14 Mar It’s All About Blog Readability – How Do You Measure and Improve It?
It seems that you just have everything just right. And yet, your readership is not growing like you know it should.
You may have the most amazing topics and have critical stuff to share with your readers; you may have done the research and know exactly what your target audience wants to read/view, which means that all of the other elements of a great WordPress blog are in place, right? – Your WordPress blog even has engaging headlines and visuals along with all of the Best Review Plugins in place to provide for sharing and comments/discussion.
What could be wrong?
The issue could be one of readability. Readability you say? What is that?
Actually, readability involves a number of elements. And, if you haven’t checked over these elements, you should.
Here is your checklist for evaluating your readability on your WordPress Blog and making any improvements you can.
- Simplicity is the Rule
You are an expert in your niche. And you want to show that to your readers. In your efforts to do this, though, you may be using more sophisticated vocabulary than you should. There is industry jargon that only you and your peers really understand.
But such big or unfamiliar words can actually be intimidating to your readers. And it will turn them off. If they can’t get an answer to their questions because of the language you use, they’ll go somewhere else for them.
One tool that you can use is Hemingway, named after the author who was a master of simplicity. You can open the app, copy and paste your post, and then get all sorts of insights. It will show you sentences that are to complex, unnecessary modifiers, and vocabulary that is too “lofty.” And, you will get suggestions for improvement.
Believe it or not, many of your readers are aware of good writing. Yes, they want simplicity, but they also want something that is well-written. If your posts are filled with typos and other grammar issues, it is a turnoff. No one wants to wade through that, and you lose your credibility as a writer.
If you have great ideas and great things to say, but don’t have the skills to check your writing for accuracy, then get some help. There are plenty of writing services, like Trust My Paper, that have editors and proofreaders who can polish your writing for a reasonable price. Spend the money and have it done.
- Evaluate Your Headlines
You may think you have engaging headlines, but it never hurts to re-assess. There is a lot of advice out there on crafting engaging headlines – “how-to’s” are good; the promise of a list of tips and such can engage.
But you should have a catchy hook too. You should think like a journalist writing a headline for a news story.
If you struggle with creativity in headline creation, there are a number of tools you can use. You can just insert keywords related to your topic and get hundreds of suggestions. You may not want to use them exactly, but they will get your creative juices flowing and give you solid ideas.
- Lose the Fluff
A great introduction can be a “hook” to get readers motivated to read your post. But beyond that, you need to get to the point of your post. Consumers are in a hurry and they want what they want quickly. If you spend too much time, readers will get bored, and they will bounce.
There are online tools you can use to let you know if you are taking too long to get to your point. You can paste your post in and get a score on your clarity. You can then use the suggestions to clean up your post.
- Use a Readability Index
There is a sort of a “Golden Rule” when it comes to blog posts, or anything else you write, for that matter. It should have a readability level of about the 7th grade – 8th grade tops. Remember, blog posts should be informal and conversational. So, think about how you would write to a friend.
And, yes, there are tools to measure this. Check out Readable, a tool that lets you paste in your content and get a reading grade level. If it is higher than 7-8th grade, you can begin to make changes to get it lowered. Look at your sentences and simplify them. Look at vocabulary and find simpler words for the more sophisticated ones. Keep changing until you get down to at least the 8th grade level.
- The Content Itself
Readability also means that you engage your audience with how you present your information. How creative are you in terms of intriguing and engaging an audience with your writing style? Can you hold attention; can you be “punchy” enough to keep them moving on; can you mix humor, emotion, and inspiration with the information you are giving?
This is a tall order, but it all goes to increasing readability.
How do you evaluate the impact of your content? It’s easy. Use Google analytics to determine which content is the most popular with your readers. Once you have determined what is working we, then you know how you must style your posts going forward.
Again, if you struggle with creativity, write your post and turn it over to a creative to add the pizazz you need.
These six tips/strategies for you to gauge the readability of your posts should help you improve the presentation of your content. Study each of these tips carefully and evaluate your posts based upon them. You will achieve a growth in readership, which, of course, is the goal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diana Adjadj is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Diana also runs her own 3to5Marketing blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people.