Readability is a key challenge for every website. It’s shapes the way you tell your story and gets your target audience engaged. However, not everyone is aware just how important readability is, or how to improve it. In this article, we will explore why you need to make your website easy to ready, how to achieve a good readability score, and which tools you can use to test & improve.
Website readability measures how easy it is to understand the content on your site, and how long it takes to read it.
To check the readability of a text, you need to analyse the style, the grammar, the structure of the text, and much more. While it seems like a big feat, you can learn what to do, and what to avoid to write a readable copy. But as a starting point, we would recommend one of the few amazing tools that check the readability for you:
If you’re on WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin gives you the readability score in its free version. And if you’re less of a “cloud person”, Microsoft Word has a built-in readability checker that most people aren’t aware of.
People want to find the right information as fast as possible. And when using the Internet, they have short attention spans. Pair that with the fact that written language is more complex than spoken language, and that reading from a screen usually takes longer than reading a print text, and we have a deadly combination.
There’s a common misconception that a readable text is “basic”, or that it’s aimed at young people in their school age. A readability score is not a benchmark of your knowledge or sophistication. The purpose is to make the experience as seamless as possible. Even if your highly educated audience can easily read a harder piece of content, it will obviously take longer for them to do so.
We gave you the tools and the reasoning – so now when is your text considered “readable”? Our rule of thumb for web copy is a Flesch Reading Ease of 60 or more, on a scale of up to 100. As a fun fact, the Flesch scale has no lower limit. Yes, we’ve seen text go into negative values!
To give you the general idea of how easy it is to read the text based on its score, here’s how each style is described:
For context, an 11-year old will easily understand text that scores above. People aged 13 to 15 can usually understand anything above 60, and scores under 30 are best understood by university graduates.
The best part about readability is its simple formula. You don’t need any tools to improve your copy. We’d still advise using the aforementioned readability checkers to verify, but here’s everything you need to know about the formula:
The Flesch Reading Ease score takes into account the average word count per sentence and the average syllables per word.
So in essence, you only need to do two things to make your content more readable:
Readability is important, but it’s not the ultimate solution to your problems. Here are other tips that will improve your writing:
You know how to make it easy to read, but do you know how to make it sell? Here are our top tips.
Originally published Aug 13, 2021 4:20:40 PM, updated August 13 2021.