In this post, you’re going to learn how to improve writing readability and get more people to read your content.

According to Jakob Nielsen’s seminal studies — How Users Read on the Web and How Little Do Users Read — nobody reads your content.

  • 79 percent of web users scan any new page they came across
  • On average, users read at most 28% of the words during an average visit

Scanning text is an extremely common behavior. It has become the norm. Long-form content has a higher risk of not getting read — without applying the scannable text. Often times, due to low readability score. And, that hurts your SEO.

Here are 13 most effective tactic you could apply now.

 

1. Write short sentences

Long sentences could confuse your readers as you put in too much information. It makes it harder to follow the point you’re trying to make. On the other hand, short sentences make your writing more conversational.

Short sentences add clarity to your content. They’re easier to read. Easier to digest. And, easier to remember. Short sentences are easy sentences. They make it easy for your readers to understand. Tell one idea only in each sentence.

Copy your content to Hemingway App — a free tool to improve your writing — and look for sentences highlighted in red. Those are long sentences, try to break it down and remove the unnecessary words.

Short sentences add clarity to your content. Short sentences are easy sentences. Click To Tweet

2. Break down the paragraph

Have you ever encountered a block wall of text? It’s tiring to read. You don’t know where to stop. It’s like talking non-stop to your friends. Or worse, strangers. You’ll drive them away.

A paragraph is a collection of sentences — short sentences — about a single idea. It’s important to stay focus on that idea throughout the paragraph. While there’re no hard rules on how short should a paragraph be, generally it’s best to write three or four sentences per paragraph.

If you’ve ever read a post by Brian Dean, you’ll notice Brian always write short paragraphs. Every paragraph is addressing an idea — just one idea. Short paragraph allows readers to think about the idea and digest it one at a time — before moving to the next idea.

Short paragraph allows readers to think and digest the idea one at a time.Click To Tweet

3. Use subheadings to structure your content

According to research by Hosting Fact, there are over 4 million blog posts published on the internet every day. It’s hard to keep up with the huge amount of information. As a result, our eyes are trained to skim. And if don’t find anything that grabs our attention, we skip it. I did that too.

Subheadings allow your readers to determine the overall outline of the post. It’s perfect to represent key concepts or supporting ideas in a post. And that’s not even the best part yet.

Subheadings stop skimmers from skimming and leave — it gives them the opportunity to find and focus on a specific part of the post.

Subheadings allow your readers to determine the overall outline of the post. It’s perfect to represent key concepts or supporting ideas in a post. Click To Tweet

4. Increase your font size

Yes, it’s that simple. Increase your font size for ease of reading and making it actually readable. If you use 12px font size — or anything smaller, increase it to at least 16px.

Some websites go for 18px. And that’s fine too.

I find 16px font size is the ideal font size for your main body text. It looks great on both desktop and mobile. You don’t have to strain your eyes to read it.

16px font size improves your paragraph’s readability score. Combine this with short paragraphs and sentences, it’s a quick win for your post.

5. Keep it to 2 fonts

Using too many fonts could slow down your website. It’s distracting and messy. Keep it to 2 fonts max. It’s better to use a different font for the heading. It creates a clear separation between heading and content.

You could even stick with 1 font for both heading and content. Never go beyond 2 fonts.

6. Inject your personality

You might say “this topic I’m writing is boring.” Or “I can’t help it”.

A topic could be boring plain as day. I get it. But you shouldn’t rub salt in the wound.

The easiest way to add personality to your writing is to write as you talk. Writing how you speak makes it a lot easier to build the connection with your audience. You come out as authentic and honest to your reader. Neil Patel shared some actionable tips to write with personality.

Write as you speak -- an easy way to inject your personality to your writing.Click To Tweet

7. Limit the jargon

Jargon is evil. A double-edged sword. Jargon makes you stand on the thin line between smart and smart-alecky. It’s a fine line that you should tread carefully.

Depending on your niche, you could throw one or two jargons in your content to position yourself as subject matter expert. It works magic. What should follow next is to make sure your readers are with you. That they understand it.

Jargon makes your content harder to read. Interest level goes from up high to down low when people don’t understand. You came up as audacious. Avoid them where possible.

Jargon makes your content harder to read. Avoid them where possible.Click To Tweet

8. Use images

Ever heard “a picture is worth a thousand words” quote? I bet you did. If you’re not using any image in your post, you should do it now. Pick good high-quality free stock photos and add it to your post. My favorite stock photo sites are Unsplash and Pexels.

Tips to Improve Writing Readability

Good images make your post looks more appealing. But there’s a catch. The image needs to be relevant to your post. Else, it will be distracting.

And, while stock photos work just as good, you should mix it up with charts, screenshots or other images that’ll help your reader focus on the writing. Be creative with images.

9. Gifify your personality

Want to add fun personality to your post? Head away to Giphy. There are tons of gif you could use for your post. Pick one that’s relevant to your post.

According to Joe Puglisi from Buzzfeed:

“GIFs are a mini-vehicle for storytelling, capturing emotions, and communicating them in a concise way that words and pictures alone cannot.”

Embedding a gif is a great way to stop skimmers too. As they scan your post, the gif will catch their attention and stop them on their track. How good is that?

via GIPHY

10. Embrace lists and bullet points

Embrace the list. List adds structure to your content. Structure keeps skimmer on high alert. It’s the visual break they are looking for.

A list makes content easier to digest. It’s a crime not to use a list on a review article or how-to article. But you should use it pretty much on any article The key is not to create a bad sloppy list. Such is a thin list that doesn’t add value to your reader. Remember, always add supporting ideas to your list.

A thin bullet list doesn’t add value to your reader. Always add supporting ideas to your list.Click To Tweet

11. Organize information in a table

Probably the most used structure on affiliate websites. The table works best to display comparison between multiple products. Or simply to list down feature of a product. A table makes it easy for readers to digest multiple information at once.

When writing a product review article, arrange information on a table. Make your content more readable. Take a cue from 10Beast. Check out any articles on the site and you’ll find one thing in common. Organized information in a table.

12. Add relevant and helpful links

For those new to blogging, linking out is the scariest thing to do. And most of them won’t do that.

What if they left and they never come back? What if that increases my bounce rate? Those are valid questions. It is. There’s no way to guarantee they’ll come back. So why?

Linking out to relevant content or to authority sites adds credibility to your content. Your readers love it cause you’re adding value to them. Google loves it too. Internal and external links are search engine ranking factors.

Focus on producing high-quality content and don’t be afraid to link out. Loyal readers will stick around.

Linking out to relevant content or to authority sites adds credibility to your content.Click To Tweet

13. Write in the first person

People tend to consume and share content that makes them look good, smart, or better. The easier to make them look good is by showing them how you did it. Learn new skills. Solve a problem. Stay healthy. Build muscles. Lose weight. The list is endless.

Writing in the first person naturally adds your personality to your writing. And build an honest connection with your readers. How many times do you read a post simply because you’ve been following the authors’ work? Those are loyal readers.

Writing in the first person naturally adds your personality to your writing. And build an honest connection with your readers.Click To Tweet

Final Thoughts

Writing readability is extremely important for your readers. By applying these actionable tips, you could stop skimmers from scanning your content. And turn them into loyal readers.

Which tips is your favorite? Have any tips to share? Leave a comment below.

If you like this article, don’t forget to share it 🙂

Scanning text is an extremely common behavior. It has become the norm. Long-form content has a higher risk of not getting read — without applying the scannable text. Often times, due to low readability score.In this post, you’re going to learn how to improve writing readability and get more people to read your content.