Is your bounce rate astronomically high? Are you continually losing readers on your blog? You might have to improve the readability of your blog.
Do you know that the average attention span of an American is only 8 seconds?
You have not more than 10 seconds to capture readers’ interest regarding whether or not your blog is worth reading further!
Yes. I am not joking but presenting the bitter truth of blogging.
I would not mind comparing a blog post with an advertisement telecasted on the television. An ad tries to catapult to fame, capturing the audience’s focus with its impressive visuals and audios. Else, each of us has personally experienced that we don’t bother looking further into the ad but readily change the channel.
Our blog posts also receive a similar fate.
We readily use the Internet to find information and never think twice before loading pages after pages until we hit the bull’s eye.
So, your blog post must lure users as soon as it is visible. What must you focus on primarily? The answer to this question forms the rest of the article here!
Don’t break your heads coming up with difficult words and phrases as it is none other than your article’s readability.
You could have come up with a neatly written article that’s top class in information, layout, images, and English usage but doesn’t reach out to the audience simply because it lacks an integral aspect of blog writing—readability.
What Is Readability?
Every blogger desires to come up with informative and catchy content. Your content must be easy to read and also easy to understand.
Concrete content is a great value addition to your blog but the content cannot shine on its own if it doesn’t interact appropriately with the audience.
Good knowledge is truly wasted when you don’t come up with the right presentation.
Readability comes into action here as it is nothing but the ease with which your audience receives and understands the information.
The material presented by you must help the reader comprehend it and take it to the brain effortlessly. Writing style, formatting, fonts, grammar, and presentation deeply affect the readability of the article.
Why Is Readability Important?
Readability is an indispensable but often overlooked factor that can impact on your SEO.
Yes! You have not read it wrong.
Though readability might not be a definite criterion included in Google’s search ranking algorithm, it indirectly affects your ranking and SEO.
If you are interested in knowing whether readability helps in Google ranking, read about it here.
Google does consider ease of reading as an integral component of analyzing the quality of your blog page’s content. After all, who doesn’t like to stay on top of the Google search page or garner numerous likes and shares?
But beyond numbers and statistics, all bloggers, including me, write articles for the audience not just to read but also to reap benefits.
Above all, an article that scores well on readability urges the reader to read through it entirely which increases their on-page time, bounce rate, exit rate and social signals.
All these convey a clear message to search engines that readers love your page. Isn’t that we all want when we pen down articles—attract reader attention in a fast and straightforward way?
How to Improve the Readability of Articles?
Improving readability is not a mammoth task if you are well-equipped with writing skills. All that you must do is to hone your presentation skills for which the following tips would be utmostly helpful.
1. Pen Down a Neat Outline
You have chosen an exciting topic to work on.
No doubt that you are brimming with unique ideas, have thought about images and have also worked hard on including all vital information.
It’s good but not enough.
How you structure your article speaks a lot about your reliability and efforts.
Starting to work on the article with a well-designed outline helps you to use appropriate words at appropriate places and enhance the presentability of the article with a good flow of thoughts and words.
A good outline must include catchy yet relevant headings, appropriate content and authentic sources.
Use more headings and subheadings to attract the reader’s attention and help them to get what they want quickly from your article.
The article’s main heading is a great value addition to your writing luring the audience to your post. Include information that’s relevant to your article never deviating from your main points. Else, it puts the reader at boredom and increases the chances of poor traffic.
2. Keep Paragraphs Short
Simplicity is the key to good article writing.
Isn’t it recommended to break complex goals into multiple simple ones and take it one at a time? The same holds good for article writing too.
Each of us would have experienced getting distracted in between while reading a never-ending paragraph. Often, we search for the last-read word to continue reading, which is great pain. Always arrange text in short sections. Long paragraphs surely scare readers who fail to keep up with the information flow.
Text formatting and breaking your article into small paras are required to keep the reader’s interest afloat.
Also, always begin the paragraph with the most crucial sentence that readily conveys what you are trying to say. Reading this sentence should give the readers a pretty good idea of your concept.
We have an expert opinion that paragraphs containing one or two sentences attain maximum reach among the audience.
3. Keep Sentences Short
Long sentences with complicated words may reveal your English skills but what we want is readability.
Keep the sentences short and straightforward. If you are perplexed by what is short, a thumb rule is that a perfect sentence doesn’t go beyond 15-20 words.
The flow of thoughts cannot be defined by word limits, and not every idea could be conveyed in short sentences.
The thumb rule must be that usage of longer sentences in your article is restricted to not more than 20%. Ensure that every paragraph doesn’t contain more than one long sentence.
Shorter the sentence is easier to keep track of what you are trying to convey. It also keeps a check on grammatical errors preventing them as much as possible.
4. Use of Bullets and Lists
Our eyes scan for bolded or highlighted words to get hold of the essence of an article.
Using bulleted and numbered lists is the best way to present your data highlighting your important ideas.
This attracts the reader’s attention and aids him/her take back much-needed information.
5. Use Simple Words
We write articles to convey information crisply and neatly, not to boast of our English vocabulary. Always use simple words that directly convey your message.
Do away with fancy jargon that confuses readers and complicates information. Use simple and familiar words that ensure that your article is readable by every level of user.
Every word with more than four syllables is termed a difficult one.
Sometimes, it is challenging to avoid complicated words, especially when the article is about a topic that’s got a difficult word or while writing for specific niches!
In such cases, keep the sentences and paragraphs short, include more bullet points, and bring about better visuals to boost readability.
6. Introduce Transition Words
Transition words are words or phrases that connect sentences. Some examples are ‘however,’ ‘therefore,’ ‘because,’ ‘on the other hand,’ ‘most important’ etc.
They give directions to readers. Use them as much as possible to maintain the flow of your writing.
Transition words bring about a structured writing flow to your articles and help you with the narrative.
Use appropriate words such as ‘same’, ‘either’ or ‘while’ to compare; words such as ‘consequently’ or ‘hence’ to conclude and phrases such as ‘for instance’ or ‘to illustrate’ to show examples.
Never skip using transition words in your article as they act as a gel between sentences. Avoiding them will make the text harder to read and comprehend.
7. Write in Active Voice
Use active voice to write sentences.
This helps users to easily follow your thoughts and also makes it easier to read sentences.
Writing in an active voice keeps your article interesting and engaging while passive voice weakens sentences and doesn’t introduce the subject of the sentence until the very end.
Minimized use of passive voice is integral for improving readability.
Also, keep the conversation friendly and write as though you are interacting with the audience. This way, you will establish better connectivity with your readers.
8. Write With Variation
We don’t feel invoked to read an article that has a monotonous tone. Variety is the key to a good-quality article.
Attract the reader’s attention by alternating between long and short sentences and paragraphs, use different words in different places though you could be conveying the same meaning and so on.
Write naturally, though, without using too many keywords too frequently.
9. Focus on Visuals
Apart from content and sentence formation, the visual aspect of the article is equally important.
It is natural for individuals to be lured by visually appealing articles. Do you know that articles containing images fetch almost twice the number of views than articles without images?
Adding images to your article makes it highly interactive with the audience and also keeps the readers engaging.
Include images that enhance the value of your article and that’s relevant to the content. It’s even better if the image included conveys what’s written in your article.
The next important is font size and type.
Each of us loves different fonts but some are more readable and clear. It is always recommended to use simple fonts such as Sans-Serif, Calibri or Ariel for content.
The font size is also important. Ensure that the size is not too big nor small. Extremely small font size is a strain to the eye while too big fonts occupy more space.
Headings and subheadings could be comparatively bigger than text size to distinguish them from the rest of the text.
Add adequate white spaces to improve readability.
Don’t be swayed by the myth of avoiding too much white space. The absence of white spaces makes the content difficult to read.
Your article might be replete with information and enriching content but if it’s not easy for the audience to read, what’s the point in writing one?
Writing your blog with optimal readability keeps the audience glued to your writing and makes them read until the very end of the article.
Besides improving the audiences’ overall reading experience, maintaining the blog’s readability makes you a favorite choice among readers. Express your love to your writing as well as your readers by making your article simple, effective, and easy to read.