Most of us think something is readable if we enjoy it. We want a piece to have a beginning, middle, and end, preferably in that order. If it’s fictional, we want it to be about people we care about or like. Sometimes, it’s a book you just happen to come across or a title or a cover that drew you in, and you couldn’t leave till you finished the story. Sometimes, it’s something so powerful that you simply can’t let it go. However, these qualities aren’t the only kinds of readability.
When it comes to getting your law firm website to rank, content readability is an important factor. Search engines analyze readability and reward it. In other words, they rank (and put at the top of the SERPs) the articles that have the features the engine thinks will make a reader stick to the end. Aside from all the other things the contributed to readability, being current and up-to-date is one of the most important factors. Keeping your firm’s website current and up-to-date with content that people want to read will go a long way to keeping you high on that first results page.
Do We Know It When We See It?
One of the ways a search engine defines readability is by determining how long a reader stays in place before sliding on to the next result. It doesn’t just matter how many people click on your page; it matters how long they stay after they get there. There are ways to encourage them to stick around, such as with video and audio content and eye-catching graphics. Paying attention to these things takes more time than simply reading – or not reading – whatever copy you’ve offered. Still, words are usually far less expensive than sound, pictures, and graphics, so it is very much worth your time to offer the best and most readable content you can provide.
Key Readability Factors
Factors that Google will focus on when deciding the readability of your page include:
Sentence Length & Variety
You want short sentences but with some variation in their length and style. Avoid unnecessary or overly formal words. Additionally, it’s better not to crowd your text with words like “actually” and “usually,” which give you no value for the space. Avoid using too many adjectives and consider breaking up long, complicated sentences.
Structure & Style
Again, short sentences are vital. Each sentence should have a subject and a verb – preferably in that order. Make sure to include graphics and video here as well. They are supporting tools and hold your visitors. Avoid fussy fonts.
Paragraph Length and Formatting
Use short paragraphs made up of short sentences. Readable paragraphs are usually 5 or 6 lines long. Use a title and subtitles. Bullet points are your best friends, and you should always try to include at least one. Don’t forget to include keywords. You’ll want to put them in subtitles as well as in your paragraphs and try to repeat them without sounding like you’re just adding keywords.
Make It Work for You
All of these factors and more can make your website attractive and engaging to readers. You can contact us to help you provide the most readable copy for your website. We will even provide a free sample, marketing written expressly for you to help you decide how best to move forward with your legal content.