A Primer to Boost Your Content’s Readability
Stop posting content without a plan and start improving your content’s readability for a dramatic increase in customer engagement and ROI.
It is rightly said, “Content is king”, as the success of a business largely depends on the quality of content it delivers.
Unfortunately, I think the overuse of the phrase has caused people to lose sight of the true value of content.
If you were stranded in a foreign land and couldn’t communicate the most basic thoughts, what would you do?
How would you communicate?
Communication is the key, you’re not a content publisher – you’re a communicator.
And what is it exactly you have to communicate to your audience?
It’s gotta be something of value, something they’re interested in.
This approach to communication is how you should look at every piece of content you put out.
Hence, it is highly essential for a business to improvise its content by making it catchy, plausible and striking.
A HUGE part of this communication strategy is your content’s readability.
There are actually a lot of factors that help determine the quality of the content such as:
- Lack of clarity
- The content being too niche
- Use of complicated words and phrases
- Grammar and punctuation errors
However, the central aspect of a good content is its readability.
Readability refers to keeping things clear, precise and to the point.
It all about explaining ideas, thoughts and views about a subject in a direct and simplified way by contrasting it with real-life situations for better understanding. Many of the businessmen aim at delivering a plethora of thoughtful business ideas but fail to present them in a logically and coherent manner.
Poor readability and presentation of ideas are indeed the sure signs that your business is not progressing and is certain to fail in the future years to come.
What are the reasons for poor readability?
The reasons for poor readability can indeed be many, including:
- Spending a lot of time of time in producing materials which are no longer useful to the audience
- Failing to engage the audience with authentic and lucid information
- Not taking the necessary steps to make your brand aware
- Poor Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques
- Lack of trust from the audience which effects customer relationship and loyalty
- A substantial loss in the business
The basis for good and high-quality content
To establish yourself well in the market, it is of paramount importance that you follow the suggestions listed below.
- Position your brand in the market effectively considering yourself to be one of the experts
- Target specific audience groups keeping in mind the nature and use of your product or service you aim to offer the public
- Keep your content informative, accurate, error-free and reader-friendly
- Optimum use of infographics ensuring legibility and preciseness
- Improve your search engine ranking by generating blog traffic and generating backlinks
There are some sectors like healthcare that use words which are very difficult for the average person to understand.
For instance, there are incidents in our very own lives where we refer Google to know the effects, dosage and chemicals used in various drugs. But reading the content relating to medicine becomes laborious as the content comprises of colloquial terms which are difficult to understand by a common reader who is not specialized in medicine.
A better example is the common “ice cream headache”. Do you know what the technical term for that is?
It’s Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. I mean… really?
Have you ever stumbled across a medical post online? They’re the worst to read.
Given the above case, the problem is:
- Too much dependence in the use of jargon terms which limits the audience readability
- Unnecessary use of long words and arduous expressions
- Words with too many syllables
The real question is;
How do you achieve 100% audience readability in a piece of content despite the fact being that the product or a service is focused to a niche audience?
So, here are some solid recommendations which can help you boost your content’s readability.
Focus on the Customer
This is one of the chief aspects in determining the audience reach.
It is important for a business to create content which is understandable and relatable to the people in your audience. It should answer all the questions pertaining to the product or a service offered by the business. Adopting the 5Ws and 1H (When, Where, What, Why, Whom and How) technique can certainly make your content more engaging and pleasing.
Remember that your content should inform, educate and entertain the reader in all respects.
For instance, TheOnlineCasino is a popular online casino which provides the players with all the details related to gambling in a simple yet catchy style. More than just eye catching visuals, they produce some of the most persuasive calls to action and game descriptions in the industry designed specifically to motive their audience. Check out their work to see what I mean.
Check the baseline score
After you have made your rough draft ready, you’ve got to check your readability score.
You can check your score by adopting various tools like Flesch Reading Ease, Gunning Fog Index, CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), and SMOG Index.
Use short sentences
One of the major BAD things to do with online content is to use long sentences.
The frequent use of bullet points and full stops indicate clarity and precision. So, using them often and in the right places will for sure result in higher quality readability. Remember, higher the content quality, the higher will be the readability.
Limit the use of jargon words
Do not fill your content with colloquial words that only a few specific people will understand.
If you have to use complicated words, make sure that you explain the meaning of those words or terms in the bottom line of your write-up. The use of super complicated words does not justify your proficiency in the subject matter, it only makes understanding the subject matter more difficult.
Avoid excessive use of adverbs
Many writers tend to use plenty of adverbs in their article which sounds convoluted. Keep your content moderate and use adverbs only when necessary.
Select an appropriate writing style
Balancing the formal and conversational tone while writing is something you have to do.
Your style and tone must perfectly match the expectations of the audience. Writing for a business does not necessarily mean that you must stick to a formal writing style. Adopting a conversational style makes the readability of your content easier to follow and more personal thus drawing and keeping your audiences’ attention longer.
Proofread and get feedback
Make sure that you read your write-up multiple times to reduce minute grammatical errors like spellings, wrong usage of tenses and punctuation.
Grammatical errors are huge turn-offs especially if your aim is to entice your audience. Also, make your peers read your article and be open to feedback. Receiving different perspectives and ideas from numerous people can indeed help you in enhancing the position of your brand in the market.
Putting it all together
Content and readability go hand in hand following 3 major principles:
- The audience is the backbone for any content
- Simplicity and clarity are the key factors responsible for determining the quality of content
- Engaging the audience should always be kept as the top priority
Improving Your Content’s Readability will engage your audience more effectively, it will keep your readers around longer, and ultimately it will boost your ROI in marketing dollars.
The steps above are super simple and you can start implementing them today!
Let me know how it goes.