Writing a readable blog post

5 tips for writing readable blog posts

5 tips for writing readable blog posts

Reading from a screen can be difficult, so if you want people to read your whole blog post, it must be easy to read. This will get you more returning visitors and a higher conversion rate. This post gives you five top tips on how to improve the readability of your articles.

And to help you improve the readability of your website content, Yoast SEO now offers a readability check! It’s available in several languages and we add new languages regularly. You can check the Yoast Knowledge Base for the latest update.

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Focus on your audience

Remember the most important advice I can give you: Make sure your text is pitched at the right level for your audience. If you write about LEGO and your content is aimed at kids, then it should be really easy to read. But, if your audience is scientists with a PhD, your text can be much more challenging and still be appropriate. The five tips below should therefore be seen as guidelines. For some audiences, text could be made even simpler, while for other audiences the rules will be a little too strict. If you’d like to dive a little deeper into the art of copywriting for both people and SEO, consider taking our SEO copywriting course.

Tip 1: Write clear paragraphs

Make sure you write clear paragraphs. For a blog post, we advise you always start a paragraph with the most important sentence, then explain or elaborate on that sentence. This helps a reader to grasp the concept of your article, just by reading the first sentence of each paragraph. Make sure your paragraphs aren’t too long either (7 or 8 sentences is quite long enough).

Tip 2: Write short sentences

Try to write short sentences. Shorter sentences are easier to read and understand than longer ones. Also, you’re likely to make fewer grammatical errors as your sentences are nice and short. We consider sentences containing more than 20 words to be too long. If you’re writing in English, make sure you only have a few sentences of 20 words or more in a blog post, but each language has its own limits. Also, make sure paragraphs don’t have more than one long sentence each.

Tip 3: Limit difficult words

Limit the use of words that are difficult to read. Remember that reading from a screen is harder for everyone. Words with four or more syllables are considered difficult to read, so avoid them where possible.

Of course, sometimes your blog post is about something that’s hard to explain or requires a more advanced vocabulary. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote a post about illustrations. The word ‘illustrations’ has four syllables and can be seen as a difficult word, but I still had to use it (and quite often too). In cases like this, make sure your sentences and paragraphs aren’t too long, and your readers will still be fine!

On a side note, unless you’re focusing on a niche market, difficult words usually make less useful focus keywords for a page. In the example above, ‘images’ or ‘visuals’ might have been a better choice. Remember the most important thing is that your focus keyword fits the subject of the post. Proper keyword research will give you better alternatives for difficult keywords.

Tip 4: Use transition words

You can make your writing much more readable by using proper transition words (or signal words – the same thing). Transition words are words like ‘most important’, ‘because’, ‘therefore’, or ‘besides that’. They give direction to your readers. These words give a signal that something is coming up: if you’re summarizing, you’ll use ‘first’, ‘second’, ‘third’, etc. If you want to compare, you’ll write ‘same’, ‘less’, ‘rather’, ‘while’ or ‘either’. If you want to conclude, you’ll use ‘hence’, ‘consequently’ or ‘therefore’.

Using transition words is a bit like putting cement between your sentences. The relationship between two sentences becomes apparent through the use of transition words. Readers will understand your content much better if you use these kinds of words properly.

Tip 5: Mix it up!

For a piece to be attractive to a reader, it should be varied – you should try to mix it up a little! Alternate longer paragraphs and sentences with shorter ones and try using synonyms if you tend to use a particular word too often. Some people use the words ‘and’ or ‘too’ a lot. Mixing it up with words like ‘also’ or ‘moreover’ could make your writing more attractive – and much more readable too.

Use Yoast SEO

To help you write readable copy we added a readability check in Yoast SEO. It checks the length of your sentences and paragraphs, and whether you use transition words or subheadings. What’s more, it assesses your use of passive voice. It also calculates the Flesch Reading Ease score of the piece, a formula that indicates how easy to understand your text is. Check out the readability score of this text

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readability check screenshot


If you want your readers to get to the end of your blog post, make sure that your text is easy to read. Don’t make your text more difficult than you have to. Avoid long sentences and write clear paragraphs. Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway can help you to write more readable text. And, if you use our Yoast SEO plugin you get a readability check on your content as well, so you’ll be able to check whether your writing is SEO friendly and readable at the same time!

Read more: Blogging: the ultimate guide »

13 Responses to 5 tips for writing readable blog posts

  1. Leonarda
    Leonarda  • 2 years ago

    Marieke, thanks for posting such a terrific article. I’ll follow your tips with a great pleasure.
    “Avoid long sentences and write clear paragraphs” – indeed! That’s funny but most writers commonly forget about this golden rule.
    Furthermore, writers should pay attention to the problem of plagiarism, which is also pretty common, because even the most beautiful, readable and clear content not worth a penny if it’s not unique. So, my advice here is to try Unplag, online plagiarism checker that has a large number of features for fast and accurate scanning.
    Thanks again!

  2. Darren
    Darren  • 2 years ago

    Good advice here and helped by the fact that I am no good at writing long sentences anyway lol!

    Seriously though, a lot of bloggers seem to write LONG posts just for the sake of it but in my experience, if I see a massive post like that, I’m like “whoa – too much like hard work.to read all that!”

    Still loving the tips :)

  3. LoveAQuote
    LoveAQuote  • 2 years ago

    Wao, the two apps that you mentioned in the conclusion (Grammarly and Hemingway) are really awesome – I will start using those.

  4. Basile
    Basile  • 2 years ago

    I’ve read it all! Congrats :)

  5. Stalyn
    Stalyn  • 2 years ago

    Great tips, thank you for sharing.

  6. Adrienne
    Adrienne  • 2 years ago

    Nice tips to keep me writing smarter. Cheers

  7. Sukanta Das
    Sukanta Das  • 2 years ago

    Thanks for good tips regarding attractive blog writing!

  8. Steve Haines
    Steve Haines  • 2 years ago

    Thank you for making things clear and simple.

    I’m currently using your Seo premium version.

    Cheers Steve

  9. Charles
    Charles  • 2 years ago

    Thanks again for publishing on a great topic. I would also recommend following in addition to what you’ve suggested.

    – Use Headings and Sub-Headings
    – Use Bullet points whenever you can
    – Use Images (This makes content more attractive and interesting)

  10. Syed
    Syed  • 2 years ago

    Thanks for the tips. We use Yoast for our WP blog and it works great!

  11. Ross
    Ross  • 2 years ago

    Love reading Yoast articles! already signed up to the newsletter!

  12. Md faysal Rahman
    Md faysal Rahman  • 2 years ago

    Very useful and informative tips. I use Yoast for my WP blog and it works great!!

  13. karimunjawa
    karimunjawa  • 2 years ago

    thanks for the tips Yoast ..

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