When people come to your website, you want them to find the information they need, stay engaged, and complete a task. But, the user journey often starts before they land on your website. It begins with your potential customers seeking answers to their current problems.
Many consumers start their search with Google. If your meta description is compelling, then they click through to your site. Once there, your flawless visual design and easy-to-read copy enhance their customer experience.
User-friendly websites naturally support your SEO strategy. However, poor usability results in a high bounce rate and lower search engine rankings. But it’s not only about new visitors. Your returning customers also want a website that’s easy to navigate.
Your FAQ pages and knowledge bases can potentially increase your customer retention rates. Yet, if the language or structure is hard to follow, then your audience will click away from your page. Learn how to engage your customers while satisfying search engines with these readability tips for SEO.
1. Keep it Short and Straightforward
Although you may want to include language specific to your industry, it’s important to reduce the complexity. Your website visitors have a problem and came to you for help. Give customers easy-to-digest information that guides them through the user journey. For instance:
- Avoid too many multi-syllable words
- Shorten long sentences
- Use transition words
Although some industry lingo is necessary, if there’s a more natural way to say it, then go that route. You want your customers to focus on the benefits of your business, not your word choice.
2. Make it Easy on the Eyes
No one wants to parse a huge chunk of text. Google tells us that your home page should include everything that a user would expect to learn by clicking on your link. So how do you place all of that info on your website without turning off users?
Share short paragraphs. Keep your paragraphs around two to four sentences in length. Doing so provides white space so the users’ eyes can relax in between sections.
Use lists and bullets. Turn data-heavy paragraphs into bulleted or numbered lists. It’s easier to read and feels more actionable.
Headers and subheadings. Guide people through the user journey by using headings and subheadings. These serve as an outline, and people can get the gist of your page if they scan only your headers.
3. Use Images for SEO and Readability
People appreciate a highly visual site. An excellent way to keep users engaged and improve customer retention rates is to use images to break up or enhance your text. For SEO and accessibility purposes, include an Alt tag that explains the purpose of your image.
In some cases, adding a caption under the photo boosts the readability of your site as well. When people scan websites, they glance at photo captions along with headers and bullet points. So, the information that you put under your photos may get more attention than other areas of your content.
4. Review Your UX Design
Your choice of font size, color, and typography affect your site’s readability. Plus, your use of letter casing, from using all capital letters to mixed case, impact customer satisfaction as well. Along with an overall review, pay special attention to the usability and readability of your website functions like:
- Text fields
- Dropdown lists
5. Test and Retest for Readability
There are many ways to check your website’s readability level, such as using an online program or an integrated application. Most apps use a form of the Flesch readability score to assess content. Aim for an 8th-grade or lower reading level to appeal to the majority of your customers.
Or you could enlist help from others for UX research and testing. Several types of tests determine readability, legibility, and comprehension levels. By taking your time to check all aspects, you’re designing a space that engages and retains customers.
Keep Prospects and Customers Coming Back for More
Your site doesn’t need flashy techniques to capture attention. Instead, it delivers a smooth experience and draws clients towards your products. With the right mix of visual elements and conversational copy, you please current customers and attract new clients. Plus, ensuring that your site is readable is a fantastic way to satisfy people throughout the user journey.