Blog Readability: Why Should you Care?
Within this post I will be discussing the potential short comings of your blog in relation to readability. I will also share quick tips to boost the readability of your blog posts!
But what do I mean by readability? What does it mean to create a readable blog post? I’m not talking about writing super-duper compelling posts. That goes without saying. In this instance readability translates to legibility.
Regardless of your blogging niche you can apply the information I am about to provide within your content. With these tips you can build a strong foundation from the ground up. I want you to get the best out of your Blog! So, let’s get technical…
Why Care About Blog Readability?
Let me start by saying this…It is vital that you don’t discourage readers because your posts are difficult to read! You could be the most amazing writer in the world; the Shakespeare of blogging if you will. But if no one can make it past the first sentence because of poor formatting…who cares?
Not only will an illegible blog post discourage readers from sticking around, they won’t bother coming back. Life is hard enough already, am I right? Who wants to spend their precious free time reading poorly formatted text?
Furthermore, the readability of your posts can have a negative effect on your SEO score. Basically, you need the almighty search engine to be able to EASILY identify what your content is! Your content can then be pulled through against relevant search queries.
If you want to learn more about SEO check out my previous post. Click on the image below!
If your readers don’t stick around, your bounce rate will be impacted. This is the amount of time a visitor spends on your site before leaving. When viewers spend a short time on your site and then bounce, you will quickly start to fall down the ranks. The search engine assumes your page lacks “authority.”
Tips to Boost your Blog Readability
Flesch Reading Ease Test
A good place to start is with the Flesch Reading Ease Test. This test measures the complexity of an English text. Here is the scoring system:
- 90 – 100 = easily understood by an average 11-year old student
- 60 – 70 = easily understood by 13-15-year-old students
- 0 – 30 = best understood by university graduates
Whilst I am not promoting reducing the quality of your content I do promote inclusivity. Your content will fare better if it is accessible to more people. It is important to note, that a score of 60-70 is considered relatively normal for blog copy.
Focus on your Content Structure
Some quick ways to achieve better readability through post structure are:
- The amount of words following each subheading should never exceed 300
- Keep your paragraphs shorter in length (7-8 sentences maximum)
- Aim for shorter sentences (25% maximum should contain more than 20 words)
- Avoid consecutive sentences starting with the same word (yawn fest)
A minimum of 30% of your text should contain a transition word. Transition words achieve the following:
- Gives your readers clear directions
- Makes the relationship between two sentences clear
- Prepares readers for the next sentence
Some examples of transition words are:
First of all / Consequently / Probably / Above all /Due to
Transition words are crucial to the structure of your content. Consequently (see what I did there) readers will gain a better understanding of your post.
Avoid the Passive voice
Passive voice is a grammatical voice common in many languages. It occurs when a noun or noun phrase that would be the object of an active sentence appears as the subject. In other words, the most important thing or person becomes the subject of the sentence.
Some examples would be:
- Passive – All our blogs are checked by the Search Engine
- Not passive – A search engine checks all our blogs
- Passive – This house was built by my father.
- Not passive – My father built this house.
Aim to use less than 10% passive voice in sentences within your content. Blog posts that use a lot of passive voice are confusing and unattractive to read. In some cases, it is difficult to avoid using the passive voice, however try to keep instances to a minimum.
I have thrown a lot of readability rules your way. I have included a few so that you can pick and choose the ones that resonate with you most as a blogger. As with SEO improving the readability of your blog is a long-term strategy.
Just remember: The easier your posts are to read the more people will stick with you!
As always, I really hope you can take something useful away from this content. Please comment with anything that I have missed!
P.s. If you appreciate the content I share here, why not buy me a coffee? 🙂
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