We're hiring

We love digital - Call
03332 207 677
and say hello - Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm

Call 03332 207 677

Stephen Logan

The Typos and Language Errors that Turn Visitors Away

15th Jan 2010 Content Marketing 3 minutes to read

Very few of us can boast immaculate spelling and grammar. We are all susceptible to the odd slip; however, that shouldn’t be an excuse to allow errors to creep on to the pages of your website.Consulting a dictionary or, easier still, running your work through a spell checker takes no time at all. Neither, for that matter, does a thorough proof read. Whilst some mistakes might slip through the cracks, some are unforgivable.

For example, what if you misspell one of your site’s keywords? Suddenly not only do you lose credibility for what is supposed to be a subject on which you are an authority, but you also jeopardise your SEO chances too.  Being top of the rankings for a typo is pretty poor form in anybody’s books.

Sometimes there are errors that slip through that we don’t see. In most instances they are technically correct, however, when placed in the context of what you have written, are in fact incorrect. Confused? Well, here are a few common examples:

Too/to – You can’t have to much of a good thing, for one good reason, it should be ‘too much’. Too often an erroneous ‘to’ slips in where it’s not welcome, the reverse is also true of course. Whilst ‘to’ is a preposition ‘too’ is an adverb meant to denote a noun that is excessive or used in place of ‘as well as’.

They’re/their/there – This is a sticky one. The first thing to say is that ‘they’re‘ is just an abbreviated (conjunction) form of ‘they are‘, so shouldn’t be used in any there or their situation. ‘Their’ refers to anything that relates to a person or group of people – ‘this is their word, so let’s leave it at that’. ‘There’ or on the other hand refers to places and acts as an adverb, although there are plenty of other examples to choose from .

Referring to people – their
Referring to places – there
Trying to say they are – they’re

Bear/bare – a bear may be an animal, but it is also a word that you really need to bear in mind when writing website copy. Bare on the other hand indicates something wholly different, suggesting something that is naked or otherwise exposed. Getting these two mixed up can lead to some very strange misunderstandings. Things come to bear, they can be bearable but should rarely come to bare.

Advice/advise – strangely this is quite a common one. In simple terms you can offer advice, or you can choose to advise somebody. The trick to unravelling this is by pronouncing both, advice has an ending that is phonetically the same as ‘nice’ or ‘rice’, whilst ‘advise’ sounds more like ‘wise’. So you can give advice, just never provide advise.

Apostrophes – Other issues relate to the use of apostrophes. These are most commonly used within conjunctions, which are two words combined in to one – for example you’re (you are), they’re (they are), aren’t (are not) it’s (it is).

Another common use is to imply a sense of belonging. For example, this is Koozai’s Blog, not Koozais Blog. In the case of anything that is just a standard plural term an apostrophe should never be used – books, CDs etc. Where a word ends with an ‘s’ naturally (or is a plural) that belongs to an item then you can either put an apostrophe at the end alone, or an apostrophe followed by another ‘s’ – The Times’ article was hopelessly biased, or The Times’s article wasn’t without its merits. Both are acceptable, but the lone apostrophe is becoming more common, in the UK particularly.

As you are probably already well aware, there are plenty of potential banana skins within the English language. Verb confusions, mislaid apostrophes and improperly used conjunctions are just a few. The issues raised are in fact just a smattering of the errors you are likely to encounter day-to-day when browsing the Internet.

In terms of your website, it is hugely important that you eradicate as many of these issues as possible. Consistency and accuracy are two of the things that help us determine whether a business is trustworthy or not. In the fast moving world of the Internet you can’t afford to be making a poor first impression, so making sure your copy is up to scratch is essential; here’s hoping this post is up to scratch too!

So what are the errors that turn you away from a site? What language mistakes have you stumbled upon that left you wondering whether to laugh or cry? What really gets your goat? As always, we’d love to know.

Share this post


What do you think?

  • aspect-ratio google-adwords-analytics-attribution
    Conor Maurice

    Attribution 101: Google Analytics and AdWords

    In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.


    Conor Maurice
    26th Mar 2018
  • aspect-ratio bing-logo-woodsign
    Liam Huckins

    Why Bing is a Valuable Paid Media Platform

    For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored.  Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.


    Liam Huckins
    8th Mar 2018
    Paid Search

Digital Ideas Monthly

Sign up now and get our free monthly email. It’s filled with our favourite pieces of the news from the industry, SEO, PPC, Social Media and more. And, don’t forget - it’s free, so why haven’t you signed up already?