For wellness businesses the online world is a crowded space. One way to try to get seen online is with content marketing. But in order to stand out, your website and its content need to have good readability.
Why you should focus on website readability
Readability of the pages and posts on your website is important. Once someone lands on your site, you want them to stay there and maybe check out more that you offer. But if the site and the pages are not readable, then even though your content is great, your ideal client might give it a miss.
Another reason for improving readability is Google ranking. The bots that scan your website look at readability factors to partially decide how to rank your site.
Another thing to keep in mind is the number of mobile users. This means that the content not only has to be readable on a desktop computer, but also on phones and tablets.
Having a page or post means that people will stay on your page longer.
How to improve website readability
There are several areas that you can look at to improve your website readability. I’ll go into each in more detail below.
In a bit we’ll look at more technical aspects of readability, but first I want to touch on content. Your ideal client is looking for a solution. Your content, whether it’s blog posts, about me pages or sales pages should read like it’s the solution to the problem. It shouldn’t sound like you are trying to sell something at every turn.
You also want your content to sound like you. This way if someone hear’s you speak it will seem familiar if they’ve also read your blog posts.
Your pages and posts should make generous use of headings and subheadings. Many visitors to your website will start by skimming the page. And headings and subheadings allow them to do this. They can easily get the gist of your post and decide if they want to read more.
Attention spans have lowered. We have so many distractions that short paragraphs are needed. Another factor is what seems like a short paragraph on your desktop computer will take up the entire screen on a phone.
If you have several points to make where short paragraphs won’t work, then consider using bulleted lists. This makes the long paragraph easier to read.
You’ll want to choose a font that is readable. That means handwriting fonts, while they may seem to add personality to your website, should never be used for body text.
The next choice to make is serif or sans serif. Serif is the little end pieces that look more like classic type written fonts, while sans serif doesn’t have them. The font I’m using is sans serif.
Serif can be slightly more readable, but either choice is fine. Choose a font that suits your brand.
If you are using coloured text for headings or for emphasis, make sure that the contrast is good. You can check the contrast here. webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/
There are two areas to consider with font size.
First make sure that there is a big enough difference between headings, subheadings and body text to make it clear that what is important. Second make sure that the font size is readable by your audience and readable on mobile. If you have an audience of women in their 40s and 50s you might need to use a bigger font than an audience in their 20s.
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Images can have uses when it comes to website readability. They can be used to convey information that would be hard to do in text and they can separate out text making it easier to read. ON the other hand, images can slow down your site, or make it difficult to read as they load.
If you’ve ever tried to read an article that keeps jumping around as the images load, you’ll know what I mean.
Tools you can use to improve readability
Another aspect of readability is how your post is written, especially the reading level. You may be an expert in your field, but your readers are not, so you need to make sure your post has an appropriate reading level. You can use the Yoast plugin on WordPress to get an idea of the readability of each post you write. This tool looks at reading level, your voice and a few other aspects of readability.
Another good check is to copy and paste your post into the Hemmingway app. This app will analyze the reading level and other aspects of your post to determine if it meets the readability criteria.
What this means
Easy to read for the website visitor
The primary focus should be to create content that is readable by the user. Quality and informative content will keep your users coming back for more. They’ll be more likely to sign up for your email list and eventually purchase your programs if they find your content easy to understand, but insightfull.
Readable for Google
Readability is one of the factors that Google uses to rank your website. Google analyzes several factors to determine readability. This is where you want to make sure that you've used subheadings to break up text. But there are other factors that Google checks. Generally if content reads well for the user, the Google algoritm should also find it readable.
Creating readable content for your website is important for keeping visitors on your website longer, keeping them coming back and for Google search rankings.