The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is in a constant state of evolution. What’s hot one day is forgotten the next. The tactics you might be using today could be obsolete in the next few weeks. With SEO, you never know. However, one thing that has remained constant over the years is the importance creating readable text for SEO purposes. Marketers have been guilty of not giving readability its due credit and now it is quite clear that search engines are looking for content that is readable.
This is why you need to start changing your approach towards the SEO text you write. Even if your express purpose is to get to the top of the search engine rankings, you cannot do so while compromising on the quality of the content you are writing. What this means is that your SEO writing has to be clear, precise, informative and provide value to the readers. Otherwise the search engines aren’t going to give it much importance.
Before going into detail regarding readability and SEO, let’s look at what readability actually is.
What is Readability?
The readability of a piece of content is a measure of how easily it can be understood by a reader. There are several tools you can use to check the readability of any material you have written. Microsoft Word provides its own readability statistics for you to follow. Online, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is the most widely accepted practice for measuring readability. The readability measures are highly subjective and not conclusively indicative of the quality of the content. Yet, readability is important for SEO.
When checking the readability level of the content you have written, there are two main factors which are considered.
- The way in which you have communicated your message to the readers. If the message has been conveyed in a clear and concise manner, the SEO text would be looked upon favorably by Google and other search engines. It is only natural that poorly written content drives visitors away.
- Secondly, the content should be geared towards your target audience. If you are targeting young teens, the content should reflect this fact. Then if your SEO writing appears as though it is for university graduate, the readability will suffer.
Google wants to ensure people only find the best quality of content possible. To implement this vision, it penalizes poorly written content.
How Readability Affects SEO
A question that comes to mind after reading the information provided above is how readability affects SEO. It is no secret that Google has been paying attention to the readability of the content you write. So, this is nothing new. However, Google has changed its stance drastically over the past couple of years. At present, no website can expect to get any leeway from Google as far as the readability of their content writing is concerned. All website copywriting has to be done keeping readability in mind.
Despite Google’s approach, most marketers are trying to impress the search engine by creating content for it. That is exactly what Google doesn’t want you to do. If you try to be cheeky and make an effort to impress Google through professional copywriting, you might actually end up losing credibility and receiving a Google penalty in the process. This is why you need to change the way in which you practiced SEO writing up till now. Readable text is the key to your success in the future.
Write for People – The Key to Improving Readability
So, it comes down to your approach to SEO writing. If until now your focus had been on keyword density and other tactics to get the search engines to give weight to your content, you need to change it a bit. Instead of writing for search engines, you have to start writing for people. Remember, people aren’t going to read content that has keywords stuffed in it or which doesn’t provide any value to them. This is the reason why it is so difficult to write for people as opposed to search engines.
Not only do you have to focus on quality but you also need to make sure you are engaging and catchy enough. With the wealth of information available to people nowadays, you cannot expect them to spend more than a couple of minutes on what you have written. That is the window you have for grabbing their attention, all the time being informative and providing valuable content. In other words, you have to maintain a balance between being interesting and being accurate.
Only when you prove yourself to be a credible source of information for people will search engines start giving you the importance you deserve. To make it easier for you to generate quality content, use SEMrush. SEMrush is a resource through which you can find many of the tools you will need to get to the top of the search engine rankings and writing for people. Not only will it help you produce readable text for SEO but also discover the best keywords for your campaign.