It’s not enough to just regularly update your company blog. That’s a good first step for your small business or startup, but it’s also necessary to make sure each post is readable.
So, what does that mean exactly?
Simply put, it is a measure of how easy it is for people, the common person on the street to your exact customer profile, to understand what you’ve written. It is a safe bet that the majority of your visitors read at a lower grade level than you think. Fortunately, there are several things you can do and we’ve got some free tools to enhance the process.
Simplify your language
It’s tempting to choose long and complex words when writing, especially when trying to build credibility. However, complex language can become intimidating. It’s best to strive for simplicity in your posts without dumbing down the content. In fact, using simpler language can actually show intelligence.
Taking that approach could help your business sell more because it tends to result in a highly relatable tone. Simple words could also make it easier to answer the “What’s in it for me?” question audiences usually ask.
You can try an app like Hemingway to see if most of the words in your blog posts have better alternatives. Find out if different words would boost simplicity, and get warnings when sentences are difficult to read.
Think of your blog’s headline as something that sets expectations about the article in general and grabs their attention. At SYNC, we go simple and straightforward, because we know our audience and what they want. A misleading headline not only negatively impacts readability but could also make readers feel they shouldn’t trust what you write.
Creativity isn’t a bad thing though, see Studio-Culture’s article on SEO for an example of good creativity.
Use something like the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to see if your blog’s headlines need improvement. Also, get actionable tips for making changes, if necessary.
Contact a SYNC consultant immediately to get a free assessment now.
Be concise as possible
We tend to over explain certain points, especially when we don’t fully understand it ourselves. That could be fine if you’re trying to explain something complicated, but it is very boring. If that happens, visitors are unlikely to read anymore and your bounce rate increases.
The VisibleThread Clarity Grader is a free tool that highlights if you’re taking too long to say what readers need to know. AIt checks for long sentences and even tells you the number of words used in each one.
Keep paragraphs short and clearly organize them, so you draw readers in. They often scan the content and pull out the most important bits. In fact, research suggests people only read about 18 percent of what’s on a page, so you’ve got to make a big impact quickly.
If you’re selling something and using the blog as a platform, don’t forget to mention the things that make your product stand out from the rest. Bullet points can be your best friend but use them sparingly as not to appear too mechanical in your writing.
SEO isn’t the only thing
SEO, or search engine optimization, makes a big difference in whether people read your blog or not. However, it’s important not to overemphasize SEO that it impacts readability, as getting visitors is one thing, but ensuring they stay on your site is another.
The Yoast SEO Free tool is very helpful and something that we at SYNC use quite a lot. It helps you remain mindful of good SEO practices while also measuring readability. For example, this blog post has a high SEO score and a great readability score, because we used Yoast to manage the content effectively.
If you want to find out how to make your company or brand blog more engaging, while not sacrificing SEO quality, drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.