Is readability a factor in ranking?
Will it lead to higher rankings and more traffic?
We at Adseo are convinced that writing in plain and understandable language can bring you more visitors.
We use a number of tools to help people write readable text.
In this article, we’ll explain why search engines love text that’s easy to understand, and we’ll give tips on how to create them.
Readability is ranked and well-written text improves UX and SEO
At the risk of stating the obvious, incomprehensible text makes for a poor user experience. Nobody likes to read something that is incomprehensible, boring or filled with keywords.
All text content should therefore be directed and focused towards your audience, giving them the information they need, a solution to their problem or an answer to their question.
- First and foremost, you should write good content for your visitors.
- This fits nicely into our vision of holistic SEO.
If you write text people don’t understand, you’re not helping people find what they need.
Plus, you’ll end up with unhappy visitors, who will likely bounce back to Google when they hit your website.
Google analyzes user signals like this to determine how visitors experience your website.
Search engines imitate humans
Previously, it worked to fill keywords into the texts. If you just mentioned your keywords enough times in your text, Google would rank you high for those words.
Those days are long gone.
Fortunately, Google got a lot better at recognizing quality content.
For example, after the Hummingbird update, Google started recognizing synonyms. It also understands which words, entities and content are related to each other. In addition to that, search engines got better at predicting what people want to read.
- From the keywords in the query, they can make guesses about the search intent.
- You can learn how to semantically connect devices to your content.
Overall, Google’s algorithm tries to mimic a human. It tries to read text like a human.
As Google becomes more capable of understanding and scanning texts in a human way, the demands on text readability also increase.
Readability is ranked and is important for voice search
The number of people using voice search is increasing. Google and other search engines are focused on speech.
- They present the results in a vote-like way, they rank the results in a vote-like way.
- People searching for information using voice search can end up listening to a relatively long piece of information.
- Imagine a long paragraph consisting of rambling sentences and containing many difficult words being read aloud.
The voting result would be impossible to understand.
Google won’t use a response like that, either by audio or in normal search results.
Google prefers comprehensible content because voice searches are growing.
Whether it will be large or not, does not matter for the importance of understandable and readable content.
Google simply dictates the search results and algorithm.
We just have to accept it, and in this case, that’s a good thing.
Writing readable content is a blessing to the reader.
What makes a text easy to read?
How do people read online content?
Visitors scan through texts, read subheadings and first sentences of paragraphs. They look for words to quickly abstract what the main conclusion of an article will be.
All the things people do while reading text are things Google wants to do.
This means that the structure of your text, the way you write your paragraphs, becomes increasingly important. Body sentences, the first sentence of each paragraph will be crucial.
Having a clear and logical structure in your text will be invaluable.
Tips for keeping the text readable
How to create easy-to-read content? Think about the structure before you start writing the text.
- What are you going to tell the audience and in what order?
- Is there a logical sequence?
- Will the audience be able to follow your arguments, your examples, your message?
Maybe you should try writing content with the inverted pyramid style?
- Write short and not long sentences, as long sentences are much more difficult to process.
- Try to avoid or limit the number of difficult words in a text.
- Try not to use complicated sentences, and try to avoid using the passive voice.
Make sure you write in an appealing style. It can be very difficult, not everyone has a talent for creative writing.
Be sure to mix it up a bit! Try alternating long sentences with shorter ones.
Avoid starting sentences with the same word.
We know it’s hard to write content that’s easy to read:
Writing an illegible text is a mistake that we see quite often.
We at Adseo analyze the content on your website to see how readable the text is, and we also have advanced tools that help us with this.
The tools we use check, for example, whether your sentences are too long, whether you don’t use the passive voice too often and whether the length of your paragraphs is OK.
One last tip, read it out loud!
Google’s Gary Illyes once tweeted that you should read the text out loud. If it doesn’t read easily or sounds weird when you read it, it probably won’t rank either.
Let’s be clear, your ranking will not immediately take you to the top of all searches if you improve the readability of your texts.
But writing a readable article is an important part of any SEO strategy.
If you want your audience to read your entire article, you should make sure that the content is easy to read.
Posts that are easy to read will definitely result in more visitors and a higher conversion rate.
So in the long run, readability ranks!