Readable web content takes practice. At Catalyst Healthcare Marketing, we know that many of you already realize that Google and other search engines reward fresh readable web content. Content is king, as they say. We won’t get into the details on why content is king in this post, but trust us when we say it is.
This post is about analyzing your website to see if it’s readable and eye-friendly for your visitors. You may have great content that is lost on a page of clutter. Catalyst Healthcare Marketing wants to help you cut the fat and focus on the content. Here’s how to do it.
Use Headings with Keywords
Visitors will rarely read every word you’ve written. Studies show that most users scan web content. Help them find the content they’re looking for with relevant headings, says Catalyst Healthcare Marketing president Amy Hall. For SEO purposes, you can use important keywords in your H1 and H2 tags. These tags help search engines and your readers find the most relevant information. Varied or bold headings pull your reader in.
Use Clear Fonts for Readability
Avoid cute fonts, curly fonts, or anything that might trip up your reader. Choose a clear, widely used font like Arial, Georgia, Helvetica or Times New Roman. Since readers are scanning anyway, make their text easy to read.
Use Reasonable Widths
Do you like to read text that stretches the width of your computer screen? Probably not. There’s much discussion on the ideal column width for content, but the easiest advice is to trust your instincts. Play around with the width of your blog, like the ones on the Catalyst Healthcare Marketing site, until you find one that is pleasing to the eye.
Use A Palatable Palette
You don’t have to use black text on a white background, but there’s a reason lots of people do it. It’s easy to read, but it isn’t the only easy-to-read combination out there. Gray is a good alternative to white. Computer screens are bright, and depending on the brightness levels, gray could be a better choice than white. The main point: find a color palette that is easy to read, not one that strains your visitors’ eyes.
Increase Readability: Use Fewer Words
Since you know visitors are scanning, cut the fat from your article. Use shorter paragraphs and shorter sentences. Break up your paragraphs to form smaller paragraphs. Long paragraphs intimidate readers, whether they’re in a book or on the web. Write shorter, more concise articles. Break up complicated articles into several blog posts in the same series, and link them well.
Use Accessible Words
This isn’t the GRE. Fight the urge to impress your visitors with your vast vocabulary (you can break this rule if you’re a fiction writer, maybe, but you may still alienate people). You can test your post’s readability for free at http://www.readability-score.com/. Just copy and paste your text into the box, and the website will calculate your readable score.
These simple tips from Catalyst Healthcare Marketing will help you improve your user experience and highlight your content. What has helped you increase your readability? Share your ideas here, or send your questions to Catalyst Healthcare Marketing.