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 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.

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 Ph.D., 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. For example, 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 offer 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

Conclusion

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 »

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30 Responses to 5 tips for writing readable blog posts

  1. Blogging Efforts
    Blogging Efforts  • 2 months ago

    Thanks for giving such great tips to improve blog posts.

  2. SEO
    SEO  • 2 months ago

    Very informative and valuable information. And thanks for being so forthcoming about providing all this no cost content!

  3. aaoolo
    aaoolo  • 2 months ago

    thanks for the article, using Yoast from long and get to learn a lot from it. Article worth reading and also have good tips

  4. carague
    carague  • 2 months ago

    Very useful, especially now that I have just started using wordpress and have trouble finding a ‘red led’ solution to readability, I hope this article can be applied in my small blog.

    Are there other instructions such as ‘how to optimize yoast seo’ that is under the content when we create an article? So that ‘led’ can be ‘green’ all after we finish making the article?

    Thank you in advance.

  5. Emmanuel Famokun
    Emmanuel Famokun  • 2 months ago

    Thanks for this post.

    My question is, can yoast SEO plugin only
    work for WordPress?

  6. sushil
    sushil  • 2 months ago

    Thanks for the information. The one thing I have noticed in this website is that you were continuously updating the changes that you have been made. It is a good sign to attract more people and I appreciate it. Hope more update and news from you.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 2 months ago

      Thanks for your nice comment, Sushil! We try to keep all info updated :-)

  7. Gyan Ranjan
    Gyan Ranjan  • 2 months ago

    Thanks for giving the best suggestion and useful tips to write a readable content. Really we should focus our audience before writing a content. Ideas to write a content with a short sentence, less difficult, clear paragraph and mixing idioms and phrases are awesome.

  8. RSoft
    RSoft  • 2 months ago

    Easy to learn because of blog is simple and also more powerful,Thanks for sharing, a informative article and also its very useful for me and also , thanks a lot………….

  9. raza
    raza  • 2 months ago

    i have tried a lot readability but i couldn’t get green light on it please share some perfect idea to have green light on readability

  10. Myfinancekits
    Myfinancekits  • 2 months ago

    I think I now know why some of my posts are usually tagged “need improvement”. Thank you for these tips

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 2 months ago

      Glad we could clear things up. And, you’re very welcome!

  11. Ariscopi
    Ariscopi  • 2 months ago

    Thank you for your advice I appreciate, I have this issue of not writing a quality and readable blog post, I hope this your guide will help me.

    Thanks.

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 2 months ago

      Happy to hear that, Ariscopi!

  12. Ali
    Ali  • 2 months ago

    Many Thanks :)

  13. NICHOLAS GOMES
    NICHOLAS GOMES  • 2 months ago

    Thank you leaving me comment Yoast is best plugins i glad to see my blog sunshine

  14. artawan
    artawan  • 2 months ago

    Very helping article, thank you for sharing this post.

  15. Nidhi
    Nidhi  • 2 months ago

    This article will really help me. Now i will write better posts. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 2 months ago

      Great! You’re very welcome :)

  16. Neha Bartwal
    Neha Bartwal  • 2 months ago

    This will gonna so helpful for me infact everyone who is interesting in blog posting. All points are clearly defined and understandable. Really fantastic post. I am going to add it in my rss feed.
    Thanks for posting

  17. Irfan Tahir
    Irfan Tahir  • 2 months ago

    Great information of new bloggers who are struggling to write effective blog posts

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 2 months ago

      Thanks for the kind words, Irfan :)

  18. Learn FLE
    Learn FLE  • 2 months ago

    Completely agreed with your tips on writing a good post. Grammarly is quite good tool for writing good posts.

  19. Chintan Zalani
    Chintan Zalani  • 2 months ago

    Simple and useful tips, Marieke. Love both the tools Grammarly and Hemingway App. Indeed, all the tips you mention can be implemented by using these two apps. Their prompts even offer an explanation and alternative ‘simpler’ words as well phrases. Keep up the great work!

  20. Muideen Samuel
    Muideen Samuel  • 2 months ago

    Thanks for this awesome article, YOAST is my favorite anytime. keep up the good work guys.

  21. Haris Setiawan
    Haris Setiawan  • 2 months ago

    Another great tips for yoast! By the way, i’m a new blogger and the hardest part to learn is understand your audience, because sometimes i don’t know what to do to make my audience happy, thank you before!

  22. Maik
    Maik  • 2 months ago

    The advise to use short words is good and easy to apply when writing in English – because most of the words are soooo short.
    But then there are languages like German. And you read your text and ‘Herausforderungen’, ‘Fachkräftemangel’ or ‘Datenschutzrichtlinien’ are some of your shorter words :D
    I’ll try to apply the advice anyway, thanks for the allways good and helpful posts! I allways like the posts about writing the most :)


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