What is readability?
2019 February 01
When creating content for your website, taking readability into account is extremely important. Optimizing your content to be as easy on the reader as possible takes time to get the hang of, but in the end, pays off.
Readability makes the content you write easy to understand contextually and also visually. Good readability practices provide your audience with a simple experience and keeps them on your website longer, reducing bounce rates.
Research shows the average American citizen reading at a seventh to eighth grade reading level, regardless of academic achievement.
With companies utilizing digital platforms for massive amounts of competing content, writing easy-to-read pieces is critical to making your audience linger on your site. Additionally, 81% of business people surveyed claimed poorly written content was a waste of time.
How to make readable content?
Simmer down on the jargon.
As much as we’d all like to sound like literary geniuses, it’s best to write content in a less-complex fashion. Use “plain language” to communicate with your audience.
As always, consider your audience. Create content geared towards your audience and in a way they can comprehend easily and quickly. Jargon is tough to communicate in an effective way, unless your audience is very industry-specific.
Play it safe and simmer down on the jargon.
Transitional words like ‘moreover’, ‘because’, ‘in addition’, and ‘equally important’ show the relationship between phrases, sentences and paragraphs.
When writing content, transition words prepare your audience for what is to come next without them losing their train of thought in the process.
Shorten it up.
Long sentences can be difficult to avoid. However, sentences with an average of twenty words best bet for readability.
Long sentences have a tendency to lose your reader. By breaking up your content with a variety of shorter sentence lengths, you’ll readers will begin to pick up on the cadence of your writing.
Get to the point and write active.
An active voice clearly indicates who is doing what. Limit your passive voice to five percent or less of your total content.
When keeping your content directed in an active manner, it’s quickly conveyed to your reader without the extra fluff they don’t need.
Active voice example: Denver Media Group loves SEO.
Passive voice example: SEO is loved by Denver Media Group.
While minimizing jargon, utilizing transition words and writing actively don’t directly affect your SEO ranking, collectively they increase your readability. And readability is a definite ranking factor in SEO.
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Posted In: Website Design