areas that I see mistakes but I would love to hear if there are others. I hope this has been helpful and that you can use this information to keep your web pages free of mistakes going forward.

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