SEO Content Readability

How to improve your content reading levels

SEO reading levels

You may be hearing about reading levels and that they are important for your website, especially if they are coming from your SEO team.

The search engines have their own algorithms and the most sophisticated ones such as Google include analysing the readability.

First, what are these reading levels? They are evaluations on how difficult a text in English is for the reader.

Having this in mind, I will quickly explain one of the most used reading levels system, the Flesch-Kincaid reading ease score.

The Readability is defined as the ease with which a reader can understand a written text.

The Flesch-Kincaid reading levels are determined by analysing the number of syllables in words and the number of words in a sentence. In practice there are two systems where it applies. I will explain the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score.

The higher the score, the easier the text is to read. Scores can be interpreted as follow:

  • 100.00-90.00 5th grade – Very easy to read. Easily understood by an average 11-year-old student
  • 90.0–80.0 6th grade – Easy to read
  • 80.0–70.0 7th grade – Fairly easy to read
  • 70.0–60.0 8th & 9th grade – Plain English. Easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students
  • 60.0–50.0 10th to 12th grade – Fairly difficult to read
  • 50.0–30.0 College – Difficult to read
  • 30.0–0.0 College graduate / University – Very difficult to read

In practice, for specific search terms there will be specific reading levels. Before deciding on the score target for the text on the page we need to see what is the reading level that pages rank for in that specific niche and try to match it.

Here is the formula used for the reading ease:

Flesch Kinkaid Reading Ease formula

An example of reading levels improvement:

“To ensure continual improvement of these systems we strive to enhance our performance through Asbestos management site inspections and external site audits.” – has a reading ease of 23, very difficult!

However, if we rewrite the same paragraph:

“We make sure our systems are working at the optimal pace. We have site inspections and external site audits.” – we will have a reading ease score of 68, which means it should be understood by a 13 to 15 year old.

If you need to make sure your website is optimised for the right audience, call TechVertu, on 01375 366 767 to arrange a free analysis of your website or contact us online for more information.