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Easy Furniture Web Tip #94 - Can You Write Like A Fifth Grader?

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By Katherine Andes

I once attended a class with my daughter called: “How to Get Good Grades in College.” One of the teacher’s tips was, “If you are having difficulty with a hard subject like chemistry, then go to the children’s library. Find a book on the topic you are studying and read it.”

He explained that children’s writers know how to write in simple language, which makes difficult topics easier to understand.

You can use this same principle to help make your website pages “easy” for your customer.

I did some spot-checking of several furniture stores and found that many of their pages had text written at the 12th grade level.

Tenth to 12th grade reading levels for web copy is way too high. Especially when you consider that reading on monitors is already difficult on the eyes.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a home page, about us page, product care page, or a product description. They should all be 5th to 8th grade reading level. And 5th to 6th is ideal.

Technical text could be higher, but even that should follow the principles of writing for young-uns. Like short sentences, short paragraphs, and simple words.

This is not dumbing down!

It is simply making life and the shopping experience easier for your visitors.

The beauty of the lower reading level is that it presents your message and product value quickly and clearly.

Easy Furniture Web Tip #94: In Microsoft Word go to Preferences > Spelling and Grammar > Check Reading Level Box. Then when you write copy for your website and run your Spelling / Grammar Check, your reading level will show. Strive for 5th to 6th grade, but a little higher is okay.

Katherine Andes is a consultant who specializes in writing custom content for key web pages, including search engine optimization (SEO) — especially in the home improvement market. You can phone her at 559.589.0379 or email at Kathy@AndesAndAssociates.com.

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