Readability Analysis

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Image-Readability Analysis
Image-Readability Analysis

By and large Readability Analysis makes content more readable. So use shorter words and shorter sentences. Grammarly is available both as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox or an App and improves Grammer and Spelling. This App is available both for free and at a premium. Thus a Readability Score is a number indicating how easy it will be to read a piece of text. In brief, the Readability Checker calculates the number of sentences, words, syllables, and characters in the text. Hence, use more active voice and transition words in your sentences. Generally speaking, transition words act as bridges that connect the ideas in your content. Therefore Readability formulas anticipate the difficulty level of text by analyzing text passages. Thus it measures average word length and sentence length and provides a grade-level score. Background color, writing, typography & hierarchy make content readable and legible for enhancing UX.

Why Readability is Important?

At first, all the text must be easy to read. Obviously, content writing effort will waste off if your text is difficult to understand. Hence Readability Analysis comes in. Therefore, improve readability in WordPress using the Yoast SEO plugin and focus on the content. So a text with high readability means it is easier to read. Similarly, a text with low readability implies that many users will have trouble reading it. For SEO, balance your Flesch-Kincaid level to be neither too high nor too low. Moreover too high means your content is too hard to read. Likewise too low indicates your content is very simple that would lack value and not deserve a thorough read. Therefore it results in your pages’ high bounce rate. Above all users leave without interacting with your content.

Readability Formulas

Google’s algorithm considers ‘ease of reading’ as a factor when ranking sites. Hence Search Engines determine the quality of your site’s content by analyzing its readability. To begin with, Readability Test formulas used for English Text are

  • Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES),
  • Flesch-Kincaid grade level,
  • Gunning’s Fog Index,
  • SMOG index,
  • Automated Readability Index (ARI) and
  • Coleman-Liau Index.

Readability Analysis: Higher Scores Material, Easier to Read.

All in all the Flesch Reading Ease fig 1.0 calculates how easy your content is to read and outputs a number 0-100. Moreover, it has to do with word length and sentence length.

So lower the result, the more difficult your piece of content is to read. Thus a score of 100 means your piece of content is 100% readable. Hence for a 5th-grade reading level aim at a score of 90-100 text. Comparatively, for college graduates, a low score of 0-30 text would suffice. But also for SEO anything around 60-70 should work for the average reader.

fig1-Readability Analysis-Flesch Reading Ease
fig 1-Readability Analysis-Flesch Reading Ease

Readability Analysis: Grade level to Understand Text

In general, Flesch-Kincaid, calculates a readability score. So It focuses attention on sentence length over word length and outputs a scale of a US school grade level. In order to target a business audience, aim for a score of 65.

Overall the Coleman-Liau Index considers the average number of letters per 100 words, and the average number of sentences per 100 words. So an output number of 10.6 means appropriate for a 10-11th-grade high school student.

Accordingly, the Automated Readability Index accounts for the number of characters, words, and sentences. Hence ARI evaluates the grade level needed to comprehend the text. eg: If the ARI outputs the number 10, means students in the tenth grade, ages 15-16 years, should be able to comprehend the text.

Readability Analysis: Years of Education to Understand Text

In particular, Gunning Fog fig 1.1 is the percentage of complex words, higher syllable counts, and a number of sentences. So if you aim for 7 a 12to13-year-old will be able to understand. Thus with a score > 12, you can target University Students.

fig2-Fog Number
fig2-Fog Number

In brief, SMOG fig 1.2 is based on word length and sentence length. Moreover, SMOG Index number approximates the age needed to understand the text. The Lower the score the better it is but aim for 7. Finally, the SMOG Conversion Chart is given below.

fig3-SMOG Conversion Chart
fig3-SMOG Conversion Chart

Tools used to measure Readability

In general, many tools are available to measure Readability. So the preview text of this Article (referred to as input text) was tested for Readability?

Hemingway Editor

The ‘preview text’ pasted in the Hemingway Editor fig 1.3 yielded results as shown below-

fig4-Readability Analysis: Hemingway Editor
fig4-Readability Analysis: Hemingway Editor

So use this Hemingway App to find excessive adverbs and passive voice. As a result, it highlights long sentences which you can split. The difficult sentences are also marked in yellow. Hence the test report indicated that the text is suited for Grade 9.


fig5-WebFx tool: Readability Analysis of Preview Text
fig5-WebFx tool: Readability Analysis of Preview Text

Likewise, paste a text or test by URL or test by referer. Six Reading Formulas have been calculated above by WebFx Tool fig 1.4 for the same input. It shows a readability score based on Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease (53.4), Flesch Kincaid Grade Level (9.1), Gunning Fog Score (10.7), SMOG Index (8.9), Coleman Liau Index(13.9), and the Automated Readability Index (9). As a result, the input preview text is shown to be suited for an average grade level of about 10. That is, it can be understood by 15-16-year-old.

Automatic Readability Checker

The Automatic Readability Checker tool will analyze text and output the results. In addition to the six readability formulas mentioned above, it will also take into account the Linsear Write Readability Formula. Based on these seven readability formulas, it will help determine the grade level for the text.

Linsear Write Readability Formula

fig6-Linsear Write Readability
fig6-Linsear Write Readability

The Linsear Write formula is a readability metric used to determine how difficult a text is to read. It is based on the number of words having 3 or more syllables. The sample text should contain at least 100 words. Values correspond to the number of years of education a reader requires in order to understand a text. For example, a value of 4 corresponds to 7-11-year-old readers while 11 corresponds to 14-17-year-olds. Check the PDF-Automatic Readability Checker report by clicking on automatic-readability-checker-report.

fig7-Examples of Transition Words
fig7-Examples of Transition Words

A transition word connects your sentence with the next. In fact use transition words that consider the functions to make your writing flow naturally. If sufficient transition words are not used, the text will become hard to read. In Yoast SEO Analysis Report, the post should achieve a score of 30% or more for the red button to turn into green.

Active and Passive Voice

The percentage of passive voice, when calculated for your sentence should be low. Difference between an Active Voice and Passive Voice is-

For Active voice, the sentences are brief and clear. Moreover, the word count is manageable. Hence in Active voice, the subject of the sentence is performing the action. eg: Subhodh played chess.

Likewise for Passive voice, the subject of the sentence receives the action by someone. eg: The chess was played by Subhodh. In Yoast SEO the passive voice score should not be more than 10%

fig8-Yoast SEO Readability Analysis
fig8-Yoast SEO Readability Analysis

Optimizing Readability for SEO

Readability increases the user experience but also improve SEO. To conclude the Principles of Readability Analysis have been applied to this post. Accordingly, the results have reflected in the Yoast SEO Readability Analysis report. In the report note that all buttons have turned to green. Using transition words in text for readability is just one aspect of SEO. Hence all content has to be optimized for Search Engines so that it appears in the front results.

Nowadays especially it is the age of the internet. However, Bots or spiders track all activity on the web. Obviously, Readability has to satisfy humans and not search engines. Then only will they return to your site for more.