Friday, July 25, 2014

Readability in online article writing

Write simply for readability (public domain photo)
Readability in online article writing is often overlooked. Writers are sometimes tempted to use their word power to impress readers. The average online reader doesn't care how many big words article writers know. They want the answer to the question that prompted them to browse the web. They want that answer in plain, readable language.
Many online writers try to impress fellow writers.

They spend hours writing clever titles and twists. Readability is the last thing on their minds. It should be the first. The majority of page views do not come from your fellow writers. Impress the average people searching for information on the web. They are an internet article writer's best customers.

Online article writers may think they are paid per click.

Internet article writers are not paid for clicks. All the ads posted on an article must load prior to the reader closing the page. In certain instances, people must click on those ads for the writer to be paid. What this means is that an article needs enough readability to keep the attention of the average web surfer while the ads load.

You might think that writing longer articles would get more page views.

Actually the opposite is true. More pages means a lower readability factor and a longer load time. More pages means less chance that the ads will load before the reader is done. Remember web readers are looking for quick easy information. One page gives ultimate readability.

Part of readability is creating well formatted material.

Small uniform paragraphs give the reader breaks between points to absorb the information presented. The best written article presented in one long paragraph with no breaks can cause the reader to become so overwhelmed they close the page to look for something more readable. That was a run on sentence.

Run on sentences are just like run on paragraphs.

They need to be read several times to be understood. Online readers come to web articles for brief, factual information. Simple language and proper sentence structure help them absorb material quickly. People today have busy lives. They have no time for translations. Readability is key.

Remember the internet is international.

People from all over the world read online articles. Some of these people speak little or no English. Clever phrases or references to great works of literature are wasted words. Stick with plain words, easily translated in any language. Words of Anglo Saxon origin work best for readability. Use basic words with few modifiers.

A search-able, brief, clear title will bring readers to an online article.

Content that follows the same example will keep them there. Even fellow online article writers appreciate readability. Article writers do extensive research. They must sometimes read ten or more articles to verify facts. Simple and concise is the best policy when writing articles for all types of readers.

Note: It's also vital to place important information in sub-titles and to the left of the margin for easy scanning. Online readers do more scanning than reading.

This article was previously published, non-exclusively by this author on Yahoo! Voices

No comments:

Post a Comment