We all want people to read the things we post on our blogs or whatever copy we may submit to clients.
If you’ve ever heard anything about SEO, readability has a part to play in that.
So, how can we increase the readability of our web copy?
If you use WordPress — and a plugin called Yoast — here are a few tips from that plugin that will help you get started, as well as some others to help you along the way.
This in no way covers everything, but is meant to be an introduction into making your posts more readable.
If you’re writing a piece of copy intended for the web, aim for sentences of 20 words or less. That’s not to say that every sentence should be that short.
When we speak, we sometimes pretend to ramble. Oftentimes, you’ll hear to write blog posts in a conversational tone.
When utilizing that tone, cut out all the excess.
Short, sweet, and concise sentences make for a more easily readable post.
This is one of my least favorite warnings to get from the Yoast plugin.
There are times when you can take this idea with a grain of salt, and times you should pay more attention to the warnings.
Using a separate grammar editor like Grammarly can also help out in these areas.
Essentially, you want to try and use an active voice over a passive voice. To use the example from this Grammarly article:
Charlie kicked the ball.
The ball was kicked by Charlie.
The active voice — the first sentence — is more direct and to the point, while being able to include both the subject — the ball — and the person — Charlie — doing the action — kicking.
We won’t spend too much time on that here — just keep it in the back of your head.
People like to scroll.
People like bullet points.
If you have a 10 tips article, people want to know what those ten tips are off the bat.
For ease of scrolling, aim to add some sort of heading every 300 words or so.
Headings range from the H1 — the title — to the H6 — basically tiny bolded text that you can sometimes attribute just to meet this distribution requirement.
If you’re providing advice or information, let’s be real:
Nobody wants to read a lecture.
Try to make your posts engaging and informative. Let your personality shine through your text. Not everything has to be so rigid and stiff, you know.
Try and make it like you’re welcoming one of your best friends over for coffee as you get ready to spill the tea.
There are certainly many other tips out there to help you, but
Short sentences, active voice, proper headlining, and conversational tone
Are 4 tips that should help you along the way.