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How improving your website’s readability can help to boost your brand online

How improving your website’s readability can help to boost your brand online

It’s something you may not think about, but how simple and pleasant the text on your website is to read can impact your search engine rankings and online traffic. This can come about in several ways, and this article will focus on what we see as the main two: the searchability of your website for search engine technology, and a lower bounce rate from users of your website.

Searchability

The more targeted, plain, and understandable your text, the more likely it is to be found and ranked by search engines such as Google. These engines use complex AI to scan text and evaluate its readability, among other qualities. This process has been optimised by technology companies to mimic human activity and to identify relevant and concise content.

For example, Google is able to relate keywords to one another and to identify irrelevant or “filler” words that aren’t needed on the page. Furthermore, their tech can recognise keyword stuffing when it sees it, finding where there’s an abnormal and unbalanced mention of certain words. With this in mind, it’s important to double check your on-page copy for any excessive mention of keywords or irrelevant pieces of text.

Lowering bounce rate

Bounce rate is essentially how often users on your website visited one page and then quit out. It’s the percentage of total user sessions that was only a single-page visit. This means that it measures roughly how engaged your users are and how often they fail to stick around. Reducing your bounce rate is crucial to getting stronger engagement, driving more online sales, and meeting almost every digital goal that you might have as a business.

Furthermore, search engines like Google consider bounce rate in deciding how to rank pages, and that makes improving readability and user experience all the more important. In order to minimise bounce rate, a business can focus on the readability of the on-page copy, such as using short, sharp sentences with good spelling and grammar. There are readability scores such as the Flesch-Kincaid score that you can check against, but a simple eye test to make sure that your text doesn’t repeat itself and reads nicely can do the trick.

How to work on your website’s readability

Here is some advice to improve readability on your website:

  • Make sure you have a clear idea about what each page and each paragraph on your website is meant to explain or present. Both human users and search engines scan headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and particularly the first sentence of a paragraph. A clear and logical structure to your text is key.

  • Distribute keywords evenly throughout the text.  While including the most searchable and relevant keywords is great for SEO, it is also important to avoid stuffing and repeating keywords in the text.

  • Consider using a free online Flesch-Kincaid score tool or similar system to do a general check of the readability of your text.

Published by Alex Jordan