Does punctuation matter for SEO content discovery? Data says yes.

Two of the hottest Google search trends this February 14th are (unsurprisingly) “Valentines Day” and “Valentine’s Day.” How should brands looking to craft smart holiday commentary punctuate for best search visibility?

Evergreen content and timely news-based articles help businesses take advantage of trending SEO keywords and position their products in front of searching internet users. When content writers understand the value of including trending key phrases into branded content, they see returns in higher organic traffic and clickthrough rates. Valentine’s Day, for example, is typically a time for buying flowers and chocolates, but internet users looking for an out-of-the-box idea may find the perfect gift through search results.

For brands looking to capitalize on today’s “in love” consumers on desktops and mobile devices, punctuation matters when it comes to Valentine’s Day searches.

The terms “Valentine’s Day” and “Valentines Day” both appear in approximately 6,120,000 global queries, but the version without the apostrophe shows up 22.3 percent more times in American desktop queries. While most of the top search results seem the same, Brafton noted that Google presents 819 million results for “Valentine’s Day” and 1 million fewer results for “Valentines day.”  This shows that punctuation can play a role in SEO content, and brands may or may not reach their audiences by losing out on the punctuation mark. For those targeting the on-the-go last minute shoppers, AdWords data reveals no major difference between Valentine’s and Valentines searches among U.S. mobile users.

“Valentines Day” was the No. 1 most searched phrase at press time. The term “Valentine’s Day” ranked third, behind “Affenpinscher,” the breed of dog that most recently won the Westminster Dog show. As brands go about crafting custom content today, they should consider publishing Valentines Day media to take advantage of trending key phrase and American’s desire to forget punctuation online. That’ll show you, first-grade English teacher.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.