Producing readable content is always the aim of the game when it comes to providing information for your target audience.
Whether you’re writing business blog posts, social media captions or website content, it’s important to keep things simple. This way, your audience will be able to understand what you’re trying to say.
However, writing readable content isn’t about dumbing it down or excluding important information. This is often a misconception. Instead, it’s about conveying your message in a clear, concise way that you’re confident your readers will be able to understand.
But what exactly is readability, and why is it so important? And how can you ensure the content you produce is readable for your target audience?
Readability and its Importance
Defined by Readable, ‘readability is a measure of how easy a piece of text is to read.’
Factors like ‘the level of complexity of the text, its familiarity, legibility and typography all feed into how readable your text is.’
Now, clearly, you want your audience to be able to read your text. But readability is more to do with understanding what they’re reading, which is why being conscious of readability is so important. If your readers find your text difficult to read, they will look elsewhere for information. The aim of the game is to make information as easy to find, digest and understand as possible to keep your readers engaged.
This all feeds into the quality of your user experience, which impacts your SEO. If all your content is complicated, jam-packed with complex words and compiled of giant paragraphs, this will have a negative impact on user experience overall.
Search engines like Google will deem your content less relevant than more readable content. Therefore, not paying attention to readability could damage your chances of ranking.
So, we’ve established what readability is and why it’s essential, but how can you make sure you’re producing readable content?
Top Tips for Producing Readable Content
- Use simple vocabulary
Complex words overcomplicate things. Especially when they’re left unexplained in a text, it can mean that some of your readers can’t access the text as easily as they should be able to.
Longer, more complex words can also be quite distracting. The reader is focused on defining the term, and the main topic of the text gets lost. They may even become frustrated at the text and look for information elsewhere that is easier to understand.
Instead, use simple words that communicate your message clearly.
For example, using ‘much bigger’ instead of ‘astronomically larger’ conveys the same message, but it’s far easier to read and understand.
Steer clear of adding unnecessarily complex words, and you’ll be well on your way to producing readable content.
- Use Natural Language
There should always be a clear focus on your target audience when it comes to readable content. They are your main priority.
With this in mind, it’s important that you use language that is natural to them. Take the time to research how they speak, making a note of the jargon they use.
You can then replicate this in your content, making the information sound natural and familiar to your target audience. Using language that is familiar to your readers positively impacts readability overall.
You may also want to try using pronouns like ‘I’ and ‘we’. This gives the text a conversational feel, again making it appear natural. If your readers feel like they’re having a conversation with you, they’ll be better able to understand the message you’re trying to get across.
3. Make your Content Skimmable
If you’re presented with a page full of writing – no paragraphs, no headings, nothing – it will instantly feel overwhelming.
You’ll know it’s going to take you a while to find what you’re looking for, and chances are you’ll go and look for it somewhere else instead.
Your readers will do the same if your content isn’t skimmable. When your target audience searches for information, they want to be given it in the quickest, easiest way possible.
Search engines like Google are aware that this is the case. Thus, they also regard skimmable content (aka will provide information quickly and easily) as better quality than content that isn’t.
To ensure information can be found easily in your text, use techniques like the following:
- Bullet points
- Text differentiation (bold, italics)
By breaking up your content into smaller, more digestible sections, you’re making it easier for your target audience to consume it. They won’t have to read every single line to find what they’re looking for. It will stand out to them. This will improve their user experience and positively impact the readability of your content overall.
Take the time to organise your content into digestible chunks to avoid frustrating your target audience.
4. Use Readability Tools like Yoast
Readability tools are great for picking up on elements that overcomplicate your text.
Take the Yoast plug-in, for example. When uploading blog or website content to your website, this tool will analyse the readability of the text. It will consider things like word length, sentence length, whether or not a text can be skimmed etc.
It will then give you advice for making your text more readable. For example, it may encourage you to swap out complex words for more natural ones. Or it may suggest including more subheadings to break up the text.
Knowing whether or not your text is readable before you publish it is vital. It will have taken a lot of time and effort to create it in the first place, and you want to make sure that time and effort doesn’t go to waste. By ensuring it’s readable, you’ll know that it will appeal to your target audience. They’ll be able to find and understand the information they’ve been looking for. In turn, they’ll think of you as their go-to when they need to find information quickly and easily.
Utilise tools like Yoast to your advantage when it comes to checking your content is readable before posting.
5. Invest in an Expert
Writing readable content can be a challenge, particularly if writing, in general, isn’t your area of expertise.
Here at The Edwards Company, our Content Creation team produces content with your target audience as its primary focus. We use language that is natural to your target audience, steer clear of complex vocabulary and write in digestible chunks so you can rest assured your message will come across as clearly as possible.
If publishing readable content is something you’d like to focus on going forwards, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We have a range of flexible, affordable content creation packages available, designed to support businesses like yours.