The digital world is full of information. Immense amounts of content are produced and played out on the web every day. This leads to an unprecedented competitive situation because the attention span of the target group is constantly shrinking. That’s why the readability of your texts plays an important role.
Because as soon as a content is difficult to consume, the target group switches off – especially in the case of advertising content, which we only use anyway reluctant to read. Accordingly, it is important not to give away valuable attention and to reward your target group with light text.
We will explain how to optimize your content so that it is easy to read. Learn how to keep the audience engaged and secure valuable advantages in the battle for attention.
Lazily reading? Here you go directly to the conclusion!
What does readability mean?
Readability is meant how easy content is to consume. Design aspects (font, presentation, layout…) play a role, as does the content itself (paragraphs, headlines, emphasis…).
All in all, it’s about To offer content that is as easy to consume as possible. The focus is on simple and convenient access to the information you are looking for.
The legibility cannot be measured or recorded in a concrete value. There is no scale of 1-100 on which to place it exactly. Rather, various factors play a role, which can be correctly interpreted and used for optimization.
That’s why readability is important for your website
People have ever shorter attention spans. At the same time, you compete with your content on the web with an ever-increasing flood of information. It is therefore important that your content is easily accessible.
We only consume what we can easily consume. However, if your content is difficult to understand and easy to read, your target group will leave. This has two negative effects:
You miss the opportunity to anchor your messages to your target audience.
The search engine evaluates the lack of interest of the target group negatively and ranks your website worse.
Good readability does not only have an effect directly on consumption but also has an influence on your ranking and thus the website traffic.
11 easy-to-implement tips to increase the readability of texts
High legibility puts a smile on your target group’s face.
1. Use the language of your target group
Content marketing is not an end in itself, but targeted Communication. However, the attention span for marketing messages is severely limited. That’s why you need to write your content in a way that your target audience will understand right away.
So be sure to use a vocabulary to use that is understandable. This applies in particular to the use of foreign words. If you write for a specialist audience, you can confidently assume that they are known. However, if you are writing for a mass product, you should keep it simple.
Tonality is also part of the language of your target group. Because people can process what is known particularly well, which is why it is important to hit the tone that your target group knows and appreciates.
So learn as much as you can about your target audience. Carry out target group analyses and put yourself deep into the world of the people you want to reach with your texts. This is the only way to achieve maximum readability for these people.
2. Rely on a direct and active language
If you want to address people, then you need to address them too. That means: Choose an appropriate speech (you, you, you, you, you’re…) and use it. As a result, your target group feels more picked up and involved.
At the same time, you should make sure that you write as actively as possible. So avoid passive constructions. Would you like an example?
The hiking shoes are used for long hikes because they are particularly light and thus prevent tired feet.
You can manage with hiking boots easy to get long hikes without tired feet.
In the first sentence, which is worded passively, the focus is on the hiking shoes. The second, active sentence, on the other hand, puts the target group as the subject at the center of the formulation, which creates a stronger connection and better address. Because if you want to address a person, they should always be the focus.
3. Use a clear headline structure
Headings give us support and signal to us what the next paragraph will be about. This gives your target group quick access to the information that is really important – and thus increases readability.
So make sure you use a hierarchically neatly sorted headline structure to use. This means that you work your way from main topics to small sub-topics. An additional table of contents with jump marks or a summary with the most important points can also contribute to readability.
4. Make meaningful paragraphs
No one wants to dig through endless text deserts. Because when the screen is full of text, the eye turns off automatically and the motivation drops to zero.
To loosen up your website content, you must Use paragraphs regularly. In this way you portion the content, making it clearer and thus easier to consume.
At the same time, the brain fools the readers with every paragraph that they read to the end, some kind of progress. Even if it’s the same amount of text as in a large block of text, getting a paragraph done still feels like a small accomplishment.
Because nowadays, a majority of the content is consumed on the go, you should also make sure that the paragraphs are as short as possible and thus also have an effect on the mobile display.
The rule of thumb is: If possible, write no more than two or three DinA4 lines. Then put a paragraph. This may sound like a lot at first, but it will definitely have a positive effect on the readability of your content.
5. Shorten where you can
There is one important rule that all copywriters adhere to and lyricists have tattooed in your brain:
Content should be as long as necessary – and as short as possible.
It’s finally about targeted communication. Accordingly, you have to cut back and cut away every sentence that is not necessary. In this way you compress the content to the essentials – your target group wants to read no more and no less.
You can safely do without empty phrases in particular. Would you like an example? The time has come! Our new smartphone is launched.
Here you can omit the first sentence completely because it could refer to anything and absolutely has no added value.
So keep your heads down with digressions and anecdotes, as long as they do not contribute to understanding the content. Stay focused and write down the message to the point your audience needs to hear.
6. Note sentence length and create speech rhythm
The shorter a sentence, the higher the readability. Tapeworm sentences, on the other hand, are difficult to read and often cause your target audience to lose their minds.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should only write short sentences of four or five words. Because that would destroy the rhythm of speech. A pleasant language thrives on combining different sentence lengths with each other and making them sound.
The art of lively language and high readability lies in alternating short sentences with long sentences. Since you should ideally make a paragraph every two to three lines anyway, you should make sure that no paragraph consists of just one sentence.
This will prevent tapeworm sentences, keep legibility high and create melodious language.
7. Check the word length
The longer a word is, the harder it is to read. The shipping captain’s hat holder reads more complicated than football. We need to focus more and spend energy on reading, which nobody really wants in marketing content.
Accordingly, you need to be careful not to use words that are too long. Of course, this cannot always be avoided. If you do need to use a long word, then embed it at least in a short sentence. This makes it easier for your readers.
8. Enumerations end with three
All good things come in threes – and that’s the way it is with enumerations. Lists that contain more than three parts become very difficult to read.
For even better readability, make sure that the words in the list are either of the same lengths or sorted hierarchically (from short to long or long to short). Here are a few examples:
In the zoo, there are Lions, tigers, and monkeys. (All three terms are the same length and the list scores with good readability)
In the Zoo, there are lions, kangaroos, and Tasmanian tigers. (The terms are getting longer and longer, the listing works)
In the zoo, there are Tasmanian tigers, crocodiles, and monkeys. (The terms are getting shorter and shorter, the listing works)
In the zoo there are Tasmanian tigers, lions, crocodiles, Short-clawed otters, monkeys, gray kangaroos, tapirs, anteaters, and wild cats. (This is of course a really species-rich zoo, but not a good list. Everything goes wrong here. Too many terms, too confused)
9. Emphasize with emphasis
We must face the harsh reality: People don’t read content from A to Z. Rather, we are all scanning for the one piece of information that is relevant to us at that moment.
It is correspondingly important to direct the target group’s gaze and offer the eye anchors to which it can cling. This can be done with emphasis such as B. fatliquoring en.
Thus you offer valuable orientation and effectively increase readability.
10. Diversity of content creates relaxation
Whenever you have the opportunity, you should Include media in your text. Because often a well-designed chart can get to the heart of things much more legibly than a 500-word paragraph ever could. Diversity of content is the motto.
This ensures an additional increase in your information density and readability. At the same time, pictures, videos, and graphics offer a welcome change for the eye. Your target group will thank you!
11. Pay attention to writing and other technical aspects
All these tips will not help you when the texts end up being displayed in a font that is difficult to read and much too small. So when selecting the font, make sure that it is highly legible and of an appropriate size on all end devices.
Overall, your website should be technically modern and pleasing to the eye. This also means that the writing must form a sensible contrast to the background in order to stand out clearly and effortlessly.
Ideally, you should mostly use a black font with a light background. Of course, you can use colored highlights for headlines, smaller details, or certain content elements. This is how you create variety and more readability
How can readability be measured?
Calculate readability quickly. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy…
There are several ways to check the readability of your content. One is the evaluation of the content afterward. So after publication, you check whether the content is having the desired success and whether the KPIs make sense.
Pay attention to Warning signs like a high bounce rate or a low click-through rate (CTR). Both are signs that readability might be poor.
Tools like YoastSEO or RankMath offer possibilities for optimization in advance. These SEO tools each provide their own information on the readability of the text during creation. Various factors are taken into account (sentence length, passive formulations, etc.).
Paid SEO tools such as Seobility or Sistrix also offer information on readability in their analyses. Here you can discover a variety of optimization options after the publication of the text.
But the most important factor for the assessment is ultimately your own Feeling. Because in the end, tools only offer support and suggestions. Whether and how you want to implement this is something you have to judge for yourself based on your experience.
Always keep in mind that you are not writing for a tool. You write for people. So trust your instinct for good texts and focus primarily on the usage behavior of your target group.