Plan on Stupid

As much as it pains me to admit this, I think that we should all optimize for misspellings. I’m having trouble breathing right now. After being thrown out of the 6th grade spelling bee for misspelling “vacuum” I’ve always been somewhat rigid about proper spelling (even attempting to spell things in the proper British manner when speaking to those limeys.) I also think w is a vowel and would be happy to state my case for those of you who are also similarly nuts when it comes to the alphabet.

As you may know, most people are poor spellers. I think that a lot of this comes from not reading but with the popularity of John Grisham, it’s no wonder book burning is back. In any case, simply wishing that people could spell correctly isn’t going to make it happen, so in order to capture those morons, I mean users, you have to address them on their level. Dumb it down, as it were. Oh and before I forget, if you see any spelling errors in this post please point them out so I’ll cry again.

Many people simply mistype a word that they aren’t actually misspelling. The word “eat” can quite easily become “rat” but there isn’t much we can do about that without doing LOTS of analysis. The common misspellings, of course, are very different. I don’t enjoy helping serial misspellers enjoy any successes in life but I guess they ARE people too. With this in mind, if you don’t throw in misspellings on your sites or your paid ads, you are going to lose these people to someone who’s smart enough to cater to them. However, some people have issues that do not allow them to spell properly (dyslexia, most notably) so as much as I’m joking about all this, there really are serious reasons to include misspellings in your marketing.

I certainly don’t recommend that you include misspellings in your content where anyone with a dictionary or spelling fetish can see them, but it’s not bad to put them in the areas where they won’t be viewed quite so easily. They’re particularly useful in paid ads, especially if you have a misspelling that doesn’t show up in the actual ad itself. That kind of makes the misspelling monkey seem like he or she is doing something right, which is misleading but not anything that will get you slapped upside the head. It’s no worse than telling your mom that no, you don’t really mind her repeatedly pointing out that your hair gets extra kinky when it rains or pretending not to visibly cringe when someone puts Eminem on.

Note: for those of you who misspell out of some type of disability (and stupidity doesn’t count), please note that I really mean you no harm at all and I hope I didn’t offend you.

Here’s a list of the 100 most commonly misspelled words in the English language, which can be very helpful when you’re trying to come up with every possible keyword that would help your site.

The Keyword Misspelling Generator is also quite useful (and insanely addictive to mess with):

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7 Responses to “Plan on Stupid”

  1. This is so true. We have several clients’ sites that we’ve optimized for misspellings and alternate spellings. Their competitors haven’t optimized for these words, and our clients are seeing major traffic from these words.

  2. Julie Joyce says:

    That is the most important point too…your competitors may NOT be doing this so you might as well capitalize on it while you have some leeway.

  3. I wish I commonly misspelled only 100 words.

  4. lol, an American trying to teach us about the English language. Shall I translate those .uk ccTLDs for you miss? ;)

  5. Julie Joyce says:

    yes Rob, thank you so much. I don’t know what on earth I would do without you to help me. (gag)

  6. Allan says:

    Using ‘misspellings’ is not necessarily ‘dumming it down’. As offen as not it’s rasing the standard!
    Misspellings may not fit our current spelling convention, but it’s not a particularly brite convention.
    Enny spelling convention that includes d-u-m-b for dum, has to be dum!

  7. [...] UK searchers will almost never find the same results. Far beyond the targeting Google already does, spelling will also factor in. Jewelry, whether sterling silver or gold, is one of the more competitive areas [...]

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