Readability refers to how easy it is for someone to read and digest an article. The way you deliver a message can greatly impact how people receive it.
Did you know? Much of the text you encounter online is difficult for most people to understand. Only a shocking 15% of readers fully comprehend online articles. Generally, people spend more time reading something that is easy to grasp and gloss over everything else. Readability is not just about writing style and structure. The right words can make the difference between a boring blog post and one that keeps readers engaged. One of the best ways to improve your blog posts is with better readability.
What Is Readability & How Do You Measure It?
Readability is a measure of how easy it is to understand the content. The way you deliver a message can have a big impact on how well people receive it. When you write an article or blog post, keep in mind that your audience includes people with varying levels of education. Most Americans can read at only a 9th-grade level and struggle with comprehending more demanding content.
Readability is measured by a readability score, which represents the complexity of a text’s language. The higher the score, the harder it is for someone with low education (e.g., high school graduates) to understand your content. Experts recommend writing at an 8th-grade level or below.
How to Get a Good Readability Score
Take these simple steps to improve your readability score:
- Avoid writing in the passive voice when possible
- Shorten your sentences
- Replace complex words and phrases with simple ones
- Keep paragraphs short and break them up with lists
- Incorporate bullets to make it easier for readers to scan for information
- Eliminate words that do not add value such as “very” or “really”
Why You Should Care About Readability
People are busy. In this digital age, we want fast answers to problems. Content that is easy to read and understand saves us time from sifting through other sources. Build trust by sharing your expertise and providing the essentials of what people need to know.
A good readability score can help your business:
- Reduce bounce rates
- Get longer business visits
- Increase article shares across your readers’ networks
- Rank higher on Google and other search engines
- Improve your blog posts
Whether you are a business owner or a writer, it is important to consider your audience before you hit ‘publish.’
Encourage Readers to Stick Around
If you invest a great deal of time in maintaining a blog for your company website, you want visitors to spend time reading it. Research has shown that people respond best to online content that is well-written and easy to understand. When they find what they are looking for, they respond favorably by spending more time on your website.
A readable article is easy to read and digest. Consumers are less likely to finish reading your posts if they find the content boring or difficult to follow. They may exit feeling frustrated that they did not get the answers they were looking for.
Engaging Content Boosts Shareability
Do not underestimate the power of shareability. This behavior creates new traffic for you as well as advertising revenue for your business—a boon for further growth! The more shares you get, the more traffic you get to your site, and the more readers you attract.
When crafting website content, aim to educate and provide value that your competitors are not offering. Be careful not to make your titles too sensational or gimmicky. This can attract the wrong audience and damage your credibility.
Before publishing any content, make sure that your website makes it easy for people to share your posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This is essential if you want to increase your website traffic and boost your online presence.
Search Engines Prefer Easy Reading Levels
Google and other search engines prefer content that is easy to read. This is the basis of the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, which measures how difficult a text is to understand based on its length, sentence structure, and vocabulary level. A higher score indicates a lower reading level (i.e., easier to digest).
There are many factors that Google takes into account when ranking websites in search results:
- Authority of content sources (quality of backlinks)
- Social media signals like mentions & shares
- Readable articles take first-page positions on search engine result pages (SERPs)
Want your content to rank well in Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)? Pay attention to the readability of your blog.
Readable Content is Integral to Blog Success
Readability is not just about the length of content. Readers have to understand what you are trying to convey. The quicker they can get through it, the better. This means that you should be using simple, straightforward language in your blog posts. Divide your content into sections so that readers can digest the information you present at any point in your article. Finally, don’t forget to inject high-quality images that are relevant to your blog topic.
Boost Your Content Marketing with Excellent Readability
The harsh reality is: It is not enough to create amazing content if no one reads it. If your audience does not understand what you are trying to say, they won’t stay engaged. And they certainly won’t share it with their network. With that said, it is imperative to deliver your message clearly and concisely—even if the subject is complex or abstract.
Are you intimidated by the prospect of writing blog posts that sound professional, yet are easy to read? I am a seasoned freelance writer with 8 years of experience writing long-form content for various businesses. Send me a message and let’s create something great together!
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.