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How Search Engines Define Readability

For human readers, readability is a somewhat indescribable quality of texts. It is hard to say what made you want to keep reading a text, whether it was a book you found on the bookshelf at your uncle’s house and just couldn’t put down until you finished reading it or a piece of longform journalism that you read all the way to the end at a coffee shop down the street from your office before work, despite that it was about a subject you had never considered interesting. Search engines also prize readability; the results they rank at the top are the ones that they think users will want to do more than just glance at. Regularly updating your law firm’s website with readable legal blog content that appeals to humans and search engine bots alike is a great way to stay at the top of the organic search results and to attract visitors to your site.

Time on Page Is an Indicator of Readability but Not a Characteristic of It

Time on page is one of many factors that search engines use in determining rankings of search results. In other words, it matters not only how many people click on your site but how long they stick around to keep reading. Audio and video content and infographics can encourage people to linger; this will increase visitors’ time on page, simply because they are doing something that is more time consuming than reading. It is much less expensive to produce text content, though, and the more readable your content, the better.

According to Screpy, these are some factors that Google considers when assessing the readability of a web page:

· The most readable texts have sentences of varying length, but the sentences are not excessively long.

· A readable text does not use a given word much more frequently than the subject matter calls for. Keyword stuffing is useless from an SEO perspective, but using a non-keyword such as “plethora” five times in a 1,000-word blog posts is beyond useless, unless, of course Plethora is the name of a company or product you are writing about.

· Paragraphs should not be excessively long, but they should contain more than one sentence. 5-6 lines is the ideal length for a paragraph.

· You should include a subheading before every few paragraphs.

· The ideal font size is 11 or 12 points in a standard font such as Times New Roman. Readers can zoom in or out on their devices if they want the text to appear bigger or smaller.

Human readers can agree that these things all contribute to the readability of a text. To put it another way, weird fonts, long blocks of text, and overuse of words that are not the main focus of the text (you can’t write an entire blog post about prenuptial agreements without using the word “divorce” more than once) make for an annoying reading experience and decrease the likelihood that you can read to the end of the text. Once again, Google knows you better than you know yourself.

Law Blog Writers Knows You Pretty Well, Too

The most efficient way to get readable blog content for your law firm’s site is to hire a content marketing firm that only writes for law firms. The legal content writers at Law Blog Writers will deliver content which will impress readers and search engines with its readability.


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