Optimizing for Misspelled Search Phrases and Keywords

Although, English is a global language, the number of people who speak and write good quality English may be still a very small percentage. According to statistics, hardly 8% of the world population use English as their first language. There are dialects and colloquial usages that cause the languages to be twisted and tweaked and sometimes shortened as well.
restaurant menu typoWrong spelling in Internet search is a pretty common thing due to the above mentioned reasons, overuse of text messaging (SMS lingo) or mere typing mistakes. Search engines like Google tries to correct the users by providing ‘suggestions’ (Did you mean?, AJAX autofill, top search phrases etc) but typos cannot be totally avoided. In this case, on top of your keywords, optimizing for misspelled search keywords may make sense if you want to maximize your search hits.

Scenarios where misspelled keywords can be handy

The following are some of the places where misspelled keywords can bring in additional value if used in moderation (and after good homework & research).

Blog posts/Web content

If you search Google for ‘bloging tips’, you will still get ProBlogger as the first item on the SERP. I am sure, Darren hasn’t done anything to optimize for the misspelled keywords but his fan following with typos in their comments has helped his cause. The learning here is that, you don’t need to forcibly make typos in the most visible parts (title or post content) of your web pages but could add them in comments, meta keyword list etc.

Some examples of misspelled keywords that are high on search volume are: ‘diabeties’, ‘accomodation’, ‘morgage’ etc.

Needless to say, in order to maximize your click through rates and hence conversions it is a must to optimize (SEO) for these misspelled keywords – especially when you have a niche blog that thrives on search traffic based on niche keywords.

PPC Campaigns

As you know, PPC advertising products such as Google AdWords charge you a certain amount per click and this amount varies depending on the competition among advertisers for certain keywords. For example, if Google charges your $10 for the keyword ‘diabetes’, the bid for its misspelled alternative will be a lot lesser (something like $2 or so per click). This is an excellent mechanism to tap into a percentage of search users who make typos at a much lower cost.

Hence optimizing for misspelled keywords is a must for effective PPC campaigns.

Social Networks – fan pages

In my opinion, the social network crowd – especially mobile/gadget users and youngsters – possesses the worst quality language among all web users. It is just my inference after reading several comments, photo tags etc on various profiles. However, sometimes silly typos & short words on tweets and comments can be really handy to find your profiles and fan pages on search faster. This is because many directories and aggregators (e.g twitter directories) are indexed by search engines a lot faster than your blog post or web page itself. I need to do more research on this topic before deriving a proper strategy.

RSS

On top of your meta keywords, you have a chance to add more tags and keywords on to your blog’s RSS feed. RSS aggregators are a major source of traffic these days. Adding some keywords (including misspelled ones) can be handy if you are able to do so via a suitable RSS footer plugin or via custom coding.

How to use them Optimally?

The secondary keywords and misspelled ones are something that need to be used moderately and very carefully. If used in excess, especially in visible areas, this can affect the reputation of the blog and the blogger behind it. However, PPC campaigns, meta keywords, blog tags, All-in-one SEO keywords list (and sometimes even comments) etc are safer places to experiment with your misspelled keywords that could potentially bring in traffic.

In order to find your most effective misspelled keywords, you could use either your Google AdWords keyword tools or one of the premium (paid) keyword research tools. You could also check out some of the free keyword tools (like keyword discovery free tool) to find your right ‘wrong keywords’.

Happy Search Engine Optimization!

Comments

  1. “The secondary keywords and misspelled ones are something that need to be used moderately and very carefully. If used in excess, especially in visible areas, this can affect the reputation of the blog and the blogger behind it.”

    to add to that in reference to blogs and seo sites, if you do it too much it is called “keyword stuffing” and your blog will get dropped from google

    I’ve pushed the limit many times and made some good money but eventually google always drops my sites for doing too many typos.

  2. Nice mention. I have been doing this since some months now 😛 I do not usually place the wrong word in the post but rather in the meta keywords.

  3. hey this is something that i have never heard before.. bloggers can misspell their posts for some purposes…i never thought about it

  4. I liked your post Ajith. It is quite informative. There are many people who do optimize the web site for mis spelled words, but I never took that seriously

  5. I did this once,
    when tata launched their tiny 1 Lac rupees car i knew that many people would search for that in Google, The name of the car is “Nano” but i intentionaly mentioned it as “Neno”. I knew that many would misspell this name while searching for it on Google.

    to my surprise this misspelled keyword sent more then 2500 visitor in a single day to my blog. My post indexed at #1 spot by Google for this misspelled keyword.

    Yes it Works.

    -Shanker Bakshi

  6. Mr. I :

    I have not yet tried or accidentally done any optimization for misspelled search phrases and keywords.

    However, I am surprised by Shankar’s(comment above) results! Maybe I should try it out.

  7. Ajith,

    My immediate reaction to this subject is (without doing lot of thinking through) — This is not a good idea. I don’t like the idea of misspelling purposefully to get search traffic.

    This doesn’t sound right to me.

  8. @AffiliateMarketer, Right. Regarless of good keywords or misspelled ones, overstuffing is going to attract penalty.

    @Kurt, How’s your experience been with the misspelled keywords optimization in terms of resultant traffic. I mean, is it bringing in at least 10-15% traffic caused by good keywords?

    @Tushar, give it a try in moderation and let me know if it works for you :)

    @keywordresearch, thanks for your comments. But just like in the case of good keywords, overstuffing needs to be controlled in this case as well.

    @Shanker, goog to learn that it worked for you. ‘Nano’ to ‘neno’ was a good mistake to make 😀

    @Mr.I, it works sometimes, it doesn’t other times. But for niche blogging success, it is a must.

    @Ramesh, I agree with you mostly. But think of a niche blog – e.g. a Travel & vacation tips sites where there’re huge number of affliate offers. People make a lot of mistake in web search by typing in stuff like ‘accomodation in singapore’. If you tap into such queries that is a win-win for both the parties right?

    But I agree with you on the fact that normal blogs should stay away from such activities as much as possible. As for me, I do not do it myself.

  9. Hi Ajith,
    Its definitely a unique & rare idea. However I have a thought. I think if you risk a misspelled keyword & it does give you results then its sure a worth a risk (like Shanker’s blog). But what kinda results would it bring, when secondary keywords with lesser weightage for our subject of post is optimized, what’s the way of monetizing till CPM is being used?

    • Chris, Only if you can really tap into (read CPA or affiliate sales) the misspelled keyword traffic makes sense. It may not give any kind of boost to your CPC/CPM based monetization strategy.

  10. Some nice tip Here Ajith and to be honest some time I intentionally make spelling error and it works great. When I check my webmaster tool I rank on first 5 for those misspelled word. Lol a bad but very effective strategy.

  11. TechOfWeb :

    great strategy to drive traffic..never thought that this cud be so helpful in driving traffic…And surprised to know that Harsh also follows this strategy..
    I always use to check 3 times about meta tags spellings..but now will try to focus on this principl

    hey.. made wrong principl spelling..hope u benefit :-)

    Tahnks for this tip

  12. jay teodoro :

    Nice tip! hope you can help me. i’m still new here in blogging business. I don’t know how to optimize keywords. Is it like adding some tags on description settings?
    More power!

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