SEO tips for beginners: The importance of readability

While readability in writing and books usually only deals with the text, readability in the context of search engine optimization can look quite different.

Readability is essentially the author’s intended audience’s ability to read, digest, and understand the content at hand such as a novel or a short story.

Readability is important anytime any information is being transferred from one source to another, but it is even more important when it can determine the ranking of your website in search results.

For this reason, you need to understand the importance of readability in SEO, and below are some tips to get you started.

Tip 1: Understand the algorithm

Understanding the goal of SEO is essential to understanding the algorithm that rules search engines. 

Many factors affect the ranking of your website for a search term, but readability can be an important one once you realize how it is measured.

The goal of SEO writing is to offer a solution that pleases the user quickly enough that it encourages them to engage longer with your website and not bounce back to the search page for a different source.

Your website will rank lower if the solution is not what the user was looking for and this can be in part due to the readability of your solution.

For instance, if you search “how to boil pasta” and your blog on the topic starts with a history of pasta and the Italian etymology of each pasta type then you are likely not going to rank high.

Firstly, because you are taking longer to provide a solution and secondly because you are probably going to use Italian words that will make your blog harder to read.

Tip 2: Mind your vocabulary

While the academic writing realm appreciates complex sentence structures and encourages the use of an advanced vocabulary, SEO writing is completely different.

If the goal of SEO writing is to rank as the first solution to a consumer’s query then complex sentence structures and advanced vocabulary only add more hardship between the consumer and the solution.

If you are struggling with writing for your target audience whether for SEO or for a book you are thinking of publishing, try running it through a readability checker like that will tell you what grade level can understand your writing. 

Tip 3: Add structural elements

One of the easiest ways to make your content more readable is by using structural elements in your writing and formatting. 

For example, articles with headings and subheadings are a lot easier to read and digest. While this is more widely known, there are other elements that you can add too.

For instance, if your blog is extremely long and covers a wide variety of secondary areas related to the same subject, you can add a table of contents to simplify it.

Even while making a table of contents, think about what you can do to further simplify it such as framing all bullet points in the form of questions that you answer in that paragraph.

Many factors can affect SEO

All in all, many factors can affect SEO and readability is just one of them. 

The only way you can improve your SEO practices is by keeping in mind that your goal is to stay relevant to search queries and provide solutions for them.

Search engines and internet users are experienced enough to figure out if articles are full of fluff and written just for the sake of writing. 

Protect yourself from costly search ranking results and deliver quality content that will rank organically because of how useful it is.