Your content must be free of spelling, grammar and other content formatting errors.
Any of these errors can prevent visitors from reading and finding value in your content. Equally important, it negatively affects the value of that content in the eyes of search engines.
What are content formatting and special character errors?
Content formatting and special character errors generally appear when you convert content from a word processor or other desktop-based application to a web-based application. Basically, this transition is a “what you see is what you get” situation. Essentially, web-based word processors operate under an HTML5 proprietary desktop. Word processing programs like Microsoft Word use their own markup language, which is often not compatible with HTML5 or standard word processors that are embedded, like in WordPress.
When content from Word or other sources is copied over into WordPress or a similar word processor, special characters and weird formatting may appear. These are visible when you view the source code within the web-based word processor. Sometimes you’ll see code like space markup or language markup, as well as obscure characters associated with apostrophes and other punctuation.
What are the consequences of content formatting and special character errors? How can you avoid them?
The impact is twofold:
• Formatting and special character errors affect the readability of your content. Such errors hinder visitors’ ability to comprehend what you’re writing. More importantly, these errors will frustrate your visitors, and they will leave your site.
• Errors will affect the perception of your brand and your company. From a visitor’s perspective, formatting and special character errors imply your content is also defective and your company is unprofessional. Consequently, visitors will leave, and your site will suffer from higher bounce rates, less time spent on the site and fewer pages consumed.
There is another dark side to poor content formatting. It goes beyond readability and into the world of search engines. If your content has a lot of these errors, Google will penalize that page for low quality and place it lower in the rankings. It may even refuse to index that page altogether.
These are serious consequences, especially considering the hard work required to create a content marketing program that generates results. Mistakes like this end up costing you time and effort to fix.
Make sure to view the source code of the content you are transferring to a WordPress-based or similar editor. By viewing the source code, you can see when these potential issues start to crop up, and you can remove the associated HTML from the source code before you publish.
If you check for and fix content formatting and special character errors within your content, your content will have better readability for both your visitors and the search engines. And that’s really what content marketing is all about.
If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.