Internet users are not infallible. They’re human and prone to mistakes, and those mistakes can emerge in their searches on the Internet, namely in the form of misspelling. Some search engines, like Google, do their best to overcome misspelling by suggesting other likely words that a user may be searching for, but this is not entirely foolproof.
Many people may think that this isn’t an important enough issue to address, and that those who are spelling-challenged surely won’t be missed. That would be a mistake. In fact, most people would likely be surprised by just how much misspelling actually occurs on the Internet, let alone off the Internet. Spelling can be a challenge for many, but by incorporating common spelling mistakes into your keywords, you can help even the spelling-challenged find their way to your website.
When it comes to plastic surgery marketing on the Internet, the issue of misspelling can be very important. It may not be all that likely that someone would misspell ‘plastic surgery’ as ‘spastic surgery’, but what about abdominoplasty, blepharoplasty, liposuction, mastopexy, otoplasty, rhinoplasty, and rhytidectomy? What about the ‘augmentation’ in breast augmentation or, worse, the ‘mammaplasty’ in augmentation mammaplasty. What about the fact that browlifts can be brow lifts and facelifts can be face lifts? You may know these words backwards and forwards, and in your sleep no less, but for the average person the world of plastic surgery is rife with words just waiting to be misspelled.
It’s important to note that some spelling mistakes occur on purpose, that is, they’re often based on the pronunciation of a word. Many of these, particularly those occurring in difficult names or locations, can be anticipated. Other times, particularly on the Internet, misspelling may results from the fact that people are typing and simply mistype. There are five common types of errors that people make while searching on the Internet:
- Error #1: Additional Characters. This type of misspelling error occurs when an extra character is added into a search string. For instance, the word ‘equipment’ is a commonly misspelled one, both on the Internet and off, in which people misspell the word as ‘equiptment’.
- Error #2: Missing Characters. This form of misspelling occurs when a character is removed form or forgotten in a search string. This occurred repeatedly during the writing of this article while mispelling misspelling.
- Error #3: Typos. Spelling errors occurring from typos are often the most difficult to anticipate and, thus, may be the least important of the errors to address. Further, users often catch these themselves. Some of these can be anticipated by noting the errors that you or others you know commonly make while typing your keywords. For instance, the characters ‘t’ and ‘y’ are frequently transposed due to the proximity of their keys on the American and English keyboard.
- Error #4: Inverted Characters. This type of spelling error occurs when letters within a word are switched, as happens when there is confusion with the ‘i’ before ‘e’ rule. Another example would be the common misspelling of the word ‘the’ as ‘teh’. This is one of the easiest of the errors to address.
- Error #5: Substituted Characters. These errors, in which one letter is switched for another, typically occur on purpose without the user realizing that they’ve made a mistake. The letters ‘s’ and ‘c’ are often substituted for one another as in the common misspelling of the word ‘absence’ as ‘absense’. Another example would be the incorrect spelling of ‘espresso’ as ‘expresso’.
In theory, SEO makes it possible for every person who may be looking for your site to find it. You can ensure that every potential visitor, even the most spelling-challenged among them, can find their way by adding a certain fault tolerance to your site and incorporating common mistakes into your optimization efforts.