How to improve the readability of your SEO content
Clear and concise writing is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) and could improve your rankings in the search results. Besides the SEO benefits, you want to write content that aligns with your target audience. In this article, we’ll provide you some interesting tips to write readable and SEO-friendly content.
What is readability?
Readability is a way of measuring how clear and understandable any piece of written text is. Language comprehension is a very important factor (are you using complex words or abstract sentence construction?), but layout, structure and fonts also play their part.
Why is readability so important for SEO?
Readability is probably not a direct ranking factor in the compilation of search results (but Google doesn’t deny or confirm). That means marketers would rather pay attention to technical SEO and the use of the right keywords.
But readability is pretty important as an indirect factor: by writing in an easy-to-read way, your target audience is sure to spend more time on your website and do the things you want them to do (read, click, subscribe, buy). They are also less likely to click on one of the other search results instead. That’s a signal to Google that you’re providing valuable content. In future searches, your page will rank higher because of it.
As an aside, copy that is easy to read will turn more website visitors into actual customers. That makes it an important element in your conversion optimization.
Tips for writing readable text
Know who you’re writing for
Determining your key audience is important. For the purposes of this article, I’ll limit that to your audience’s education level. The higher their education, the more complex texts people are able to read.
However, that doesn’t mean that readers with a university education level are keen on reading particularly complicated text content. Do you want to write for an audience that’s as broad as possible? Try to write at a B1 level:
Frequently used words (find a vocabulary list here).
A service like webtexttool will analyze the readability and complexity of your content.
Spoken language vs. written language
Writing in a conversational way is a huge help in the readability of your content. Imagine your blog post is a story you’re telling a friend. As you write, you can literally read it out loud to them, and you’ll be able to tell how it comes across.
Avoid passive voices, so avoid ‘The gutter will be cleaned by our specialist’ and instead write ‘Our specialist will clean your gutter’.
Using words like ‘maybe’ or ‘a little’ tend to tone down your message to your readers. Aim to avoid soft language as much as possible.
Pay attention to typography & design
‘Goofy’ fonts are distracting, so be sure not to use them unless they serve a clear purpose. The website fontpair.co offers beautiful font combinations that are easy to read on any device. Even better is to call upon a designer to help you out.
Font size, line spacing and paragraph width are all important factors in readability. According to experts, the ideal font size for desktop is 16 pixels, but the golden rule here is that you shouldn’t have to lean forward to be able to read the text on the screen properly.
Finally, a clear structure is essential for a readable piece of text, since many people will be scanning your blog post. Use short paragraphs, as many of your visitors will be reading your content on their smartphones. In that case, a paragraph length of three to five sentences is ideal. Using subtitles, bullet points and images will make larger pieces of text easier to process.
Conclusion: this is how you write readable content
Easy-to-read text can indirectly land you a higher position in Google search results. Additionally, more people will purchase your product or service when they enjoy reading your blog.
Popular words, short sentences and active verbs will give your content a high readability factor.
A scannable structure, easy-to-read font, and a conversational writing style will allow you to reach a larger audience.