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The Importance of Readability in SEO

Posted on September 11th, 2012 by | Google+

I always thought that the smarter I sound, the more acknowledgment I would get. Well apparently in SEO its not so. Even though I have written articles online that to academic standards are not just acceptable, but great the readability was not suitable for my target audience. And believe it or not this has  a negative effect on online ranking.

What is Readability?

Readability is making your writing understandable and easy to readers.  It may not seem important, but when you’re talking about Online Content, marketing towards your audience is fundamental. If a website’s content is clear, legible and easily understood, not only will people find it attractive, and learn about your service or product,  search engines will favor the site and help it rank as well.

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SEO specialists have become precise on their keyword content creation. Yet, the majority of content on the web is not generated for readability. This basically means they are getting their positioning but people are not reading it.

Search engines have noticed this and are now taking readability as a ranking factor. How do you know your content or articles have readability? There are tools on your computer that check spelling & grammar. Those tools can also tell you the reading ease of your document and the grade level.

How readability affects SEO

Readability is an underestimated part of SEO. Those who employ readability will have an advantage when it comes to content creation. Remember, great content isn’t great unless it gets read. Many old school managers are accustomed to have all their content precise and well written, unfortunately sometimes the readers may not be as well versed and find it hard to understand. Try to consider your clients when creating your online material.

If the document is too hard to read, users will leave the web page immediately and search for another document that is easier to read. On the contrary , if the document is written at a really low-grade level, it is probably “dumb” or childish to the reader who may see it as lack of professionalism, and will immediately leave your site.

Both circumstances will create a high “bounce rate” – which will result in negatively effecting your placement in search engines.

Does your Website and blog have a readability level?

There are tools online that can indicate the readability of your website. They can tell you if it’s basic or advanced.  The consideration on what kind of readability level your site should have is determined on who your target audience is. Not every business is the same and the level of readability could vary.

Trying to find the balance between smart and easy content is not simple. Once you know your audience, you’ll not just capture their attention, but also capture the support of the search engines.

BTW. This article has a 9th grade reading level. (This is about as high as we’re willing to go for our audience)

About Miguel Mendez

Considered a citizen of the world, SEO Miami Innovator, Social Media erudite and chronic Starbucks drinker… did I mention I make great Guacamole, currently blogging for 7 different sites and in search for more.

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