What is readability
Getting to the top entry on Google is great and all, but you won’t stay there long if you can’t write a readable and enjoyable article. If your perfectly optimized blog post doesn’t read well, visitors won’t stick around and browse the rest of your site. On the other hand, if your content is engaging, well-worded, and grammatically spectacular, your readers will trust what they read; they may comment, share, buy, or view other articles. Here are some pointers on what is readability and how you can use it to your advantage.
Readability is a ghost factor
Readability is not a ranking criterion openly announced by Google. Nevertheless, many official factors are closely related to readability. For example, the structure of an article. Googlebots like articles that are organized in different levels of titles. Google also attaches importance to the bounce rate. A site whose pages are systematically consulted for only a fraction of a second will not be well ranked by the search engines.
Some advice to improve your readability
- Use clear, visible headings and subheadings to separate content and sections so people can scan to find only what interests them.
- Place information at the top of your content structure, so people can quickly understand the message while scanning.
- Use formatting techniques like bulleted lists and bold text to allow the eye to focus on the most important information.
- Use plain language to keep the content concise and clear. No jargon.
- Write paragraphs that are no longer than 6 lines and short sentences (no more than 12 words)
Let’s get numerical
The Flesch Readability Index was developed in the 1940s by Rudolf Flesch of Columbia University in the United States. The purpose of this index was to determine the readability of a text using a formula. To date, the Flesch Readability Index is the standard procedure.
The indicator is based on two metrics: the average sentence length (ASL) and the average number of syllables per word (ASW).
The specific mathematical formula is:
RE = 206.835 – (1.015 x ASL) – (84.6 x ASW)
RE is a number ranging from 0 to 100. The higher the number, the easier your text is to read.
To optimize readability for SEO and users, perform detailed keyword research before you start writing. With this exercise, you are already making an important decision that your words and phrases are also understood.