If you have been blogging for a while, you must already know that penning a good quality blog post is not a piece of cake. There are a lot of factors involved in the making and readability of a post is one among them.
Have you ever noticed less bounce rate in your analytics for some of your posts and some having way more than usual bounce rates? After the design and performance, readability is a major factor that forces your user to skip an article half way through. If there are no issues with design and performance of your blog, you should seriously consider testing the readability of your posts. Read on to know 5 ways to make your posts more readable.
1. Use the Yoast SEO plugin
With the latest update of Yoast SEO plugin, you get your Readability score on a particular post along with the SEO score. This was the most sought-after feature of Yoast SEO plugin which was finally introduced. Now all bloggers are exhaling in relief over the time spent on checking the readability of their posts and making them more readable.
To use this feature,
- Login to the admin panel of your blog.
- Draft and save a post.
- Set the keyword that you would like to target.
- Along with the SEO score on the top right hand side of the post, you can see the readability status as well. If its green, you are good to go! Else, do check what’s wrong. How? Continue reading.
2. Split Uber Long Sentences
Nobody wants to read long sentences. With the fast paced world that we are in now, everyone is impatient. Nobody gets through a web page by reading every word, everybody “skims” now. If you would like to keep the attention span of your reader more, split your long sentences to short ones. This would not only let the user read the articles easily, it would also make your posts less prone to grammatical errors. Its very easy to lose track of the tone, tense and purpose of a sentence while writing. Its always better to split the sentences and narrate the post in a simpler way.
3. Use Active Voice not Passive Voice
Using Active voice will always help one keep the sentence short and sweet. Active voices are simpler, just stating the obvious sort like a subject doing an action. Whereas, a Passive voice sounds lot less simpler and lot more similar to beating around the bush.
For a simple example:
Instead of “This book is being held by me” (passive voice), you could simply write “I am holding this book” (active voice). Of course, it depends on the topic of your post and the context. But use passive only where its necessary and not always. This would make your posts more readable and less skimmable.
4. Format The Posts Well
By formatting your articles well, you ensure that your core context of the post has reached to the reader. If there are too many long paragraphs without breaks, people tend to lose the attention. You can refer any of the top performing blogs to see how they frame and format the content and learn about visually pleasing techniques they use to convey their message effectively.
Use bullet points, break the paragraphs (like I just did!) and use eye-pleasing images in between to make it easier for your readers. Try and imagine yourself as one of the readers, how would you have liked to read that post? Write it in a similar way and improvise.
5. Use tools
Finally, you can use any of the thousands of tools available on the internet. Once you are done with writing a particular piece of text, copy the entire post and paste it in any of those tools such as this: https://readability-score.com/text/
The above site tests your text on various metrics such as reading time, tone, text statistics, long sentences and various other formulas on reading indices. Do make use of these to easily identify the readability flaws in the post and make your posts more readable.
This post scored a 73.4 out of 100 in the readability ease. It also mentioned the tone as neutral/slightly positive. The best part of this tool is, it shows the keyword densities for the most repeated words in the post. This helps a lot of bloggers in SEO who are trying target a particular keyword but want to avoid keyword stuffing which could lead to a penalty.
A bonus tip, you could ask any of your friends who would give you an honest feedback. Send them a draft of your post and ask them to rate it over the readability. This will give you a first hand feedback from a reader before you even post it.
Hope this post helps you in making your posts more readable (and in turn more shareable).
Over to you, do you have any other tips to make a post more readable? Do let me know in the comments.
Author Bio: Anuradha is a techie-turned-blogger, who blogs about making a living out of blogging. She is also an ardent traveler and writes about her travel stories.