Do you understand the readability expectations of your target audience?
In order to provide targeted content to your site visitors, you need to have a grasp on the reading level of your audience, as well as the content they expect to see on your website.
On this page, we’ll take a look at website readability, why it’s important, and some tips for improving the readability of your website.
Readability refers to the ease with which a person can understand a passage of text. And it depends of the complexity of your content, as well as the typographic elements used on your site.
Some common readability scores include:
These scores help you evaluate the readability of your text and give you an idea of the grade level required to understand a passage.
If your readability scores don’t match up with the skill level of your target audience, chances are you will need to re-work your content to better accommodate them.
Did you know that the average adult in the U.S. reads at the 7th to 9th grade level? In order to maximize your readership, it’s important to keep you content within that range.
If no one can understand your text, they will likely navigate away from your website. So if you want to keep site visitors engaged and on your pages, you need to create content that meets their readability expectations.
In fact, understanding the readability expectations of your audience is one of the most important parts of writing. Not only does your content need to be accessible, it also needs to be demographically appropriate.
For example, are you writing to elementary school students or college-educated businesspeople? Your target audience will alter your writing style, as well as the complexity of your text.
Now that you understand the importance of website readability, let’s take a look at a few tips that can help you improve the readability of your pages.
In order to improve the readability of your pages, it’s important to keep your lines and paragraphs short.
For the web, optimal line length is considered to be between 50-60 characters. Making your lines much longer may scare off readers because longer lines appear to be more work. Additionally, long lines make it difficult to focus, and you might have trouble jumping from one line to the next.
At the same time, if your lines are too short, your eyes may be tempted to move back and forth too quickly. This can throw off a reader’s rhythm, and they might glaze over important words.
Keeping paragraphs short will allow readers to easily skim your content on their screens. And it will allow them to pick up relevant information without leaving your site to look for an easier read.
Readers want to quickly find the information they’re looking for, so you should keep your text brief and get right to the point.
Making your sentences simple will enable readers to scan your text, picking out the most relevant information. Most times, people like short sentences that don’t require much brain power to decipher. So the next time you add a page to your website, make sure your writing is concise and get straight to the point.
Unless you’re writing to a niche group, you should avoid jargon and technical language.
While it’s important for you to showcase your expertise in a subject matter, you have to be able to explain concepts in a way that’s easy for people to understand.
Then, you will actually become more respected, and people will view you as an expert in your field.
Don’t scare away website visitors with technical jargon. Instead, make your writing personal and meet readers where they’re at by providing information that they will understand.
Interested in improving the readability of your website?
Our free readability test tool provides a quick and easy way to test the readability of your website. Using a series of algorithms, we’ll assess the readability of your site and help you better understand your results.
You can test all of your website, a few pages, or simply copy and paste text directly from your site.
With our tool, you can fine-tune your writing to consistently produce website content that matches the readability expectations of your target audience.
Don’t drive away potential customers with poor readability. Try our free tool today, and start improving your website.