Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.
Building a successful blog requires more than just publishing high-quality content. While relevant and in-depth content is essential, it’s only useful if visitors can easily read it.
If your blog suffers from poor readability, visitors won’t stay long, nor will they interact by leaving comments or subscribing to your RSS feed. As a blogger, however, there are several super simple ways to make your posts more readable.
1) Separate Sections With Subheadings
A blog post shouldn’t read as a wall of text.
Instead, it should feature multiple sections, each of which prefixed with a prominent subheading. Subheadings serve as visual markers for your blog’s readers.
With each subheading featuring the focus or topic of its underlying content, visitors can find specific content with greater ease. They don’t have to read each paragraph, word for word, but instead, visitors can scan the subheadings.
2) Use a Black Text Against a Background
You can experiment with different colors in your blog’s design, but using a black text against a white background usually offers the best readability.
Some bloggers assume it’s just as effective to use a white background against black text. With this format still creates a high contrast between the text and background, it often results in poor readability.
When white text is used against a black background, words look somewhat blurry because of how white reflects and scatters light.
But black has the opposite effect by absorbing light, so black text against a white background results in crisper words that are easier to read.
3) Set Font Sizes Using EM Value
To ensure all visitors can easily read your blog posts, even when using a mobile device, set font sizes using the EM value.
Unlike pixels or points, EM is a fluid unit of measurement that adjusts automatically. By defining different EM font sizes for different screen sizes, the text will scale up or down to provide visitors with a positive experience.
For example, you can set a .75 EM font size for screens with a max width of 500 pixels. When a visitor using a mobile device with a screen width of 500 or fewer pixels loads your blog, he or she will see text that’s one-quarter smaller than your blog’s default font size.
4) Go Easy on Ads
You can monetize your blog with ads, but you should keep them to a minimum. Advertisements, especially pop-ups, are distracting.
They divert visitors’ attention away from your blog’s content, making your posts a little more challenging to read.
If you’re going to use ads on your blog, place them in an area where they won’t interfere with visitors reading your posts, such as below the header or in a sidebar.
5) Keep Paragraphs Short
Try to keep paragraphs short when writing posts for your blog. Long paragraphs require higher concentration to read than short paragraphs.
Visitors must keep track of each word they read, and if a visitor loses his or her place, they might have to start over.
How long should your paragraphs be to promote excellent readability? Rather than limiting your paragraphs to a specific number of words or sentences, try to keep them under fines lines.
At five lines, visitors read your blog posts more comfortably and with less concentration.
6) Make Important Text Bold
7) Use Lists to Describe Multiple Items or Steps
If you’re writing about three or more related items, place them in a list. You can always weave them into a sentence by separating them with commas, but lists are easier to read because of their line-separated format.
There are three types of lists supported in HTML:
1. Ordered Lists: As shown in this example, ordered lists are numbered. The first item on an ordered list is numbered 1, with each subsequent item being numbered one higher than the previous one.
2. Unordered Lists: Also known as bullet lists, unordered lists are not numbered. Instead, each item is distinguished with a large dot, a square, a circle, or a custom image.
3. Description Lists: While not as common as ordered and unordered lists, description lists are also supported by HTML. Description lists feature items with their respective definition.
8) Add Images
Statistics show blog posts with at least one high-quality image generate nearly twice as many views as those without images.
Images break up the monotonous appearance of text by providing visitors with visual content. When placing images in your blog posts, consider aligning them to the left of the text so that the paragraphs wrap around the right side of your pictures.
Research shows visitors typically scan the area to the right of an image for related text. By aligning your blog’s illustrations to the left, visitors will find and read the associated text with less effort.
9) Install a SEO Plugin
Once installed and activated, it will display a readability score next to your blog posts in the WordPress dashboard.
Opening a post and analyzing the Yoast section breaks down the results by readability problems, such as insufficient use of transition words, excessive use of passive voice, long sentences, or a low Flesch reading ease score.
Visitors will stay longer, leave more comments, and share your blog more frequently on social media if your posts are easy to read.
And because search engines use many of these signals in their ranking systems, your blog’s search rankings may increase.