Why and write shorter paragraphs • Yoast


The paragraph size examine in Yoast web optimization (for WordPress or Shopify) tells you to put in writing shorter paragraphs when they’re too lengthy. However why is that this necessary? What does a very good paragraph even appear to be? And lastly, what must you do to maintain your paragraphs concise? Let’s discover!

Why your paragraphs shouldn’t be too lengthy

Correctly sized paragraphs play an necessary function in making your textual content readable. Large partitions of textual content are usually not very good to learn, and so they are inclined to scare off readers. Simply think about this complete article being one large paragraph! You’d in all probability have left the web page earlier than even studying the introduction.

Paragraphs additionally break down your textual content into bite-size and easy-to-understand chunks. This places your readers relaxed, as a result of each time you finish a paragraph, you give readers the chance to calm down and take into consideration what they’ve simply learn. It actually helps individuals make sense of your complete textual content.

Straightforward to scan

Paragraphs additionally assist readers to scan your textual content extra simply. When individuals find yourself on a web page, they hardly ever begin studying the article from starting to finish. First, they need to see what they’ll count on. That’s why individuals usually scan headings and the primary sentences of each paragraph earlier than they begin studying. So, if you happen to break up your textual content into paragraphs that mirror the matters you’re addressing, individuals will shortly get a very good grasp of what your article is about.

What does a very good paragraph appear to be?

A great paragraph supplies data on one well-defined facet of the subject you’re discussing in your article. Take into account the 2 paragraphs underneath the earlier heading on this article, for instance. They handle why paragraphs make your textual content simple to scan. As well as, it’s good observe to start out your paragraphs with a core sentence that summarizes the content material of the paragraph. It will assist readers resolve whether or not a paragraph is fascinating to learn.

How lengthy ought to your paragraph be?

This depends upon the context, however a paragraph ought to usually be greater than two sentences and fewer than 200 phrases. Something greater than 200 phrases turns into obscure for many readers, which suggests you’re higher off breaking it up into completely different subparagraphs.

And don’t underestimate how tough it’s to learn lengthy paragraphs! Positive, extra skilled or expert readers are typically extra forgiving. However that doesn’t imply your textual content wouldn’t profit from shorter paragraphs. In spite of everything, presenting advanced data in an accessible kind is an artwork, not a shortcoming.

What does Yoast web optimization’s paragraph size examine do?

The paragraph size evaluation checks the size of your paragraphs. We advise you to maintain the size of your paragraphs beneath 150 phrases. For those who try this, you’ll rating a inexperienced gentle. You’ll get an orange gentle in case your paragraphs comprise greater than 150 however lower than 200 phrases. And if you happen to exceed 200 phrases, your site visitors gentle shall be purple.

Within the case of an orange or purple gentle, what must you do? Do it is advisable use fewer phrases to convey the identical message? Do it is advisable cross out whole sentences? Typically, the reply is not any. Randomly deleting sentences will hurt your textual content as an alternative of enhance it. It makes extra sense to try the construction of your textual content. Let’s clarify!

Screenshot showing feedback bullet paragraph length checkThe examine reveals a purple gentle and corresponding suggestions. For those who click on the attention button, the paragraph that wants bettering shall be highlighted.

Learn how to hold your paragraphs brief and crisp

When you’ve got hassle limiting the size of your paragraphs, check out your complete textual content. Attempt to write down the principle matters and particular person features that you just’re discussing. Let’s break down the heading and paragraph construction of this submit for instance:

Why your paragraphs shouldn’t be too lengthy

Lengthy paragraphs are unhealthy for readability
Straightforward to scan

Lengthy paragraphs make it tough to scan a textual content

What does a very good paragraph appear to be?

A paragraph addresses one particular facet of the subject
Paragraphs begin with a core sentence

How lengthy ought to your paragraph be?

A great paragraph has greater than two sentences and fewer than 200 phrases

What does the paragraph size examine do?

Describes the examine and its suggestions standards

Learn how to hold your paragraphs brief and crips

Take a look at your complete textual content
Instance evaluation


As you possibly can see, the textual content is now neatly divided into completely different elements. It’s in all probability a good suggestion to do that earlier than writing your article. For those who discover one particular facet is taking on extra space than you anticipated, simply take into account whether or not you possibly can break it down into two separate features. That is virtually all the time potential. If it isn’t, you may get away with an extended paragraph right here and there.

Need to be taught extra about paragraph size? Our web optimization copywriting course explains all the pieces associated to writing nice posts. You will get entry to this course and all of our different web optimization programs with Yoast web optimization Premium.


The Yoast web optimization paragraph size examine warns you once you write paragraphs which might be too lengthy. As a result of prolonged paragraphs make it more durable for readers to learn and scan your textual content. Good paragraphs talk about a single, well-defined facet of the subject at hand. They begin with a core sentence and customarily shouldn’t exceed 200 phrases. For those who are inclined to wrestle with limiting the size of your paragraphs, take into account breaking your article down right into a schematic view. Then, take into account whether or not you possibly can break up bigger paragraphs into shorter ones. Good luck!

Learn extra: The entire information to web optimization copywriting »

Marieke van de Rakt

Marieke was Head of Technique and former CEO at Yoast. Throughout her time at our firm she wrote loads. Matters that she loves writing about embrace web optimization copywriting, web site construction and readability.

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