learn how to improve the user experience with your content and rank better on Google – WAU
Privileging the content’s scannability or SEO? Both! Yes, your content can only win when the best practices are combined for an excellent reading experience with the factors considered by Google for ranking. The problem is that few know how, in fact, to combine the best of both worlds: scannability and SEO.
That the offer of content on the internet is surprising, we already know, but to discover that those who really care for the scannability and IF THE in strategic harmony are the minority it’s a shock.
Among them, many rely on the incredible WordPress tool called Yoast SEO, which, in addition to pointing out the elements of content optimization for search engines, also indicates which elements make it scanable.
Nothing against these tools – in fact, quite the contrary. We encourage the use of all those that help to create quality content.
But, without this solution, how many would be able to write optimized material, and, even better, how many would be able to explain the reasons for investing in each of these points that transform the experience of those who read these contents? After all, why does the color of the balls in the plugin in question turn green, orange or red?
If you want to know in depth the criteria used by this tool and write incredible content without its help, read this post right now. From choosing the font for your texts to the correct use of keywords, we will show you how to combine scanning and SEO!
After all, what is scannability?
Objectively, scannability is a strategy for organizing content so that it is simple to be read and understood by the user.
Thus, in a quick view of the content, the user will understand what it is about, the highlighted points and the links that can complement the ideas and information contained in it.
Applications like Yoast SEO – and to be clear, we will quote him a lot here – measure the scannability according to a graduation of the ability to understand the text.
But, if a system can do that, who writes the content too, right? After all, the human eye has a much better perception of what is easier to assimilate.
But halfway between your content and the user, there’s Google. Is well, you must also respect his algorithms if you want your text to reach those who need to read it.
Some experts say that, for Google, content is considered easy to assimilate if a 13 to 14 year old child understands what was covered.
Scanability is not one of Google’s direct ranking factors, but if we take into account that the search engine always favors content that offers better experience and information, it is to be expected that the experiences of those who interact with them will be accounted for in this aspect.
How to assess user reactions to content?
It is necessary to consider more the reactions and perceptions caused in those who are reading the content.
This is not a suggestion for the use of espionage by users, but tools such as those widely used by e-commerce and websites: heat maps or heat maps.
They consider how the user interacts with the page visited and, from their movements and interactions, identify which areas are hot and cold, or rather, those that receive more or less attention from the visitor.
There are three types of heat maps better known:
- scroll map: which shows how far the average user scrolled the page;
- click map: focused on identifying the links most accessed by customers; and
- move map: which identifies which parts of the text the user spent the most time on before scrolling again or leaving the session.
With this view, it is possible to adapt the size of a content, use links with the most popular keywords and identify the information or images that aroused the most interest.
Hotjar is one of the best known tools that make the heat map. These two examples show the scroll map and the click map.
Inferences about the user’s behavior – such as where and when his eyes go during reading, whether the content can be understood in a quick scroll, whether he perceives an understandable aesthetic, whether dynamic reading is possible – can be used to classify the scannability and improve it later.
What tests are used to quantify the scannability?
There are some tests that can be used to assess how scanned the text is.
Remember that Google considers whether the content can be read by a 13 and 14 year old? Our focus is on that perspective now.
To reach this conclusion, the search giant takes into account some strategies for configuring content, such as:
- smaller paragraphs, which facilitates reading and creates visual comfort with greater spacing between sentences. In fact, even phrases with a line are great resources to create prominence;
- adequacy of the length of the text lines, which may vary depending on the site configuration, font and letter spacing used;
- standardization of the use of bold and Italic to highlight foreign phrases or words, for example;
- use of simple vocabulary and explanation of technical terms, if they are necessary in the theme;
- use of bullet points, like the one you are reading, that organizes the main points of the theme;
- application of visual aids, such as images and videos, to exemplify the content;
- use of intertitles to organize the text. Thus, the reader can even read only the part that matters.
Avoiding inverted and far-fetched phrasal constructions also facilitates reading, as well as not repeating words in the same sentence or writing them incorrectly.
These factors are part of the analysis of indexes such as the Flesch-Kincaid, Gunning Fog Index, Coleman-Liau Index and SMOG Index. In Yoast SEO, you can count on Flesch Reading Ease in its resources.
He, in turn, assesses the length of sentences and also the use of words with many syllables, which tends to complicate the reading experience.
What about blogs and websites built out of WordPress?
For sites that cannot use Yoast SEO, there are external solutions that can be adopted, such as the WebFx tool, which is free, and Readable, at a reasonable cost.
Although they are sites in English, they can be used in other languages, after all, their criteria do not involve the interpretation of the content.
What is the influence of verbal voices and the use of transition words?
The voice (passive or active) indicates the relation of the subject of the sentence and the action described by the verb, right? Remembering the lessons of the London class also helps to understand the Google algorithm called RankBrain.
O his main focus is the semantics and user behavior, that is, it seeks:
- understand what the user used when performing the search;
- what he really wanted to find;
- how satisfied you were with the results presented.
Thus, RankBrain will evaluate the user’s behavior in the research stages and their interactions with the search results.
If he enters the first links, and within them, he opens reading suggestions, interacts and performs Calls to Action (CTAs) proposed internally, the experiment is considered successful and RankBrain, therefore, evaluates that content well.
In fact, in this case, the sites that received the clicks and achieved such involvement can also consider that the planned SEO scannability and strategies achieved their objectives.
About passive voice, it is possible to say that it is more verbose and even difficult to understand in some cases, but it is the most suitable for the audience to be reached.
In the case of active voiceobviously, she is more engaging and engaging, which, from an experience point of view, is very important.
And the words of transition?
The transition words also help in reading and understanding the content, associate one concept with the other and, therefore, are also valuable for the user experience.
Some of them are “in addition”, “after all”, “according to”, “however”, “however”, “equally”, “above all”, which are unique. In the case of those with two or more words, we can quote “beyond this”, “this is” and “in that sense”.
Keep in mind that these words are essential to ensure the creation of smaller phrases without prejudice to the transmission of content, as they allow the subject to be discussed in the next paragraph, either in the active voice or in the passive voice.
How do scanners and SEO interact and contribute to each other?
With everything that has been put so far on the scannability, or, if you prefer, the readability of the text, you can already understand how small configurations can make the reading experience more interactive, personalized and relevant.
That is, it is the right path for epic content, right? So, it’s time to narrow down your concepts and applications with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you ask some people who know the basics about SEO, they are likely to all point to choosing and citing the keyword (or keyword) as the main strategy.
Yes, it is an essential part, but, of course, the SEO strategy is much more than that and, in short, we can divide it into two groups.
Factors that directly influence Google ranking
The algorithms and robots used to classify and order the content in the search results use objective settings to define the relevance of the content.
Therefore, we can say that it is necessary to pay close attention to elements such as:
- meta description relevant and that contains the keyword. These are those texts that describe the contents still on the results page of the research carried out;
- keyword quality in relation to the proposed theme and how similar it is in relation to the search terms used by users;
- density at which the keyword and its variations are used in the content. It must be within the context, present in the post title and in its intertitles, but without being used in excess, so as not to pollute the content. This guarantees a good mention density;
- description of the images used in the contents, since Google’s robots do not “see” pictures, but, once described, they can be understood and associated with the keyword. In addition, considering that some devices take a long time to load, the caption can guarantee a minimum comprehension experience for users;
- good use of writing standards, since London or typing errors can convey a lack of commitment to quality, in addition to, of course, generating doubts about interpretation;
- page titles;
- Simple URL.
Factors that indirectly influence Google ranking
Other factors considered indirect are also precious and, when worked well, bring incredible results to the SEO strategy.
And this is where their association with scannability lies, as they seek to increase the quality of the content and, consequently, their organic search. Are they:
- time spent on the page, which indicates that the user was interested in the content;
- bounce rate, for links that are no longer clicked at the expense of others;
- total number of open sessions, or rather, links suggested in the content that were accessed;
- conversion rate for CTAs;
- rate of social sharing.
These are measurements that indirectly affect the analysis of Google’s algorithms and what is more interesting: above all, they privilege the quality, relevance and potential of the content to interact with users.
That is, when we invest in scannability and SEO on websites and blogs, we are actually optimizing the experience to the highest degree of efficiency.
That way, there is no need to write with robots in mind and ways the content will be qualified by Google’s algorithms.
Focusing on users’ reading experience is enough to build epic content with high ranking potential!
Now that this mixture is fine, we can continue with some more tips to humanize the contents and, with this focus, make them more rankable for the search engines.
What are the best practices for integrating scannability and SEO?
As already mentioned, the two act in line with the indirect ranking factors and also in ensuring that the reading experience is complete and relevant to the user. So, what good practices to follow? This is what we will answer next.
Use short sentences, small, simple words that serve as a transition
It is possible to write two short sentences, made up of small, commonly used words, and then connect them with transitional expressions.
This is the combination monitored by the Flesch-Kincaid test from Yoast SEO, remember?
Small phrases without elaborate words are simpler to read and assimilate and, if two concepts need to be presented together, just use the transition tools.
To remember, these are words that go back to the previous reasoning to continue what will be addressed now.
Adopt a font for writing that is comfortable
The typography of the font, the size, style, color, line spacing and other visual characteristics that will mark the text must be as comfortable as possible.
In doubt about which one to choose? Opt for the simplest and most traditional, such as Verdana or Arial, as the words will not be tangled and difficult to read – even when bold or italics are required.
Regarding the font size, it is still important to remember that the settings of the screens of desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones are different.
According to Content Trends 2018, 89.5% of users consume content on their smartphones, for example.
And, even if you have a responsive website, that is, one that adapts to the screen, the font size will obey a proportionality.
So, something between 16px and 17px is ideal for texts and, in descending order, starting with titles (H1), with approximately 24px, up to intertitles, ranging from 22px (H2) to 17px (H6).
Create a pleasant language and promote the interactivity of the content
Aligning language to your persona profile is essential, but to improve your reading experience, investing in interactions that bring the user closer is the big trick.
Thus, if you are going to write for creative professionals, a more fun and stimulating interaction can enhance the content. Makes sense?
And even if the public and the niche market require more formalities, they do not need to be completely banned. In moments of the text in which CTAs must be inserted, a proposition closer to the user and within acceptable language can bring good results.
These precautions will gradually make the content and sites create and perpetuate a personality that users can relate to and enjoy.
Know the purpose of your content
Recalling the school’s writing classes, the contents must start, middle and end. In addition, it is very important that they help the user to advance their knowledge and decision.
In other words, it must be aligned with the funnel step marketing to which it belongs, be it the identification of a problem, the understanding of the criteria and ways to solve it, as well as the best solution or tool for that.
Thus, each “beginning, middle and end” of your content needs to provide the user with the essential information for him to advance in his decision making.
To remember, content marketing is one of the most efficient strategies to generate more business opportunities. According to Content Trends 2018, it generates 3.7 times more leads for a company.
Make a good formatting of the textual structure
Attention to the intertitles used to organize the text. They must be in tune with the title and in the same voice and tense. Lists, of course, need to be numbered. Also, consider:
- the hierarchy of intertitles, as, within them, new subdivisions can be made and must be equally organized according to the sequence (H2, H3, H4 etc.);
- formatting in bold at the beginning of lines or whenever you need to emphasize some information;
- when quoting, also highlight to outline the ideas of others;
- use left-aligned text whenever possible;
- prioritize paragraphs and short sentences, as they are faster and more objective in delivering content.
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Bet on interactive content
If the idea is to optimize the reading experience and make the user find everything he needs in his text, bet on interaction solutions to create relevant content.
That is, invest in images that can help in understanding the topic, such as infographics and examples of what is being addressed.
Videos are also great for demonstrating the practice of what is being talked about, like the well-known tutorials.
Of course, bet on CTAs, not only at the end of the text, but also in the center, using tools that allow sharing the image, links to webinars on the subject, etc. If the experience is to be improved, everything is valid.
If the heat map is used in content with elements of interaction, it is likely that they are some of the hot areas of the site, that is, thinking strategically, this is where the differentials and main ideas should be inserted!
Does the result of Yoast SEO always need to be 100% green?
If you have used Yoast SEO at least once, you know that, as you write, the scan criteria go from red to green. But, for content to be epic for users and Google, do you need 100% Yoast SEO approval?
To be clear, these scan criteria are not used by Google’s algorithms. However, considering that having a good performance on them will hit the spot on the user experience you read, then a good percentage of correctness will be very good, right?
But without neuras. The most important among them will be the scannability, or, if the plugin is in English, readability. In the others, a dot or another orange will not hurt anyone.
Understanding these elements, you can use Yoast SEO or not to manage the scannability and SEO of your content, but, before putting it into practice, it is essential to plan what will be done.
So, how about doing an audit on your website or blog about everything that was covered about SEO in this post? So, check out this content right now that explains how to audit your current strategy!