Blog Readability 101: Tips to Creating More Digestible Content

May 3, 2022

The amount of information that can be found on the internet continues to grow exponentially. To illustrate, more than 5.7 million blog posts are published on the internet every day – yes, every day. Content development continues to be one of the number-one marketing strategies for businesses. So, how do you make your content stand out and hold the attention of your readers? It may be as simple as improving the readability of your blog articles.  

What is Readability?

Readability refers to the ease with which a reader can understand written text. It assesses the quality of a written piece as legible and decipherable. Many factors contribute to a blog’s readability score, including:

  • Content structure  
  • Language and grammar 
  • Visuals and formatting 

Is your blog broken up into different sections, headers and bullet points that can be easily skimmed? Are you using jargon that may not be intuitive to the average reader? Are you writing in
a conversational tone? These are just a few things to think about when assessing your blog’s readability. 

Why is Readability Important in Blog Writing?

Readability can play a vital role in whether or not your content gets read. Have you ever received a long-winded email from a customer or co-worker? An email that consisted of paragraphs and paragraphs of information with no bullet points or sub-headings to break it up? Were there unnecessary details that made it difficult to decipher what action steps were actually needed?

It’s comes as no surprise that 43% of people who receive these long emails delete or ignore them. The same concept can be applied to your blog articles. The harder it is to digest a piece of content, the more likely it is that your reader will get frustrated and abandon your site.

So, how can you improve the readability of your next blog? Focus on the following three areas: 

1. Content Structure 

Why is content structure important? 

Content structure is important in writing because it allows the reader to easily digest the content and quickly find the information he or she is looking for. Structure helps break up your content into smaller sections that make it easier for the reader to comprehend. 

It’s no secret that our attention spans continue to decline. A recent study by Microsoft found that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds today. No matter the length of your article, most people will not read every word. This is why it’s important to develop a blog structure that is readable, logical and effortless to skim.

Content structure best practices

Use the following content structure tactics to improve readability, allow your reader to locate the specific information needed, and help them process the information you’re providing: 

  • Short paragraphs
  • Headlines and subheads 
  • Bullets and numbering 
  • Bold text for important points

Additional Tip: Before writing your article, draft an outline that divides your topic into subtopics and sections. This will help you determine where the natural section breaks are.

2. Language and Grammar

Why is language and grammar important when assessing readability? 

Have you ever come across an article that was super technical, used lots of industry jargon, and was hard to understand? 

It’s common for those who are experts in their industry to use language that isn’t intuitive to the average reader. The whole point of blogging is to provide your readers with answers to their questions or to educate them by providing new information. If readers have a hard time following the point you’re trying to make, they’re not going to waste their time trying to figure it out. They’ll move on. 

According to Readable, more than 83% of people will finish reading your content if its readability level is improved from grade 12 to grade 5. 

Language and grammar best practices:

Below are a few tips to simplify your writing for your readers:

  • Drop the technical language.
  • Eliminate jargon.
  • Use shorter sentences.
  • Nix unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. 
  • Write in a conversational style. 

3. Visuals

Why are visuals important?  

It’s more difficult to read text on screens than it is on a printed page. Using the content structure best practices outlined above can help break up content into a more understandable format, but what else can you do to help break up a blog that may be longer in length?

Visuals can be a great way to break up text and can help reinforce the points you’re trying to make. Articles that explain specific processes can lend themselves extremely well to visual examples

Best practices when incorporating visuals:         

  • Utilize images to break up text.
  • Use visuals for topics that lend themselves
    to examples. 
  • Embed videos that help explain your topic. 
  • Ensure your website font is easy to read.

Final Thoughts

Testing

There are tools that will actually grade the readability of your blog articles. Many of them use the Flesch reading-ease test to assess the content. After uploading your content, the software will provide you with a readability score that often includes tips on improvement. A few worth exploring include Grammarly and Readable.

Ask For Help

It’s 2022 – developing content for your website is a table stake. However, we understand that writing can be difficult, especially if it’s not something you do on a regular basis. Having to worry about writing for readability on top of the struggle of writing itself? You’re not alone. Even for those who like to write, it can be difficult to find the time to do so on top of your day-to-day responsibilities. That’s why partnering with an agency that has experienced writers can offer relief. The agency can work as an extension of your company, taking the burden off you and your team. 

Want to learn how Strategic Seven Marketing can help you with your content development efforts? Contact Sarah Chula at schula@strategicseven.com.

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