In the age of Google, making your website work better for robots and people is critical if you want it to be successful. This includes the static pages of your site like the Contact Us page as well as your company blog.
Even if your website meets all the other standards, if your content is difficult to understand, most people will click away. The average visitor makes the stay or go decision in less than 10 seconds. Don’t give them a reason to visit your competition – readability is important.
What is Readability?
If you have ever had to read a piece of text over and over to understand it, you know what it is like to struggle with readability. In short, readability is how well something is understood by a reader.
There are degrees of readability, of course, and how your readers understand your content depends on your audience.
For the vast majority of the public, an acceptable target for readability falls somewhere along a 7th or 8th grade reading level. That is an easy-breezy read for most of us. Chances are your own reading level is somewhere north of that. Newspapers, for instance, are published at reading levels varying from 9th grade to 11th grade.
Why does Readability Matter for Blog Performance?
Readability is important for every kind of business website. If you use your site as a marketing tool – and most businesses do – it is critical that your site content is readable.
If you take a look at the these predicted Google search ranking signals, you won’t find the word readability. What you will find is frequent reference to content. Because the content on your site is important, it needs to be easy to read.
How do you measure readability? The simplest way is to use a readability test. Readability tests usually measure numbers of words, syllables, and sentences. These tests give you a general idea how difficult (or easy) a piece of text is to read. There are dozens of tools available online that will let you paste your text into their calculator and churn out a readability level. Popular readability tools include:
Readability checkers run text through formulas and give scores based on each formula’s criteria. Perhaps the simplest test for readability is the Flesch-Kincaid readability test. Some of these readability tools provide this score in their results. Flesch-Kincaid scores use a 0-100 scale; the higher the score, the easier it is to understand.
Most readability calculators use the same criteria to produce results, so pick the one you’re comfortable with and stick with it. These tools don’t check for such things as typos or grammatical issues, though. Run your content through a grammar checker, such as Grammarly. Such a tool will not only check your grammar, it will proofread your text and check for plagiarism, too. These checks are an absolute must before you release your content out into the world.
Readability Helps Quality Content Show
Readability calculators and grammar checkers have their limitations. While each of these tools can help you to publish grammatically correct content they cannot assess quality.
The quality of your content – that is, its relevance and usefulness – is something that can only come from you. Your company blog needs to provide content that your visitors will find valuable, and which is specific to your business.
Write simply but intelligently. Unsure how to begin? Lieberman Technologies provides a free Blog Writing Worksheet to guide you through the process. Use it as a guide to writing content and then check the readability and grammar of your writing. The effort you put into quality, readable content will help your website in many ways.