Why don’t readers engage with your content? Could you need to improve your readability?
A question that haunts a lot of us. It even keeps some up late at night, laying in their beds, unable to turn off their brains.
Is there a way to change this?
First, let’s go over the purpose of writing. It’s to convey an idea, thought, concept, etc. to an audience of people. If one can’t read through your content, you’re only writing for web crawlers. How do you get engagement from that?
Anyway, now we have a point to start from. Let’s audit your content to see what we could do to improve it.
Use Different Subheadings for Each Idea
For anyone who doesn’t know, a subheading is Heading 1-6.
Not only do they supplement your SEO, but it also gives the reader a more organized environment. So, if they don’t have much time to read it, they can scan our content while understanding the points.Our content’s organized.
I want you to look at 2 sentences.
- We need to use shorter sentences for increased readability and convenience.
- Shrink sentences to improve readability.
Which one is easier to read? Which takes less time, yet still relays the idea? Number 2. Why? Because it’s quick and effective.
However, there’s one vital point to remember. Mind your audience demographic when shortening your sentences.
How do we declutter our sentences? We find words that spark joy. We also aim for at max, 15-20 words per sentence and 3-4 sentences per paragraph.
Having trouble figuring out what else we could do to shorten your text? Scroll down.
Focus on One Idea Per Sentence
First, we need to ask ourselves a question to improve your readability. What are the symptoms of having multiple ideas per sentence?
Conjunctions, connecting words, such as: however, although and despite.
Dashes These slow the reader down, pulling them out of the moment and pushing them away from the idea you’re conveying.
Speaking of slowing down, we need to add some more energy to these sentences with—
An Active Voice. It makes a difference
The man is gazing at the star in the distance.
He gazes at the distant star.
That’s right, number 2. Why? Because it’s written in an active voice.We deconstructed the sentence and rebuilt it with better parts. Made it a more active member in its community of text.Now that we have an active sentence let’s get back to decluttering.
Use Simpler words
Your readers should fly through your content without having to look up complex words.
Furthermore, this doesn’t give off the unusual vibes. What vibes you might ask? That you took a thesaurus to your text and replaced everything with complex words.
It’s that easy.
I have one more point as to how you can shorten your sentences.
Use 1-2 syllable words to Improve your Readability
If appropriate, of course.
Not only will this shorten your sentences, but it’ll also improve the flow. Especially when reading aloud.Now that our sentences are short and sweet lets—
Add some spice with reading supplements
A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Cheesy, yet, effective saying.
Why have your readers spent a minute trapped in a paragraph when you can show them a picture of what your point is?
Sure, it might be harder to reach whatever “word limit” that you set yourself to; but, your reader will thank you for it.
That could be photos, illustrations, or graphs. There’s plenty of tools that’ll give you what you need.
Before we continue. Here are some extra spices to pair with what we have so far:
- Bullet points
- bolded text
It bursts from the screen and into your eyes. Right?
This is the kind of stuff scanners look for. Some prefer gathering the general idea of each point. Rather than reading through the details. Don’t forget about them as well!
Onto our final point, design.
Improve your Readability w/ a Typography Makeover
The art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed.
This involves specific typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing, and letter-spacing.
Why is this important, though?
Rather than having a large block of text crammed with nonsense, make it easier for your reader to follow your words. Keep their attention.
Don’t I have a graphic designer to do that for me?
Yes. But, you won’t always have one. Right? Why not take a minute or 2 to familiarize yourself with what sort of fonts and font sizes would go well with your works.
We’ll achieve this by auditing our text.
Here’s a tool for the “golden ratio” of typography. For instance, what line spacing you would need, etc.
Shortening sentences, sub-headers, text-appearance, and supplements. All these guarantee a boost to the readability of your content. Thus, in the end, it’ll make your readers happy.
Time’s precious. End the fuss. Learn how with more posts below!