Content marketing can effectively connect you with customers, but only if they get your message. These tips can help you improve content readability to reach those customers.
Content marketing is an effective way to reach out to new and existing customers and build your brand. It’s not as simple as just creating content and posting it, though. Even having a great brand strategy and amazing design might not be enough if you’re missing a key piece of the puzzle: content readability.
Content readability refers to how easily someone can read, digest and understand the information on your website. It involves several factors:
- Word count.
- Sentence structure.
- Paragraph structure.
- Word choice.
- Content layout.
Here are four ways you can evaluate and improve content readability.
1: Know your audience
This might seem like an obvious part of any marketing strategy, but when it comes to content readability, you should specifically know the average education level of your audience.
For example, are you writing for academics who are likely to have a Ph.D.? A professional audience with some level of college education and experience? The general public? Answering this question will help you decide the average reading level for your content.
To give you a starting point, according to The Literacy Project Foundation, only about 50% of adults can read at or above an 8th grade level. So, while it’s appropriate to use more advanced writing for some content, most should be written around a 7th-9th grade level to maximize audience comprehension.
2: Pay attention to layout and length
Shorter sentences are easier to understand. Shorter paragraphs can also improve content readability, especially for people using a mobile device.
Limit paragraphs to no more than three to four sentences, and break up your text when possible with elements like bulleted lists, charts and images.
Style matters, too. Review your text for active voice, eliminate insider jargon, and remove or define acronyms that are not widely known.
3: Use visuals
Some concepts are difficult to explain in clear, concise text. If that’s the case, consider using drawings, charts or illustrations to help make your point and improve content readability. Infographics have soared in popularity in recent years because they can distill a lot of information and data into simple concepts that are easy to scan and digest.
4: Check your work
One of the most difficult things for writers is knowing how readable their content actually is — after all, you know the topic well enough to write about it, so it can be hard to assume how well others understand it.
Free tools like the Flesch-Kincaid score in Microsoft Word or the Hemingway app allow you to check the reading level of a text. The Hemingway App displays a reading level and highlights other suggestions for better readability, such as removing passive voice or eliminating unnecessary adverbs.
Improve content readability today
Ready to create better content? Tempesta Media can help. Start today by downloading our free e-book to learn about the 100 most common mistakes businesses make when starting or scaling up content marketing efforts. Then contact us to find out how we can help improve your content marketing.