How to Improve Readability

Discover the keys to online success by learning how to improve readability. Tips and strategies to create clear, engaging content for your audience.

There’s a lot of value in well-researched, informative content. But if it’s not readable, then your audience may not stick around long enough to see it!

People just don’t have the time or patience to sift through a complex, long-winded article these days. And here’s the thing: they often don’t have to. Unless you’re writing for a really specific niche, they can likely find a similar article that’s much easier to understand on a different website. And this is why learning how to improve the readability of your content can be the key to online success.

So, in this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to improve readability. With these strategies in your back pocket, you’ll be creating clear, engaging content in no time!

What Is Readability?

Before we dive into the tips, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what readability is. Simply put, readability has to do with how easy it is to read and understand content.

For example, take the following sentences:

Despite her dog’s well-known love for fetch, she often disregards how important it is to him.

She often ignores how important fetch is to her dog.

See the difference? The sentences are essentially saying the same thing, but it’s much easier to understand the second one. It’s clear, concise, and to the point - which is exactly what you should be shooting for when it comes to readability.

Why Is Readability Important?

Of course, it’s not like you couldn’t understand the first sentence in our example. But who wants to struggle their way through some text if they don’t have to? People are busy these days, so the sooner they can have their answer, the better. And readability is a big part of that.

Let’s say you’re looking for an answer online. You come across two blog posts that you think will do the trick. But one uses long sentences and complex words, and the other shorter sentences and simpler words. Which would you choose?

For most people, the shorter, simpler post would be a no-brainer. So, if you want your audience to make the same choice with your content, then taking steps to improve readability is essential.

How to Improve Readability: 5 Tips for Clearer Content

Ready to simplify your writing? Here are five tips to help you create more readable content.

1. Write Shorter Sentences

While you can cram a lot of information into a sentence, that doesn’t mean you should! Overly long, complicated sentences (also known as convoluted sentences) can be difficult to understand, so they’re not great for readability. Fortunately, there is an easy solution here: write shorter ones.

Okay, it’s not always easy - there’s probably a reason you wrote a long sentence in the first place! So, if you’re struggling to shorten things up, then try to include only one idea per sentence. Your long sentences will likely have at least two ideas, so break them up into shorter ones where appropriate.

2. Use Short, Simple Words

You may think that using long,complex words make you sound smarter. But you’re really only hurting your readability. No one should have to break out a dictionary to understand your content.

Instead, focus on including short, simple words to improve readability - the fewer syllables, the better. Why bother with a 4-syllable word when a 2-syllable one would do?

3. Avoid Jargon and Acronyms (Unless You’re Going to Explain Them Clearly)

While jargon and acronyms may fall under the category of shorter words, they’re not ideal for readability. For example, if you’re writing a beginner’s guide on content marketing, you can’t can’t throw acronyms like SEO and SERP in there without any explanation.

But if you need to use jargon and acronyms to explain concepts, then you can at least expand on them to improve readability. A better option would be:

You need to use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to help your content rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).

This way, you can use more technical terms without complicating the text for your readers.

4. Break Up the Text

Presenting your readers with a huge wall of text can be a great way to scare them off your content. Think about it: would you have made it this far if this article was one or two long, seemingly never-ending paragraphs?

So, to improve readability, you need to break up your text. Formatting options like shorter paragraphs, headers, subheaders, and bulleted lists can all help clarify and organize your content for readers.

5. Use a Readability Checker

As you can see, there’s a lot to look out for when it comes to improving your readability. That’s why one of the best things you can do is use a readability checker.

Not only can a readability checker can help you make sure your content is appropriate for your audience, but it can also identify areas for improvement. For example, Originality.AI’s readability checker will highlight long sentences, unnecessary adverbs, and words with 4+ syllables. This allows you to easily locate and change them to make your content more readable.

Final Thoughts

While well-researched, informative content may bring your audience in, it’s often the readability of that content that makes them stick around. Fortunately, by writing shorter sentences, using simpler words, avoiding jargon and acronyms, breaking up the text, and using a readability checker, you can create the type of clear, accessible content that’ll keep your audience coming back for more.

So, what are you waiting for? Copy-and-paste your latest piece in this readability checker, and start improving your readability today.

Jess Sawyer

Jess Sawyer is a seasoned writer and content marketing expert with a passion for crafting engaging and SEO-optimized content. With several years of experience in the digital marketing, Jess has honed her skills in creating content that not only captivates audiences but also ranks high on search engine results.

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