Marketing Madness

Is Grammar is Killing Content?

It is well known that in order to be successful with any type of digital marketing today, content is king.  You need to have a steady influx of high quality content so that the search engines will rank your page and to give your visitors plenty of things to enjoy.  In addition, the more you publish, the better the chance that some of it will get shared, which is one of the best ways to build your audience.

According to a new study from Acrolinx, however, most marketers are publishing poor quality content and it may be hurting them more than they would believe.  The study used an advanced linguistic analytics software to look at the grammar and style of content from companies with at least $250 million in annual revenue.  The software used a 100-point scale to rate different content.

In the publication of the study, Acrolinx said, “To assess a company’s grammar usage, we examined its content against best practices for standard grammar conventions then calculated how many errors it contained on average per 1000 words.”

After going through more than 150,000 pages of content from 340 companies, they found that only 31% of the brands scored a passing grade of 72 or higher.  That leaves a full 69% falling somewhere below what they considered acceptable.

It Really Does Matter

As a writer myself I can tell you that it is extremely difficult to publish anything that is 100% perfect in grammar and style, so I wondered just how important this may be.  According to a 2013 study from Global Lingo, it seems to be quite important to have at least a passing grammar score for your web content.  The study surveyed people about the quality of spelling and grammar on business websites.  A full 74% of respondents said that they noticed when there were errors.  59% of those who responded said they would not use a company whose site included poor grammar.

Poor grammar has also been shown to reduce your rankings in the search engines.  Duane Forrester from Bing even said, “If you struggle to get past typos, why would an engine show a page of content with errors higher in the rankings when other pages of content exist to serve the searcher?”

These studies are a good reminder that publishing content isn’t enough.  Even publishing readable content isn’t going to be sufficient any more.  The web is becoming a much more sophisticated marketing platform, and will require marketers to invest the time and capital to get the high quality content that consumers (and search engines) will demand.

Now, with that being said, feel free to pick out any grammar or spelling mistakes you can find in my  article and point them out in the comments below.

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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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