User Friendliness – To Read or Not to Read
Gone are the days where we stroked Googles back with a soft feather of content stuffed with keywords. As search engines have evolved, what they are looking for has changed significantly. Now it is all about UX (User Experience). And rightly so! At the end of the day it is the person on the other side of the screen who is going to click the button ‘Read More’ or, even better, ‘Buy Now’. And it is our job to make sure their UX is so enjoyable that they do. So read on to find out some SEO tools and tips to improve readability.
Happy customers convert, unhappy customers kick off… or cry!
I had a wry smile on my face when I made a comparison with an experience I had earlier. How many of you have been on that call where you repeatedly hear a ring tone with an intermittent voice saying ‘sorry, we are presently very busy, please hold the line and someone will answer your call as soon as they are available’. 35 minutes later the poor over worked employee answers and gets you ranting at them. Then you are conveniently told you need to be transferred to another department and wait another 25 minutes! Finally, you are connected to a fed up employee and told there is nothing they can do to resolve the issue. So1hr35 minutes on the phone = nothing other than completely wasted time! So the question is… Are you feeling like spending money with this company at this point? Correct – a big fat NO! Why? Because your UX was so horrendous! You either want to kick off with a rant on their twitter account (where another poor over worked employee simply follows protocol in their reply) or you want to cry!
Unhappy phone calls are the same as unhappy content
Now vented and feeling better, lets put this into perspective. It is all about the journey. My phone call was a journey, a bumpy one at that, that ended up with a flat tyre and a frustration. But it does not need to be like that when it comes to online content or in fact a phonecall, but that’s another matter. A creative brain with the addition of some helpful tools can help. There is a wonderful tool out there that helps assess your content’s readability. Green = good and Red= Needs improvement. It is a great way to get your writing ‘readable’ and it feels like you are back at school, competing for that gold star. Fear not, there are tips to tell you how to hit the jack-pot and this is where the fun begins and your readers engage in what you have to say.
What is this tool, I hear you say?
Those of you that use WordPress have probably come across YOAST. YOAST is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin and is very user-friendly. Recently it updated from just analysing your SEO, to adding in the ability to analyse your content’s readability. Are you in the category who do not use WordPress or have not yet installed the plugin? Well then, there is a free version that you can download and install or there is a Real Time tool you can play around with and use to assess your SEO and readability here.
It measures aspects of your content and scores them with a colour code (Red, Orange or Green) Green being the best. Given we are talking about readability I will only talk about the Content Analysis tab here and not the SEO one. By measuring the following elements in your content you can use this to help improve its readability:
- Monitors the length of your sentences ( aim for less than 20 words)
- Assesses the length of your paragraph (aim for no more that 7 – 8 sentences)
- Your use of clear meaningful subheadings
- If you use to much passive voice (don’t us too much or it penalises you as it is harder to read)
- Use transition words (these direct your reader by summarising, comparing and concluding something)
- Flesch Reading Ease score (how easy your text is to read)
If you use these 6 as a guide and then check on the YOAST tips you start to pick up the techniques that improve your content’s readability. There are links to posts that explain in more detail what the specifics are in each area to improve your writing. So my tip is just to get going. When you read your old posts and compare them to your most recent ones it is amazing to see the difference!
Was this helpful and you want to know more?
If you enjoyed this blog and you would like to know more about how you can help your business online with more SEO tips then we would be delighted to help. To get in touch with one of us POSHIES at our SEO company in Glasgow today you can call us on 0141 342 4335 or email us here! Good luck and keep your eyes open for our next post!