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Improve Content Readability of Your Website

Improve Content Readability of Your Website

When writers first get started with blogging, they tend to focus on big ideas- the large concepts which will power their blogs and build their audiences.

While many bloggers write for their audiences, some are also concerned with SEO- search engine optimization. And if you are one of those bloggers aware of this, such as through the use of the Yoast SEO plugin, you’ll see that Yoast gives both an SEO grading and a readability score.

There are a lot of articles on the internet about search engine optimization, so I wanted to focus on readability for this post. If you are taking the time to write good written content, you may want to take a few minutes to make it more readable, too.

When you take the time to improve content readability, you create a better experience for your customers and this increases your chance to convert visitors into subscribers or purchasers.

Here are a few easy ways to improve content readability on your site:

Font Type

There are two classes of font – serifed and sans serif. Serifs are the little curls on letters, such as on Times New Roman. Sans serif lacks these curls. Good examples would include Arial and Verdana.

Studies have shown that serifed fonts make readers read more slowly, as compared with sans serif fonts, which are better for scanning text (such as on a web page). Choose your font depending on how quickly or slowly you wish them to read your content.

Font Size

Font size will depend on several factors, including which type of font you choose, serif or sans serif. It will also depend on the font itself. A Calibri 12 will be a lot smaller than a Verdana 12. Think about readability issues for your audience, such as if you cater to an older audience that might have vision issues.

Also take a look at your website analytics and use a larger font if your site receives a high percentage of mobile traffic (and it probably is!)
Larger font with good spacing is easier to read on mobile devices.

Headlines should usually be larger than the main body of the text. Make sure the text is not too small on desktop either.

Bold, Italics and Underlining

Use these strategically. If you overuse them, they will tend to lose their impact.

Font Color

Font color should most often be black on white. Use accent colors sparingly. Red usually means to stop and pay attention to something, so it can be used strategically on your pages, such as when you want people to buy now or pay attention to the price. Make sure your colors are easy on the eyes and stay away from glaring or jarring color schemes. Make sure your content is readable on a variety of devices no matter what colors you choose.

Color Contrast

To call attention to text and break up the monotony of an all-white page, try black writing on a pale canary background (hex code #fffbc4). This is a good color for adding extra information such as reviews and testimonials on a sales landing page. You can also use similar colored text boxes to create pull-out quotes or extra attention where you want it.

Kerning and White Space

A lot of people create very crowded-looking web pages because they don’t leave enough space between lines, known as line height or kerning. Try to make your page crisp and clean looking. Generally, a little bit more white space is better than less.

Avoid Very Long Lines

Every computer screen is different in size, and varies from the tiny smartphone to a huge panorama. However, most of are used to a “page” no bigger than around 8.5 x 11. With responsive design, the page will “snap” to suit the size of a person’s screen or browser, but this could mean lines 20 inches wide or more. Limit the text area of each page. Also be aware of orphaned phrases and words; check your content on various devices to make sure important sentences aren’t breaking or getting lost.

Use Shorter Paragraphs

Shorter paragraphs means more white space on the page, which makes the page easier to read.

Use Subheadings to Break Up the Text

Subheadings help people scan the text more quickly, for greater readability.

Watch Ad Placement

Ads can make a page very clunky and slow. Keep them to a minimum unless they are the main revenue earner for your site. We’ve all had the experience of visiting a website and being unable to finish the article we wanted to read because every few lines had an ad that was causing the page to load very slowly.

Embed Videos

Videos are very large files and won’t stream well directly from your site. Upload to YouTube and then embed the code in your site content. Do this even if you have fast hosting.

Pop-Ups and Other Promotional Content

Pop-ups tend to run on JavaScript, which can often break. This could mean your page will load very slowly, in which case your visitor might get impatient and click away from your page. Pop-ups can be annoying for users. They will be even more irritating if they are broken and cover the content that they really want to get at. Make sure there is a big X to help people get rid of the promotional content. Also make sure this X is visible on mobile devices and doesn’t travel off the screen. I’ve visited many websites where a pop-up appeared and I couldn’t get it to close- and I eventually just clicked away from the site. If you see your bounce rate suddenly increase when you add pop-up technology, make sure your pop-up isn’t preventing visitor usability on mobile devices.

When you take the time to improve content readability on your site, you give your content the best possible chance to reach your audience and create an impact.

Visibility boosts profitability – it’s as simple as that. So why don’t more entrepreneurs like you have enough visibility? A consultation will help you find out how to build the most visible platform you can!