3 min read
min read
April 10, 2024

How to Improve Content Readability: 7 Strategies to Make Your Content Convert

How to Improve Content Readability: 7 Strategies to Make Your Content Convert

Table of contents

I hate reading large, unending blocks of text. Or sentences with complex word choices that make me feel like I'm decoding a puzzle.

For me, it’s intimidating and uninviting. 

Not just me, your readers feel the same way.

The readability of your content can significantly impact how long your readers stay engaged. And whether they keep reading or bounce off.  Which can further impact your conversion rate.

As a marketer, it falls upon you to communicate your thoughts and information in an easy-to-understand and digestible manner.

There are several ways to improve content readability. Like breaking down large sentences into simpler, shorter ones and using common, everyday language instead of complex terms. 

You can also use tools like Wordtune to instantly improve your content’s readability. 

In this guide, I've distilled my eight years of content marketing experience into actionable insights aimed at enhancing content readability.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is readability?

Readability measures how easy or hard it is to understand a piece of written content. 

It is influenced by several factors. Like sentence and paragraph length, sentence structure, word choice, the average syllables per word, etc.

An example of improving a sentence’s readability by replacing a complex word with a simpler alternative:

Personally, Wordtune is a game-changer for me. As it offers several suggestions to improve the readability of my content. 

Saving me the time and effort that I’d have otherwise spent refining my writing manually.

Here’s an example:


Visual elements also play a crucial role in readability. These elements include white spaces, font size and type, use of images, etc.

Check this out:

It’s a perfect combination of font type and size, structure, and white space. Making the text inviting and easy on the eyes.

Why is readability important?

Poor readability means you’re making it hard for your readers to understand the information you’re trying to convey. 

It may also result in misunderstanding or misinterpretation of your message. Leading to confusion and a lack of trust in your content.

You may want to avoid this.

Otherwise, your readers are likely to bounce off your website and look for information elsewhere. 

You miss the opportunity to convert them into leads or paying customers.

Moreover, you fail to establish your brand as a reliable source of information.  

Good readability, on the other hand, makes it super-easy for your readers to understand the message you want to convey. 

They don’t need to expend a lot of energy.

Also, you’re making your content highly accessible to a broader audience, including non-native English speakers and those with reading disabilities.

Readers who understand your content are more likely to take the desired action. Further increasing your conversion rate.

How to measure content readability

For written content, readability can be measured using various formulas. Like the Flesch Reading Ease, Gunning Fog Index, Fry Graph Readability Formula, or the SMOG Index. 

These methods assess aspects of your content like word length, sentence complexity, and overall text structure to provide a readability score.

Let’s measure the readability of a dummy paragraph using the Flesch Reading Ease test. 

This test measures readability based on the average sentence length (the number of words divided by the number of sentences) and the average number of syllables per word (the number of syllables divided by the number of words)

Formula: 206.835−(1.015×average sentence length)−(84.6×average syllables per word)

Scores can range from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the better the readability.

Here’s a rough guide to help you interpret the scores:

Let's measure the readability of the following paragraph: 

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. This sentence contains every letter of the alphabet. It's a useful tool for testing typewriters and computer keyboards. A pangram, or holoalphabetic sentence, is a sentence that contains every letter of the alphabet at least once." 

Now, I'll calculate the Flesch Reading Ease Score for this paragraph.

  • Total number of words: 45
  • Total number of sentences: 4
  • Total number of syllables: 77

Calculation: 206.835−(1.015×11.25)−(84.6×1.711) = 50.67

This means our paragraph is fairly difficult to read.

You can use Wordtune to improve the readability of this paragraph.

Using a formula to calculate the readability of your content can become tiresome and time-consuming. Especially when you’re dealing with loads of text or multiple documents.

You can save yourself the time and effort by using readability checkers like Hemingway Editor, Readable, etc. 

Note: Readability checkers have their unique way of measuring readability. For instance, with Hemingway, a lower score indicates better readability. On the other hand, Readable.com applies a variety of readability formulas, including the Flesch Reading Ease Score and the Gunning Fog Index, to offer a comprehensive readability assessment.

Also, when it comes to visual elements, there isn’t a straightforward way of assessing readability. Understanding design principles and gathering user feedback can help.

That being said, let me show you a few ways to improve your content’s readability. 

7 ways to improve content readability

Here are some ways to improve the readability of your content:

1. Write in active voice

Active language is easier to read than passive verbiage. Especially for ones whose first language is not English. 

Passive voice makes your readers believe that your message is distant.

Active voice makes sentences clearer by directly stating who is doing what. By using active voice, you can cut down the number of words used in your sentences. Helping you convey information in a clear and concise manner.

It eliminates the need for auxiliary verbs and prepositions that passive constructions require. 

For example:

Passive voice: “The mouse was chased by the cat.”

Active voice: “The cat chased the mouse.”

Active voice is more direct and concise, while passive voice can be ambiguous and confusing. And it contributes to a more dynamic and engaging writing style.

Like me, you can use Wordtune to automatically rewrite passive sentences into active:

Essential Reading: Change Passive Voice to Active Voice Using AI

2. Shorten your sentences

Shorter sentences are easier to read and digest. 

Conversely, longer sentences can be confusing as they usually contain more than one thought or idea. Longer sentences also cause misunderstanding or misinterpretation of your message. 

Also, remember that people are generally busy and are looking to find easy-to-digest information that answers their questions quickly. 

Be clear and direct with your writing. 

So, it’s best to shorten your sentences

When revising your text, look for opportunities to split lengthy sentences.

Let me show how I use Wordtune to break down a long sentence into shorter sentences:


Before: Despite the cold weather, the team continued their practice outside, determined to prepare for the upcoming championship, which was only a few weeks away, a decision that not only tested their physical endurance but also their commitment to the team's success.

After: Despite the cold weather, the team continued their practice outside. They were determined to prepare for the upcoming championship, which was only a few weeks away. This decision not only tested their physical endurance but also their commitment to the team's success.

3. Avoid complex words

Be picky about your word choices. 

Using complex words can make your content difficult to understand. Especially for beginners or those whose first language is not English. 

Such words can also make your sentences sound weird when your readers read it out aloud.

A practical demonstration: Read both these sentences out aloud and ask yourself: which sentence sounds more natural and easy to understand?

  1. This tool will facilitate your understanding of the concept. 
  2. This tool will help you understand the concept.

For me, it’s the second one. Because it uses the word "help," which is simpler and more direct than "facilitate." 

The second sentence cuts straight to the point without any unnecessary complexity. 

The word "help" is universally understood and commonly used in everyday language.

You can use Wordtune’s Editor to effortlessly refine your word choices and make sure that your content is clear and easy to understand. Wordtune offers suggestions for alternative words and phrases, helping you to express your ideas in the most straightforward and comprehensible manner possible.

Here are some complex words along with their simpler alternatives in the form of a table:

Note: I’m not implying that you should avoid these complex words altogether. Complex words have their place and can add nuance to your writing when used correctly. Consider whether using complex words adds value to your writing or if simpler alternatives would better serve your purpose.

4. Avoid unnecessary jargon and acronyms

Don’t confuse your readers! 

It’s tempting to use jargon and acronyms. Especially if you’re writing about something you’re an expert in. 

Many think that it makes them sound smart and authoritative. 

But it’s not great for wider accessibility. 

By using jargon and acronyms (and not expanding on them) all you’re doing is excluding potential readers.

Instead, simplify your language and expand acronyms to let your reader in on your information. 


Poor readability: According to the BLS, CPI rises 0.1% in March 2023 for all items.

Good readability: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) has gone up 0.1% on all items for sale.

Note: Simplifying your language doesn't mean dumbing down your content. It means making it more accessible and understandable to people who may not share your level of expertise.

5. Use bullet points when appropriate

Make your content more scannable with the help of bullet points. 

Using bullet points can help you:

  • Improve readability
  • Highlight key information 
  • Cater to readers who seek quick information. Such readers are more likely to scan your content over reading large, unending blocks of text. 
  • Make your content look organized and well-structured.


Lengthy Sentence: 

Managing your time effectively is crucial for productivity. You need to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. Additionally, it's essential to minimize distractions and stay focused on your goals. Doing so can also help you stay on track and avoid procrastination.

Rewritten with bullet points: 

Managing your time can help you:

  • Prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency
  • Minimize distractions and stay focused on your goals
  • Stay on track and avoid procrastination

6. Use white spaces smartly

White space refers to empty space on a web page. 

It can be between letters, words, paragraphs. And also between images, in the margins of a website, between sections on a page, etc.

When used properly, it can improve readability by 20%.

If the white space is too low, the webpage might feel cluttered and overwhelming. 

On the other hand, if the white space is too high, the webpage might feel disjointed.

Try to strike a balance. 

Here’s a great example:

7. Add visual breaks

Visual breaks can make your content more engaging and easier to digest. 

These can be anything from images, charts, graphs, or even videos.

Visual elements not only add aesthetic appeal but also help illustrate your points more vividly.

For readers who skim through content, visuals provide a quick way to grasp the key messages without reading every word.

Make sure your visuals complement your content and add value to it.

Here’s a great example from one of our blog posts in which we demonstrated how setting SMART goals can drive your social media efforts: 

Understanding your audience is key!

Readability score matters; but knowing your readers is even more important.

This will help you choose the right tone, style, and level of detail for your content. 

If your readers are industry experts, using technical jargon without much explanation may be appropriate. 

On the other hand, if you're addressing a general audience or beginners, simplify your language, expand on acronyms, and provide more background information to ensure understanding. 

Keep in mind that your readership is diverse. 

It can include people with learning difficulties, different grade levels of reading, experts, people for whom English is a second language, as well as total beginners. 

Tailoring your content to accommodate this diversity is not just considerate; it's also a mark of effective communication.