When creating content that appeals to your target audience, you may become hyper-focused on topics, trending keywords, and even adding appropriate graphics to increase visual appeal. What many businesses fail to consider is the relative readability of their content and whether or not their audience can digest it.
Just because you are excited about academic and highly intellectual content related to your business doesn’t mean your audience can decipher complex concepts and insider lingo. Content that makes perfect sense to you because you’re so familiar with the subject matter may go over the head of your average reader.
On the flip side, you might be paying bottom dollar for content from writers in other countries, including non-English speakers, and alienating a relatively savvy audience in the process. The point is, you need to audit your content for readability if you hope to form meaningful connections with readers, or at least keep them interested and engaged throughout.
The place to begin is by working with a trusted expert in digital marketing in Asheville, NC to assess your current content, determine if readability is a problem, and work on a strategy to meet the expectations of your intended audience. Here are just a few things you can do to improve readability when you partner with an experienced Asheville digital marketing agency.
Work with Asheville Digital Marketing Pros to Understand Audience Expectations
Your content strategy begins with selecting topics that are relevant, relatable, and valuable to readers, and then finding ways to convey information in an entertaining and engaging way. If your audience has no interest in the subject matter, readability won’t draw them in. However, poor readability could turn them off to even content they’re interested in.
Understanding your audience means not only knowing where their interests lie, but also understanding their reading level. Are you writing for people with a high school education or for academics with PhDs? This speaks partially to how relatable your content is.
Consider it the difference between writing medical articles for those suffering from an ailment versus those trying to cure it. Knowing your audience helps you to set reasonable expectations for content readability, and your partners in digital marketing in Asheville, NC can help you here.
Eliminate Insider Jargon
If you have no background in computer technology, try listening to a work conversation between IT professionals. You know they’re speaking English, and yet, it sounds like they’re speaking another language that you simply don’t understand. This is because they’re using familiar insider jargon specific to their field that you would have no reason to know.
The same basic principle applies to content readability, although again, it depends on your audience. You can reasonably expect doctors to understand medical terminology, but if your audience is broader and includes medical patients, you have to use language they’ll understand. This means working with your partner in digital and social media management in Asheville to eliminate jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms that only someone in the know would be familiar with.
Reduce Sentence and Paragraph Length
Reader-friendly content should be broken up into easily digestible chunks. This means shortening long-winded sentences to deliver concise bits of information. If you tend to write in run-on sentences that feature a lot of concepts and commas, you really need to reduce sentence length. Shoot for no more than about 30 words per sentence.
You should also consider shortening paragraphs to just 2-3 sentences each. This not only makes content more readable from an intellectual perspective, but it also creates more white space on the page, adding visual appeal.
Dry, technical writing should be reserved for user manuals and furniture assembly, where frills are unnecessary and distracting. When creating engaging content for your audience, you need to soften the tone and write as though you’re having a conversation with another person, face-to-face.
Your goals, topics, and audience will determine how formal or informal your tone is. Either way, you can adopt a conversational demeanor with the wording you choose, sentence length, and point of view (first, second, or third person). If you’re having trouble, an experienced partner in social media management in Asheville can help.
Use Tools to Check Readability
You’re not the only one having issues with content readability, as evidenced by the many tools offering readability scores. These programs, some of which are free, will assess content and provide information such as the grade level of your content. They may also highlight common readability issues to help you make appropriate changes.
Ask Your Asheville Social Media Services Partner to Gather Feedback
Feedback is one of the best ways to make sure your content is readable. Your Asheville social media services partner can help with content creation, proofreading, and gathering audience feedback so you learn to create readable content that draws your audience in.
Contact Barking Dog today for expert assistance with content marketing, social media management, search engine optimization, and more.