How important is readability on your website? In fact, readability is a key consideration in the battle for Google ranking. Admittedly, it’s easy to develop tunnel vision with keywords. Although these are important, they won’t help you much if your website readability is low. What has to happen to take your content marketing to the next level?
Obviously, you rely on your website to generate traffic and leads. However, what if your content isn’t doing the job? What if it’s wordy and difficult to understand to the average viewer? If your website readability is low, you stand to lose viewer interaction, and that means higher bounce rates and lower conversions.
Understanding Content Readability
The simplest definition of readability is content that viewers find to be clear and easy to comprehend. This is important if you want them to remain on your website and actually read at least some of your content. In addition, their ability to understand your content directly affects whether they take action and contact you or otherwise make a purchase.
This is the cornerstone of content marketing. Comply with its requirements and experience its rewards. Violate readability requirements and suffer the consequences.
The following three considerations should show why excellent website readability needs to be a top priority for your content marketing going forward:
1. Never Overestimate Your Audience’s Reading Age
It actually doesn’t matter how intelligent (or unintelligent) your audience may be. The truth is that most people comfortably read at a lower reading age than you imagine.
Generally, the gold standard for reading comprehension is a 7th or 8th grade level. That may seem strange considering the number of people who are college educated. Here’s the important thing to remember: many people are indeed capable of reading at a higher grade level. However, that doesn’t mean they’re comfortable doing so.
When people have a choice of what they read, they tend to go with something easier to understand so that the experience is less taxing and more pleasurable. Struggling to understand unfamiliar words or complicated sentence structures lessens the reading experience.
Give people a reason not to read something and they’ll take it. Don’t sacrifice website readability by going with faulty assumptions about your audience.
2. Lower Readability Excludes Parts of Your Target Audience
Although you may not realize it, you could be discriminating against viewers with certain learning disabilities with your web content. For example, take someone with concentration issues. If you hit them with long sentences and paragraphs, they will be far less likely to consume your content.
You can’t afford to alienate what could be a significant segment of your audience, depending on your business. Therefore, sentences containing more than 20 or 25 words should be kept to a minimum. Select simpler words whatever possible. And definitely don’t allow paragraphs to go on and on.
3. Online Reading Differs From Hard Copy Reading
People read physical books or papers a certain way. They tend to read more leisurely and are willing to linger over paragraphs and read longer writing. However, when they get online, their reading patterns are usually entirely different. Online, their patience evaporates. They are much more likely to skim content they encounter. Therefore, website readability needs to take this into account.
Readers of web pages seldom read entire pages. In addition, they may not even read it from top to bottom. Usually, they’re looking for a specific bit of information and they scan the page until they find it. Anything that interferes with this process could mean the reader exits your website.
Each new piece of website content needs to adhere to a standard that encourages shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs and less complicated vocabulary. Existing content needs to be tweaked to comply with such standards. Every web page and blog represents an opportunity to engage your audience. Therefore, make sure your website readability is in line with what your viewers expect.
Gain the Tools For Website Readability
You understand the vital role that content readability plays on your website. Now, what do you do to make sure your content is achieving its potential? The best advice is to work with digital marketing professionals whose website design services can create content that appeals to your audience.
Dreamscape Marketing has the knowledge and experience to take your content marketing to the next level of success. Call us today at 888.307.7304 and let’s discuss how to increase your website readability.