Is your content easy to read? With a focus on keywords and other SEO tactics, brands can lose sight of what really matters during the creative process. Will audiences be able to digest what is being written, and can they get the most from the ideas and information being put forward?
If you are looking to boost the readability of your content, consider a few simple factors such as the grammar used, the length of words and sentences, how it is structured, and the use of language. Any problems here can result in poor readability, which can undo much of the investment and hard work you put into creating content marketing materials.
Common issues include too many long sentences, words with too many syllables, and a desire to push industry buzzwords and jargon over phrasing that general readers will understand. Of course, if you are writing within a particular niche, then you need to take this into account, but it is important to take a step back and ensure that your content strikes the right balance so that your audience is engaged from the first word to the last.
To make your content more readable, you must consider the customer. Make sure that any articles, blogs or infographics are relatable, useful for the reader, and can address a particular challenge or solve a problem. It is also important to inform, educate and entertain. You can use a range of free and paid tools to get a readability score for your content, which is a great base to work from for improvements. A few further tips include:
- Shorter sentences – readability algorithms prefer short sentences and generally penalise overly long sentences. This is a simple fix. Remember to use full stops and bullet points to improve the structure and to make it easier to read online.
- Reduce long word usage – short sentences are best and so are short words. Longer words can get in the way of readability, so look for better alternatives as you work through your drafts.
- Steer clear of buzzwords – jargon and buzzwords are a turn off for the average reader. It can be tempting to use them to make your brand appear knowledgeable, but readability for the audience is more important.