Content Readability

Ever wonder why your blogs or web pages don’t have many likes, shares or fewer subscribers. Is it because of Readability? What is the use of writing content if your audience doesn’t understand it?  If they are not able to keep their interest till the bottom of the article. It’s time to wonder on your text content because something is going way wrong!!

Readability” in simple words is what you write in your article and how much your audience understands your content. In general, readability depends on vocabulary and syntax used in the content. It also depends on the presentation like font size, line height, and line length. Readability can’t be just ‘legibility’ which defines reader’s ability to distinguish between each letter. It is much more than that.

Researchers use various aspects to measure readability to create a standard which every blogger or content developer should consider while writing their content. These factors are as follows:

  • Speed of perception
  • Perceptibility in peripheral vision
  • Perceptibility at a distance
  • Visibility
  • Rate of work (reading speed)
  • Reflex blink technique
  • Eye movements
  • Fatigue in reading

Readability is of course audience-centric and hence depends on the age group for whom you are writing. Usually, a reader wants to read content which is 2 grade lower than the usual (grade 9) for leisure reading.

How SEO Tool Measures Readability?

readability score


Though there are plenty of readability tools which uses specific algorithms to calculate readability score one of the most famous algorithms is Flesch-Kincaid readability score. The algorithm is given below:

Readability Algorithm

To measure readability, Flesch-Kincaid takes the amount of syllable in a word and amount of words in a sentence. Thus, according to this algorithm the key point to consider during writing content is to make sure your sentences are short and you use the short word.

Impact on SEO

SEO ranking is not directly affected by readability but it does impact indirectly. There are many times when SEO’s drop their client’s page just because of their readability scores. So these days many bloggers are focusing on readability score to maintain their audience interest.

Impact On SEO


There are many SEO plugins which offer you to measure your readability score one of them is Yoast SEO plugin. It offers you a readability guide to follow to write your content like showing a green light for good, yellow for intermediate or few improvement needed and red shows that you need a lot improvement in your content. But in actual, it is a matter of fact that if you get all green means you will rank one on Google searches. Google uses its own algorithm for ranking.

The indirect impact of readability is that if your content is easy and at the same time appealing also then your audiences will stay longer on your page. Hence, it will improve the bounce rate and exit rate which is, of course, good for SEO.

Always remember as a writer that you are writing for your audience. So rather than only targeting search engine optimization try more to focus on people point of view as they only generate traffic to your page by word of mouth or by sharing your post. But, yes it is necessary to find a correct balance between SEO and context.

How to Improve Content Readability?

    1. Write short sentences

    Breaking long sentences into a shorter sentence is very important to consider. Yoast’s recommend sentence length to be 20 words. Though if not written with proper punctuations. 20 words may look a little complex to read if there is a missing comma, semicolon or grey spaces in present.

    1. Use short and simple words

    To enhance your Flesch-Kincaid readability scores it is best to use short and easy words. There is no need to make your content complex by using long and difficult words.

    1. Using subheadings

    The subheading is considered as an important factor for scoring in both Yoast’s readability and in SEO. Also, it has been noted that Google gives more priority to keywords in the subheadings than in your text. Apart from the subheadings, the other alternative used to present text to your users are bullets points, images, and quotes. By implementing these suggested aspects you can increase SEO score and readability score.

    1. Transition word

    Yoast’s readability score also depends on the transitional words utilization in your text. The more you use connectives for examples furthermore, and, but, moreover, etc. the better is your score. But don’t forget that Flesch-Kincaid will not score well if too many transitional words are used.

    1. Don’t start consecutive sentences with the same word

    It doesn’t look great when the same word is used repetitively to start a sentence. It gives a sloppy appearance to your is recommended that you should not use more than twice same word concurrently to start sentences.

    1. Passive voice usage should be less

    Passive voice sentences should be used less in your text as if you use more passive voice more you will have bad readability score. Active voice is considered polite and formal while passive look impersonal and impolite. So, use more active voice in your blogs and articles.

    1. Typography

    Apart from all discussed points above, we should not forget that presentation of your content is a key point. Even in the exam too you get good marks if you present your answer well. Similarly, while writing content on any topic presentation grab the attention of the user.
    Choose font size and font type accurately which is easy to read. Line length and line height are also important.


From the above discussion, it can be noticed that though readability doesn’t impact directly to your Google ranking. But it can be concluded that it does make a strong impact on your SEO ranking “indirectly”. As it reduces bounce rate and exit rate which helps you to boost your ranking. Enhancing your content readability will not only improve your reader’s interest and experience but will also give an overall good outcome to your SEO. Thus, it is a good practice to maintain a good readability score for your content and for this you can hire digital marketing team which works dedicatedly.