We asked content writers and business leaders for their best tips on how to improve content readability. From checking out company brand books to keeping paragraphs small and scannable, we have great tips to improve content readability.
Here are eight writing tips to improve the readability of your content...
Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines share an important acronym to consider with readability of content: E-A-T, which stands for “Expertise, Authority, and Trust.” To improve readability, the content and its author should aim to meet these quality standards. When a writer is an expert about a topic, it is much easier to achieve a readable flow of information. With that said, make sure you are an expert when writing. If you are not an expert, find someone who is more knowledgeable.
Chris Abrams, Abrams Insurance Solutions
Personally, the best way I have found to improve the readability of the content I write is to look at brands I admire and find their brand book. In any comprehensive brand book, there’s always a section on writing. For example, Google has a great section on writing as a result of having a multinational brand that needs to speak to people outside just the US. Mailchimp is another great example because they are just phenomenal.
Vicente Lizcano, Nimaroh Creative House
Too often, we feel like we don't have time to write specific content for a specific audience, and that's our downfall. Take the time to write for who your intended readers are, especially for social. For example, if it's a tweet, be short and to the point. If you're creating a Facebook post, realize that you're likely in front of a female audience, potentially in their 30-40s. And if it's Instagram, write for the twenty-somethings. A few tweaks and format changes may make all the difference!
Lisha Dunlap, UAT
All writers and webmasters should ensure that their content is Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust (POUR). These are the basic tenants of the POUR principles of accessibility, and a great standard to establish for your website. Focusing on the ability for all types of readers to understand your writing will naturally improve your content. One easy way to do this is avoiding industry jargon if possible. If jargon is necessary for a specific piece, provide definitions and explanations that follow.
Thylan Le, Markitors
The strongest content writing is most often the simplest. I've edited so many blog posts, video scripts, emails, and whitepapers by lots of great writers and marketers. The easiest way to go from skimmable to confusing fast is to let your sentences get too long. So skip the semi-colon and commit to a full stop so you can write great, readable content.
Ceillie Clark-Keane, Unstack
When writing content, it is important to avoid big chunky paragraphs. Not only is it less pleasing to the eye, but it actually makes the reader less likely to read your piece! Consider breaking up your piece into smaller, more scannable paragraphs. It will improve your readability score in Yoast & lead to higher engagement rates.
Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority
It’s always easier to read any content if things like italics, bolding, and bullet points are included in the text. However, you should avoid randomly using them without any plan or structure. The key lies in being consistent when applying these elements. If you decide to use a specific font for your headings, make sure to keep it the same for the entire article. The same rule applies to paragraph spacing or introducing quotations into your text. Don’t make the mistake of introducing too many techniques to improve content’s readability. By doing so, you will confuse your readers instead of creating a text that is easy to read.
Dorota Łysienia, LiveCareer
Understanding the foundations of readability enables writers to get useful insights to improve content. Using data from readability score systems like the Gunning Fog index, Flesch Reading Ease, and Flesch-Kincaid Grade can provide an objective outlook at just how readable text may be for an audience. The higher the readability scores, the easier content may be to read. If you are looking to improve readability, look to these scoring systems as a helpful guide.
Adam Korbl, iFax
We hope you learned a lot from our friends at Terkel. If you'd like to learn more, check out our page all about readability best practice.