You’ve been writing blog posts of interest to your ideal clients. Using Yoast, you’ve got a green happy face for SEO. Now, if you want to write blog posts that convert readers into leads, you’ll want to make sure they’re also readable.
In a previous post, I shared my tips for how to turn the Yoast happy face green for SEO. The reason you want to do that is to help the search engines find your post and show it in search results when someone is searching for that topic.
So the SEO is about potential clients being able to DISCOVER you online. Increased traffic.
But what happens once they discover you, read the short description about your post, and click on the link to go to your blog post?
You achieved the traffic. Now you want that traffic to help you GROW your business.
That’s where readability comes in.
To me, readability is about writing blog posts that help convert readers into leads in the following ways:
It resonates for your ideal client:
- Always start from a strong foundation by clearly identifying and understanding WHO you’re writing for and WHAT problem you’re helping them to address (from their perspective).
- You can help anyone, but when it comes to marketing and the ability to connect with your ideal client when they first discover you, being specific will make your life easier.
- Imagine the person who clicks over to your post ONLY reads the first couple of lines, the headings, and the last couple of lines. Will that make sense to them? Encourage them to want to go back and read more thoroughly? Focus on these sections.
- You’re not writing a formal essay. Keep sentences short (under 20 words). Paragraphs of two or three sentences are fine.
- Visually break up content with headings, bold, italic, bullets, colour, etc. to draw the reader’s eye.
Uses an active voice:
- For my clients, this is a common area for improvement under the Yoast Readability tab. So head’s up!
- In a nutshell, it’s more powerful to write that you did something vs something was done to you. Active vs passive.
Logical progression from start to end:
- Your post can bridge the gap between what they were searching for AND what you know, based on your experience, to be the real solution. In many cases, these can be two different things.
- Respect your reader and don’t leave them hanging. If they’ve taken the time to read your post, help them by suggesting their next logical step. This is your call to action (CTA) and it is a clear invitation.
- Head’s up! THIS is an area where many of my clients struggle because they don’t want to feel pushy or slimy. So they avoid it. In my opinion, that doesn’t help your reader OR your business.
- Keep in mind that their next logical step depends on where they are in the sales cycle.
- Just met? They probably want to get to know you first. Logical next step then could be whatever method you use to interact with and nurture your audience. Or, a link to another post you wrote that you think will be helpful for them to read next. Ideally, you want to make it easy for them to learn more from you (so they don’t have to go searching again).
- Put yourself in their shoes. They’re probably tired, nearing info overload, feeling a bit hopeful now that they just read what you wrote. Don’t assume that they know what to do next. Decision fatigue is real! Help them by directly inviting or suggesting ‘what’s next’. Be a welcoming and helpful host.
Yoast Readability extras:
- In the Yoast Readability Analysis results section, you’ll get suggestions about Flesch Reading Ease. Basically, you want to keep it simple and avoid a lot of complex, multi-syllable words in long, complex sentences. They may make you sound impressive but, if you make your reader work too hard to understand what you’re actually saying, you’ll lose them. Be a human speaking to another human.
- Consecutive sentences refers to a number of sentences in a row that start with the same word. It can be a bad habit to watch out for. Switch it up. Use phrases instead of full sentences sometimes to help.
Consider these readability tips when you write your next blog post. Make it easier for that new person who found you to see that you can help them solve their problem or achieve their goal.
Then they are more likely to come back, hang around, join your list, or reach out.
As you practice applying these tips, you’ll find that it takes less time and becomes more natural to write in a way that turns that Yoast Readability happy face green.
When you achieve green happy faces for both SEO and Readability, with content that is inspired and informed by your target audience, and in a way that helps them to get what they need (or helps them take a logical next step), you’re setting the foundation for search engine optimization to help grow your business with blog posts that convert.
Over the next few months, watch for an improvement in your data. In addition to traffic, pay attention to the difference in your conversions. Then keep tweaking to make improvements based on what you’re noticing. Small changes can make a big difference in SEO.
When your SEO foundation is in place, and you know that your website is helping you grow your business (finally), you’ll be able to pull back from relying so heavily on social media (and exhausting yourself with relentless posting), if you choose to do so.
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