How to improve the readability of articles for SEO?
Did you know that readability really affects a web page’s ranking on search engines like Google? Well, gone are the days when people read everything that someone posts on the Internet. Currently, you can find millions of similar web pages for every search term. In this situation, you need to make your content stand out from the crowd by considering all aspects of SEO.
Readability and SEO
Below is the content editor in WordPress with the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin is one of the best SEO options for WordPress users. It will add this meta box to the editor to make sure you post articles with good readability.
There are two important things about readability: the first is the keyword you focus on, and the other is the reading factor. Choosing the right keyword is a different task and you can get more details about it in this article. Considering readability, not everyone uses WordPress. Hence, you need to ensure readability before even opening the editor on your website. Let’s check how to do this while writing the article. We provide several examples from Microsoft Word because most authors use Word to create their documents. However, you can follow similar guidelines in any text editor.
Follow simple rules when writing
There are very simple rules you can follow to make sure content is readable.
1. Use plain English
Remember, English is not the first language for most people in this world. So your fluency doesn’t matter in the article, what matters is whether people can easily understand without looking up a dictionary to look up the meaning of the words you used. Make sure you use simple and common words.
2. Run a spell check
The latest versions of Word will show you detailed information about every error in your documents. For example, when you write “each”, Word prompts you to change it to “each” or “each”. After completing the article, go to the “Overview > Spelling and Grammar” section and carefully check the content.
Related: How to create a table of contents in Word?
3. Use Active Voice
Always try to write directly as you speak to others. Instead of writing “article published” in passive mode, write like “I published this article” in active mode. Word will again show all the passive voices used in the document. You need to correct these offers in order to send active offers.
4. Length of the control sentence
A good sentence length is up to 20 words so that the reader can focus on the sentence. Long sentences like paragraphs will affect users’ concentration. Similarly, break paragraphs into multiple sentences, no more than 300 words in total.
5. Use headings and subheadings.
The search engine and people need to know the important part of your article. You can use headings H1 to H6 to distinguish between introductory and concluding sections with different levels. This will help structure the content and add value to each section.
Article readability measurement
After you have written an article, you can check the readability statistics in Microsoft Word. The first step is to perform a spelling and grammar check under Overview > Spelling and Grammar.
After you’ve reviewed all errors, you may receive a confirmation prompt in Word showing the completion of the review. However, you can turn on readability statistics to get more detailed information.
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How to enable readability statistics in Word?
Open the Word document you want to check and follow the instructions below:
- Click the File tab and open Options.
- Click on the “Checking” section and look at the “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word” section.
- Check the “Show readability statistics” box.
- Click “OK” to save your changes.
You can also adjust various settings by clicking the “Settings” button next to “Writing Style:”. Be sure to select passive suggestions and other important options to get more details during error checking.
- Now click on the “Spelling and Grammar” option in the “Overview” tab.
- Word will show you if there are any errors in your document.
- After the review is complete, you can get detailed readability statistics instead of a simple confirmation window.
What details do you get in readability statistics?
You can get statistics on your document under three headings:
It will show you the number of pages, words, sentences and characters. While there is no limit on content length, it is recommended to have at least 600 words so that readers can have good content on your page.
You can get the average number of sentences per paragraph, words per sentence, and characters per word. Make sure your average sentence length is less than 20 words and no more than 10 sentences per paragraph.
This section will show the percentage of passive sentences you can try to make up to 0. Also your content is considered readable with a Flesch Reading Ease score > 60% and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 7 score.
It doesn’t end with beautiful content with excellent readability. When publishing content to the web, you need to add the following elements to enable users to navigate your site.
- Add links to help users navigate to and from your site. In the world of SEO, pages without links are dead pages. So make sure your site has leading links to other popular pages. You can also link and link to quality sites in your article.
- Set links to a different color to help visually identify links.
- Use Web Safe Fonts – Use a font size and family that suits your website and makes it readable.
- Use a call to action – when you have important content, be sure to put it in a box and highlight it with bright colors. In most cases, users will click on the attractive part that stands out.
Writing content for the web is an art and it has changed a lot in the last few years. We have published articles for the last ten years and can guarantee that readable articles will perform well in search engines. While there are many other factors that affect rankings, you can focus on the area where you can improve. We hope that the guidelines above will help you write useful content for your readers.