If you use the Yoast plugin as one of your many SEO tools for writing, you would have come across the Flesch Reading Ease score. This indicator crawls your entire copy to score how easy it is for the user to read your content. The plugin crawls the content and gives a score ranging from 0 to 100. It is important to take heed of the suggestion from the Yoast plugin. It is one of the criteria that assesses your overall readability score.
How Readability Score Affects SEO
There are two factors that the algorithms track to check your overall rating:
- how the word count relates to the number of sentences,
- how the number of syllables relates to the number of words on the copy.
There is no direct link to ranking better if your readability score is good. However, it is a good SEO practice for your copy to be easy to read for users. There’s an unwritten rule that for web copy, a good score should be between 60 – 70 readable for 13 and 15-year-olds. In the same breath, indirectly, if your content is difficult to read, your visitors will not stay on your website. This pattern will lead to a high bounce rate and ultimately cause a drop in ranking in the long run.
How SERPs Interpret Readability
Google’s algorithm keeps changing every other day, becoming more human-like. This means that bots are now crawling content as a person would read it. In the long run, and with the rise of voice and speech searches, readability is only going to become a more important ranking factor.
Even with that, webmasters should note that readability for real human beings and readability for search engines are two very different concepts. SERPs generally auto-complete your sentence and crawls the entire web to suggest the closest answers to your query. Users will read the copy based on their level of understanding. Finding a good balance between the two will help your website rank better.
Tips to Improve Your Flesch Reading Ease score
Here are a few tips to improve your Flesch Reading Ease score:
- Shorten your sentences – the general rule is not to have sentences longer than 20 words.
- Disambiguate your content – get to the point of the sentence without saying a lot.
- Limit usage of difficult words – words with 4 or more syllables are deemed to be hard to read. Use synonyms that will be easier to understand.