Is your content readable? If you’re a writer, then you may have been asked that question in the past. But what exactly does that mean? Readable meaning it's easy to see the text? Understand the words? Or is it something else entirely?
In this article, we’re going to explore the meaning of the word readable. We’ll go over what it is, why it’s important, and give you some tips on improving the readability of your writing.
What Does Readable Mean?
When someone says something is readable, they may mean it’s easy to read. But some definitions throw an extra - and important - word in there as well: enjoyable. Something that’s readable is easy AND enjoyable to read.
So, what makes something easy and enjoyable to read? Well, the subject matter is a factor. For example, you likely won’t hear the average person refer to a university-level physics textbook as “readable”. But this isn’t necessarily because they find it boring. This brings us to another important part of readability: the ability to understand a text.
You may recognize every single word on a page, but it’s hard to enjoy something when you don’t understand it. And it’s this understanding that is essential in creating effective content.
Why Is It Important for Content to Be Readable?
These days, having readable content is essential for online success. With so many similar blog posts and articles coming out each and every day, content creators need every advantage they can get if they’re going to beat out the competition. And having more readable content than the other guys is a big one.
Think about it: would you stick with a web page that you’re struggling to read? Or would you quickly click away to find a version that’s easier to understand? If you’re like most people, you’d probably go with the latter. There’s so much information available on the internet these days that you don’t need to struggle your way through anything - you find it somewhere else.
But if readers find that your content is easy to read and understand, they’ll be more likely to stay on your website. This doesn’t only improve your bounce rate, but it can also encourage them to explore your other offerings. You can build a loyal following from having readable content.
How Can I Make My Content More Readable?
Now that you know what it is and why it’s so important, are you ready to start creating more readable content? If so, let’s dive into some of the factors that can help you improve your readability.
Use Short, Conversational Words
Some people think that using big, complex words makes their content sound smarter. But instead of impressing them, these complicated words often scare off readers.
That’s why you should stick with short, conversational words when creating content. When you use words that are common in everyday conversation, you can almost guarantee that people will understand what you’re trying to say. And, unless you’re a professional in a certain field, there’s a good chance you’re not using 4-syllable words regularly!
Keep Sentences Short and Sweet
Using a lot of long, convoluted sentences in your content isn’t the best way to get your point across. Cramming a lot of ideas into one sentence can be confusing to readers, and they may need to reread it a few times to get your point.
So, another way to make your content more readable is to use shorter sentences. As a general rule of thumb, you should only include only one idea per sentence. By keeping your sentences clear and concise, your readers should be able to follow along without question.
Use Adverbs Sparingly
Many writers love a good adverb. But since these modifiers can change the meaning of verbs, they require the reader to put a little extra effort into reading and understanding a sentence.
Now, it’s not like you shouldn’t use them at all - sometimes a sentence may not sound right without them. If you want to make your content more readable, though, you should use them sparingly. Instead, look for a more concise word to replace an adverb-verb combination.
Use a Readability Checker
Finally, one of the best ways to improve the readability of your content is to use a readability checker. These online tools can help you easily identify any readability-related issues with your writing to make it more clear and concise.
Take Originality.AI’s readability checker, for example. Simply enter your text into the checker, and it will highlight complex words, long sentences, and adverbs for you, making editing for readability a breeze.
Even better, it will also run your content through some of the most reliable readability tests and calculate your scores. The tool will then tell you what scores you should be aiming for to create more readable content. Oh, and did we mention that it does all this for free?
These days, readable content is critical for online success. By writing text that’s easy for your audience to read and understand, you can keep them on your website and away from your competitors.
So, now that you know the meaning of the word readable and how to improve the readability of your content, what are you waiting for? Write an article, throw it into a readability checker, and share the finished product with your readers. It may just be your most successful content yet!