flesch reading ease

Boost Text Readability with The Flesch Reading Ease Score

Does the thought about how easily a visitor understands your website content ever cross your mind? If you are concerned about the readability aspect of your content, then evaluating the readability of your pages can prove to be much useful. There’s an easy way by which you can assess the readability and overall effectiveness of your writing. Key scores, like Flesch reading ease, will allow you to find whether readers can comprehend the content on your website easily or not. In this article, you’ll learn everything about Flesch readability scores and the ways by which you can leverage them to enhance your site pages.


What Do You Mean by Flesch Reading Ease?

The Flesch Kincaid readability score was developed by Rudolph Flesch. Today it is a highly popular measure of readability. Do you know that the United States military employs the readability scores to determine the readability of their manuals?

Its first number, the Flesch-Kincaid reading ease, is according to a ranking scale of 0 to 100. The more your score, the higher your website’s readability is. Lesser scores represent content that is challenging to comprehend. Thus, if you find your website getting a low Flesch reading ease score, you need to take measures to simplify the content and make it more readable.

Ideally, you should aim for a score of 65. It’s because a score ranging between 60 to 80 is usually understood pretty well by teenagers. Here’s the formula to determine your score.


Flesch Kincaid Readability Score Formula

206.835 – 1.015 X (The Total Words / Sentences) – 84.6 X (Total Syllables / Words).


The Flesch Kincaid grade level is the second number, and it informs you of the school grade you should be to understand the text on the page. As a thumb rule, the major part of the text should be comprehended by children belonging to seventh grade. Here’s the formula for the grade level.

Flesch Kincaid Grade Level Formula

0.39 X (The Total Words / Sentences) + 11.8 X (Total Syllables / Words) – 15.59.



The Concept Behind Flesch Reading Ease Score

One can observe that both the reading ease and grade level utilize similar metrics, i.e., length of the words and sentences. However, they correspond inversely. It means that if you get a good score on the reading ease test, you should be getting a lower grade level score.

The core concept behind this score is that lengthier words and sentences are difficult to read by people. Consequently, the reading test punishes the writer for using them. Sort sentences containing short words receive a greater score.

For instance, the sentence ‘The rat sat on the hat’ has a score of 116. On the other hand, a lengthy sentence containing challenging words receives a much lower score.

However, at times people really cannot avoid using lengthy words. Sometimes, the true message can only get communicated by using longer words and sentences. There’s no need to worry on this front. The formula is quite a flexible one. You can create short sentences to get the perfect score.


The Significance of Content Readability in Websites

It is tough for people to make sense of long sentences and words. Today’s situation is totally different from what it was a few centuries ago. Some of the most remarkable English literature pieces of the 18th and 19th centuries had sentences that were a paragraph long! But today, with the decreasing attention span of people, the length of a sentence is significantly small. You cannot expect people to stick around to read your content if it is in the format of long prose.

Likewise, words with numerous syllables are more challenging for a person to read than those with smaller syllables. For instance, a sentence like ‘It was a laborious undertaking’ is challenging to read than a sentence like ‘It was a tough job.’

If your content has many hard-to-read sentences, visitors will leave your page within a very short time. Contrarily, suppose the content has an extremely low Flesch Kincaid grade level score. In that case, people will undoubtedly think that it isn’t informative or valuable enough to read. It’s because if you are creating content for a medical publication, you certainly wouldn’t desire it to sound as if it’s written for people who don’t have any idea about it. Both these factors can prevent people from engaging with your services.


The SEO Gains of Flesch Reading Ease Score

It’s imperative to consider readability when creating web copies. If your website content is too complex, your audience will not understand it well. Its direct result will be a high bounce rate that will cause your website to rank lower on the search engine results. Google’s algorithms are turning more human-like. Apart from that, voice search is also increasing. These two factors make it imperative for your website to have readable text. So, carrying out your web content’s Flesch Kincaid readability test is a best practice whose significance you shouldn’t overlook.

This test is quite helpful for creating a range of search-engine-optimized content. It is suitable for the following:

  • Developing website copies
  • Creating product advertisements
  • Generating terms and conditions that are not confusing
  • Enhancing your website’s SEO performance
  • Selecting books for a class or a program
  • Content editing
  • Communicating your research outcomes to readers who are not aware of it.

The Flesch Kincaid reading level can impart numerous insights into how simple your text is to comprehend. It will thus allow you to put across your message to your audience in a better way and be assured that they will grasp it. When you create readable content and have a greater engagement rate, it will yield you multiple benefits. You can achieve the following with it.

  • Low bounce rate
  • Greater time on site
  • Content building according to the demands of your reader
  • More social shares

If you have an eCommerce website content with an ideal Flesch Kincaid grade level score will help your customers understand your product descriptions. They are more likely to act on your call to action. When they know the benefits and features of your products, they will be quick to add them to their shopping carts and spend money on them. Not only that, but they will also come back to your site and engage with your services more. It will thus give a boost to your business.


How Can You Test Your Writing for Flesch Reading Ease?

You can avail of various free online tools for testing the reading ease of your writing. Two highly effective tools that you can check out are:

  • Readability Formulas

Navigate to readabilityformulas.com, copy and paste your text in the space and get the score on different readability formulas which includes Flesch. The tool will also provide you with a list of difficult words. You can then modify them to improve the readability.

  • Online-Utility.org

This site provides you with a Flesch score. It also lays down the average number of words in each sentence, syllables in every word, and various sentences that you can modify.


How to Use Flesch Kincaid Grade Level Score to Improve Readability

Concise and clear sentences ensure that your text gets easily interpreted by most people. So, if you want to use the score of this test to your advantage, you should pay attention to two things:


1. Make your sentences shorter.

When you create short sentences, readers can quickly grasp the information that they convey. They don’t have to think hard about what you are trying to communicate. Shorter sentences keep the readers focused and read a significant portion of your text.

Many people refrain from writing shorter sentences as they feel that it will not make the sentence meaningful. But that’s the wrong assumption. You can convey the same information in smaller sentences that are easy to read.


2. Limit the usage of complex words

Words having four or more syllables are challenging to read. So, refrain from using them. If you simply cannot avoid their usage, limit their occurrence in the text. For instance, use words like ‘tiny’ instead of ‘microscopic.’ Use ‘near’ instead of ‘forthcoming.’

Apart from that, don’t use much jargon if you want to capture a vast audience base. If you are from a healthcare domain, create your content for people who don’t have a medical background. If you use terms like ‘intravenous’ or ‘analgesic,’ they won’t understand it. That’s why it’s essential to create readable content which automatically optimizes it for the search engine.


Final Words

Keeping content readability in mind is critical for copywriters, web developers, marketers, and SEO specialists. Businesses can also seek reliable content writing services whose writers employ the best practices to create easy-to-read and understandable content. It allows brands to communicate their message better and capture a massive audience base.