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Apostrophes and Search Engine Optimisation

As the Editor at Brick technology web design, grammar and spelling is something which has to be focused on. One of the main issues with grammar is that concerning apostrophes. When you look around at companies it is interesting to see how many actually use them incorrectly:

“Toilet’s this way”

“Cookie’s, crisp’s and chocolate’s”

Now you may well be wondering what on earth apostrophes have to do with web design, web development or internet marketing. However, it is internet marketing and in particular search engine optimisation which is something that needs to be addressed.

How do the search engines treat the use of apostrophes within keyword searches?

Generally speaking those who make searches on search engines such as Bing, Google, Yahoo and others are in a hurry to find the most relevant information they need. With this in mind the majority of people will simply omit punctuation from their keyword or phrase.

They know then that the search engine will resolve this for them in the form of saying “did you mean?” with a direct link to the results for that grammatically corrected phrase.

Leaving out the apostrophes is the thing to do these days it would seem. However, in regards to search engine optimisation should we start optimising the content on our websites in order account for grammatically incorrect terms such as “mens”, “womens” and “kids”? Does this grammatical incorrectness look bad against a company and their profile?

Yes the traffic driven to your website may well increase but it is not just about traffic. Incorrect grammar and spelling can cost businesses significant amounts of money – it can be the difference between making a conversion and losing a potential customer. Optimising for the wrong spellings of words and phrases may well drive in more traffic but when a visitor is faced with a website which is covered with grammatical and spelling errors and one which is grammatically correct and has no spelling errors they are more likely to go for the second option because it is more professional and credible.

With current scams going on at the minute spelling mistakes are more often than not the tell tale signs that it is a scam. In regards therefore for optimising for grammatically incorrect search terms it may get more traffic but what does it do to your conversion rate?

When a searcher uses an apostrophe or even another grammatical symbol within their search phrase Google has to then decide what it is they mean. Currently it would seem that Google treats a search for “mens clothing” the same as a search for “men’s clothing”.

Make sure you proof read the content which you implement into your web design. There is nothing more off putting than bad grammar and incorrect grammar.

For more information regarding web design; contact Brick technology on 01254 277190 or email