Did you know that the way your blog is written is an integral part of on-page SEO?
Did you also know that there is something calledÂ Readability SEO?
For those who are not aware, â€śreadabilityâ€ť is one of those signals which Google uses for rankingÂ your site. AÂ poor readability level is something I suggest youÂ always avoid.
What is Readability Level?
Readability has different meanings, but let me putÂ it into blogging terms:
- Itâ€™s the â€śeasy-nessâ€ť of reading anÂ article.
According to Wikipedia:
ReadabilityÂ is the ease in which text can be read and understood. Various factors to measure readability have been used, such as â€śspeed of perception,â€ť â€śperceptibility at a distance,â€ť â€śperceptibility in peripheral vision,â€ť â€śvisibility,â€ť â€śthe reflex blink technique,â€ť â€śrate of workâ€ť (e.g., speed of reading), â€śeye movements,â€ť and â€śfatigue in reading.â€ť
There are many ways to calculate readability levels of text and online articles. Here are some of the most commonly used readability measurements:
- Flesch Reading Ease
- Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
- Coleman-Liau Index
- Gunning-Fog Index
All ofÂ these tests have a different formula to check the readability level and calculate the readabilityÂ score. For example, here is the descriptionÂ of eachÂ Flesch Reading Ease score:
- 90.0-100.0: Â Easily understood by an avg. 11 yr. old student.
- 60.0-70.0: Easily understood by an avg. 13-15 yr.Â old student.
- 0.0 â€“ 30.0: Best for university graduates.
I have shared two â€śReadability Calculatorsâ€ť below.Â Use themÂ to calculate the reading score of your article based on different reading indexes.
How to check your readability levels?
You should alwaysÂ check your websiteâ€™s reading level (and consistently work on making itÂ better).
Go to this site and type inÂ your blogâ€™s URL.Â You will see a result like this:
Online Readability Calculator:
If you are using MS Word or Outlook, you can refer to this knowledgebase to enable the readability check option. For now, MS Office only supports theÂ Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade LevelÂ scores.
Here isÂ anotherÂ useful online tool called theÂ Online-Utility Document Readability Calculator.Â
You can use it to test the readability based on different indexes (and itâ€™s free).
Just copy and paste your text, or add a URL, and you will get scores based on:
- Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
- Coleman Liau Index
The resultsÂ will look like this:
The best part about this tool is it will also suggest which sentences can be re-written to improve your scoreÂ whichÂ will create a huge differenceÂ in the long run. Moreover, your article can be understood by a larger audienceÂ if you have a better reading score.
Tools to improve readability scores:
English is not my native language and myÂ blog writing would not be the same without Grammarly.
This Chrome add-on (thereâ€™s also a web app) lets you check your writing for grammatical mistakes. It also suggests alternate words which can make your writing more powerful.
Itâ€™sÂ a free tool (the paid version offers advanced features) which you can start using right now.
Watch the Grammarly review here:
After discovering theÂ Hemingway tool,Â I believe every blogger should be using it.
This tool offers a free online editor, which shows how easy/hard it is to read certainÂ content. It also shows the reading grade of an article. Before I edited this article, you can see the reading score in the above screenshot.
Here are some other articles which will help you in proof-reading and improving your content:
- Tools to Improve English Grammar for Bloggers
- Tips to Improve WritingÂ Skills
If this is the first time youâ€™re hearing aboutÂ â€śReadability for SEOâ€ś, I suggest you not only work on on-page optimizationÂ and writing high-quality articles, but put a little stress onÂ theÂ reading level of your articles.
A little bit of focus in this area will take your good site and make it great.Â
How are your reading scores? Share them below in the comments!
If you find this article interesting, donâ€™t forget to share it on Twitter and Whatsapp.Â
Here are a few hand-picked guides for you to read next:
- 6 Brilliant Tips To Make You Blog like a Pro-Blogger
- ProWritingAid: The Complete Editing Tool For Writing Better Content
- How To Build A Freelance Writing Business While Travelling The World