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Three Can’t-Fail Tips for Improving Content Readability

Content Marketing

Jan 22, 2020

Content ReadabilityIn the daily battle for attention on the Web, where most readers spend 15 seconds or less on a page, the best way to win the war is to keep your content readable. After all, you need to convey information succinctly and engagingly, which just may convince your audience to stick around. Here are four easy tips integrated marketers can start putting into practice right now.

Shorter is Sweeter

Consider which options get the point across more clearly:
Whenever possible, you should strive to write sentences that are short.

or

Write short sentences.

Long, complicated sentences are the kiss of death for your content. For maximum readability, keep your sentences to about 12 - 15 words, and focus on clearly explaining just one idea per sentence.
 

Besides writing shorter sentences, write paragraphs of no more than five sentences. Avoid overwhelming your readers by cramming in all the ideas, and break up your copy with headers, images, bullet points, and infographics.

Use Simpler Words

Utilizing multisyllabic words only obfuscates.

Or, in plain English: Using big words only confuses.

Using simple, everyday language will boost not only readability but organic traffic, engagement, and conversions. Make sure you’re speaking your readers’ language, using appropriate terminology and ideas, but still avoid jargon and write in the most straightforward terms possible. Swap out longer, denser words with simpler options, like:

Instead of utilize, say use.

Instead of accompany, say go with.

Instead of comprising, say makes up.

Instead of concerns, say about.

Instead of irrespective, say regardless.

Instead of furthermore, say also.

For more ways usage suggestions, see these guidelines put forth by the federal government.

Use Transition Words

Just like good UX helps readers navigate down a page, transition words help readers navigate through your copy by making connections between sentences and setting up what comes next.

Transition words can show cause and effect, add emphasis, clarify, summarize, and much more. In short, they help a reader understand why they should care about, and what they’ll get out of, reading your copy. For example:

  • Transition words set expectations. In other words, they prepare readers for what’s next.
  • For instance, a word like ‘therefore’ shows cause and effect.
  • I started using more transition words. As a result, our search rankings improved!
  • In conclusion, transition words improve your content’s readability.
Need a Second Pair of Eyes on Your Content?

Whether you’re an experienced writer or content is something entirely new for your company, we’re here to help! We offer expert copywriting services. If your needs are more intensive, we offer design, strategy, and integrated marketing solutions to help your content pop off the page. Contact us to learn more.

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