I don’t care how much you love to read.
If you see a social media post that looks like a thesis statement, you’re scrolling past it like everyone else.
And I don’t blame you. Your time is precious.
You can’t afford to read something that even looks like an essay.
If something looks too long and hard to read, one thing’s for certain. No one’s going to take the time to read it. And that is definitely true for online content.
That’s why in the world of SEO, readability is king.
What Is Readability?
Readability is the ability to be easy and enjoyable to read. In SEO, it’s a standard that helps determine how easy a piece of text is to read.
Readability determines how easy or difficult your audience finds it to read your content. It’s one of the key factors that will determine your readers’ user experience.
If your content comes across as too difficult to read for your readers, they’ll outright ignore it. The last thing you want is for your readers to take their attention span somewhere else on the Internet.
And speaking of the Internet, readability can also help when it comes to search engines.
The easier your content is to digest, the higher it may rank in search engines. The higher your rank in the search engine, the easier it will be for your readers to access you.
Making Your Content More Readable
It’s a no brainer that you want to make your content more readable. But what does that really mean?
Are there certain tricks that you need to include to make your content more appealing? No.
There’s just several simple things that you want to keep in mind while writing your content.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to improve the readability of your content.
Use Short Sentences
This is something that I have to keep repeating to myself on a daily basis.
Keep your sentences short and sweet. No one wants to read a long and elaborate sentence. Especially online.
Readers love to skim through a blog post, article or webpage. The shorter your sentences, the faster your message will be conveyed to the reader.
Using short sentences benefits you and the reader. You’re able to share your message in a more effective way, and the reader is not turned off by an elaborate, unnecessary sentence.
Cut Your Paragraphs Down
Another great tip is to break your paragraphs down. Again, another tip that I like to remind myself of.
I know our English teachers taught us that a paragraph is five sentences or more. But following those rules is probably why your readers are skipping your content.
The chunkier your paragraphs are, the more the reader doesn’t want to read them. Just aesthetically, it looks like more work for the reader.
Instead, you want to break your paragraphs into smaller blocks. This makes it easier for the reader to scan through your content.
Have A Conversation With Your Readers
Using a conversational tone with your readers also helps increase readability.
If you work in a specific industry, it can be very easy to write your industry’s jargon in your content. This causes a disconnect with your reader.
There’s a chance that your readers may know what you’re talking about; but chances are most of your readers won’t.
Instead of alienating a large audience with your jargon, use simple language and connect with the majority.
A general rule of thumb to remember is that the average person reads at an 8th grade level. Your content should be so simple that an 8th grader can follow along.
Use Great Visuals
Another great way to break your written content up is to include visuals.
Keep in mind, you’re coming across a diverse group of readers every day. Some readers may suffer from a learning disability. Others may be visual learners.
You don’t want to just rely on words to promote your content.
Remember the four reasons that writers write?
To inform, persuade, entertain, and express a point. These same purposes can be used when you’re creating images.
You want to keep the reader’s attention. Visuals are an authentic way of doing just that.
There are so many fun ways that you can include visuals in your written content. You can use images to break up the different sections of your piece.
You can also include infographics or graphs to make your readers’ engagement more enjoyable.
Use A Simple Font
Another simple step that you can take is to be mindful of the type of font that you use.
How many times have we avoided reading something because the font was ridiculously small? Your reader will do the same thing if your font is too small or difficult to read.
Chances are that your reader is not just reading your content from a laptop. They may access it on their smartphone. You want to make sure that the font you use is large enough for every device.
You also want to use the easiest font style for your reader. Instead of using something fancy and decorative, use a font that the reader will find easy to read.
If the font separates each letter and makes it easier to read, that’s a plus.
Just like everything else in business, it’s about the user experience.
You want to think of your content as a quality experience that the reader can enjoy. The best way to create that high quality content is to keep these simple steps in mind.
Make your content more digestible for your audience and they will. It’s that simple.
For more information on creating the best website content, check out my blog posts 5 Psychological Triggers That Can Empower Your Copywriting – Valeria Publications and Increase Your Website Traffic With Color Psychology – Valeria Publications.