Oi You! Read My Blog Post!…All Of It….
We all know that keywords are the basis for our website rankings, and a good keyword theme should be the premise for your blog content, but does having good keywords actually get people to read your content?
Going after the ‘low-hanging-fruit’ keywords is a good strategy to help your content rank well, and will increase the breadth of exposure you get within search engines, especially if you can get ranked for a few different keywords written into one blog post.
However…. people will not like your content, or even make it to the end of your post if they find it difficult to read, or is set out in a way that is confusing to the eye.
How To Improve Readability
There are a few very easy tweaks that you can make to your content that will make it easier for your web visitors to read. Bear in mind that you are trying to build up trust and loyalty with your readership, so your content not only has to be good, it has to be set out and formatted in a way that is easy on the eye, and will encourage readers to carry on reading to the end.
Here are a few easy tips for you to follow that will help with reader retention:
1. Smaller Paragraphs
We are evolving into a nation of people who like to read smaller snippets of information, such as the 140 character #Twitter post rather than lengthy blogs with heavy blocks of text to wade through.
Having regular breaks or ‘white space’ within your blog content is much easier on the eye, and will lead to better readability. This means that more people will be willing to read to the end of your content, rather than losing focus half way through a huge block of words with no natural break.
2. Make it Easier to Read
Choosing a font size and text colour that is easy on the eye will encourage more readers in. If the font is too small, it makes your content harder to read. If you have a severe colour scheme on your blog, your readers will become uncomfortable looking at it after a very short while, and will move on to read a different blog instead.
Try to be consistent with your choice of font and colour theme. Having a blog or website that is a mishmash of contrasting and clashing colours and styles will only serve to confuse your readers, and you will not keep them on your blog for long!
Stick to a white background and black text. This combination has proven time and time again to be the best format to work with, and leads to the highest readership retention rates.
3. Pictures Paint a Thousand Words
Being visual creatures by nature, we can appeal to readers by including eye-catching images and video content within our posts. It makes it easier to read and relate to if you include associated imagery.
It is all about show and tell at the end of the day. Having associated images leads to more engagement, and is more likely to promote sharing across #social media than a post with just text only. Ultimately, leading to more conversation.
4. Incorporate More Headings
Breaking up your content into smaller sections is a good step towards making your #blog posts more readable. Adding a heading to hint at the following content will also help to keep your readers interested.
When we open up a blog post or article, we have an unconscious habit of scanning the page before we decide to read it or not. Catchy sub-heading will give us a taste of what is included in the content, and will help to entice readers to stay on the page to read what you have written.
For example, if you had written a blog post about healthy eating with an aim to encourage people to eat more fruit, having a catchy heading further down the page that says something like:
Drinking Fruit Juice Can Make You Fat!
A headline like this will make your readers curious to know more.
5. Write Naturally
Although you will be keen to incorporate your chosen keywords into your blog post, you have to make sure that your content flows, and is naturally readable.
Trying to write your content as if you were turning in an English essay for school is not what #blogging is all about. People read blogs because they are interested in finding out more about a specific topic, and because they can directly relate to the person writing the blog.
To avoid your readership having their eyes glaze-over after the first paragraph, write your posts as if you were talking with a friend. This way you will encourage more comments and more people reading your content.