Writing an engaging post with relevant keywords is only one piece of the SEO puzzle. If you want readers to find and read your content, blog readability can make the difference. Improve your website’s ranking along with your user’s experience by focusing on readability in your next article.
Like it sounds, the readability of a blog post is what determines whether a reader can read it easily or not. Writing factors such as sentence length, syllable density, and word choice play a huge part in making a post be understandable. Learn how to optimize your content for better readability with the following tips.
Problem with Long Paragraphs
According to the Nielsen-Norman group, users don’t actually read the entirety of content that is posted. At most, users may read 28% of the words during an average visit, but 20% is more likely. Thus, scanning has become the norm and long paragraphs are often passed over.
Always start with the most important content at the beginning of your paragraphs, then limit the length of your paragraphs to 4-5 sentences. By sticking to short paragraphs, you can help readers find the information they’re looking for right away.
Pro Tip: Use headings and subheadings with different font sizes to distinguish between the different paragraphs.
Readability and Search Engines
Now that Google has started paying attention to user experience, readability has become a key factor for search engine optimization. With voice search on the rise, search engines have begun mimicking human language and behavior. Yoast SEO notes, “As Google becomes more capable of understanding and scanning texts in a human-like way, the demands on the readability of text also rise.”
Today, it’s more important that your posts are conversational and easy to digest than filled with key phrases. Users want to read content that gives them value. While key phrases will help Google bots discover what you’re writing about, the initial flow and format of your post are taken into consideration. If readers can find a post that meets their expectations, they’ll end up staying longer on the page.
Tips for Better Posts
Improving the readability of your posts may look different based on your topic, but the strategies are generally the same.
One way to measure your content is with the Flesch-Kincaid readability score, an accurate tool that determines the reading level and difficulty based on scale. A readability score of 60-70 or higher is the most desirable.
Here are a couple of ways to attain this score:
- Write clear paragraphs that users can easily read and understand.
- Write short sentences that don’t exceed 20 words.
- Use familiar word choices that have four syllables or less.
- Use bullet points or numbered lists to make long content easier to read.
- Help the paragraphs flow together with transition words like because, therefore, or likewise.
- Write sentences of varying short and longer line lengths.
- Use user-friendly sans-serif fonts
- Break up your paragraphs with appropriate line-height
Is Your Blog Easy to Read?
Blog readability can no longer be an afterthought. In order to produce content that both your users and Google will find valuable, your writing ability needs to be sharpened. Easier to understand blogs will end up engaging users for longer periods of time, helping your website to gain traction and followers.
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