Writing Blog Posts People Can Read (And Google Loves)

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The only reason you write a blog post is to drive traffic, build interest and credibility and get ranked in Google.

Then why are so many blog posts unreadable?  Odds are – your blog posts are unreadable….

Not sure?  I’m going to show you how to measure it – exactly.  But first let me tell you what I mean.  Your reader may be able to push through your post, but could they easily read it?  Did they stumble, or have to re-read sentences?

Blog posts are quick, easy reads that provide your reader with some quick information and hopefully encourage them to further engage with you.  And of course, Google looks to them for a measure of the quantity, quality and value of the content your website is providing.  The more value – the higher your rankings.

The gold standard for readability, which Google has embraced, is the Flesch Kincaid Readability Test.  That sounds like a mouthful, but it’s really quite simple.  I’ve broken it’s essence out in 4 points below.  Then i’ll show you how to measure it exactly.

  1. Your paragraphs should be short and to the point.  2-3 sentences per paragraph is optimal and you’ll see that in this blog post.  If you’re having trouble with this, you’re likely tackling a subject that’s too broad or too technical.
  2. Your sentences should be short and punchy.  More than 25 words is typically too long.  Many people are prone to writing “run-on” sentences, but these confuse readers almost instantly.  It’s the #1 reason people stop reading once they get started.
  3. Your word choice should be simple.  Using big words may make you sound “smart”, but if your audience doesn’t understand you, you’ve just wasted your time (and theirs!)  Unless you are using words specific and common within your niche, keep it simple.  And use one simple word rather than a long phrase.
  4. Your voice shouldn’t be passive.  The passive voice is annoying and confusing to most readers.  “The blog post was being written by Susan” should be “Susan wrote the blog post”.

You probably already have the Flesch Kincaid Readability Test on your computer, if you use Microsoft Word.  When setting the options for the “Spelling & Grammar Check” in Word, simply turn on the “Readability Statistics”.  Once the check has been completed, the statistics will be displayed automatically.

The key statistics are:

  • Flesch Readability Score: You want this score between 60 and 80, and definitely not below 60.  For example, Readers Digest scores 65 overall and is readable by most adults.  This blog post scores 70.
  • Passive Voice: 5% or less.  Your goal should be < 2%.  This blog post initially scored 6% and after revisions it was 1%.

Follow these simple steps and your content will be more readable, and therefore serve its purpose more effectively.  Plus – Google will rate your content higher and lead to increased search rankings.

Now get writing!

Dave

About The Author

Dave Bowland

Dave has created, worked in, and run successful businesses in various industries over the years, always leveraging technology to market, sell and deliver the goods. Personally selling over $20M in products and services, Dave has a deep understanding of what small and medium sized-businesses face on a daily basis when it comes to marketing and sales - all while ensuring their business runs smoothly and delivers top-quality customer service.

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