Flesch Reading Ease and SEO

As you use the Yoast WordPress plugin, you’ll likely notice something called the Flesch reading ease score. The plugin assigns a numerical value to each post, as well as a color rating. Instead of just ignoring this, you can use this score to greatly improve your site.

One thing many people fail to realize is they don’t write well for the Internet. In school, you might’ve been encouraged to write long, flowery sentences. When you’re writing for a website, it’s time to stop mimicking Shakespeare. Web users are impatient. They want information quickly. You need to write accordingly. The Flesch reading ease score will help you know how you’re doing.

If your site is too hard to read, people will move on. Your bounce rate will climb. This hurts your SEO.

The higher your score for each post, the more readable it is. You can get up to a 100, which is extremely readable. You can get all the way down to a 0, which is highly unreadable. These scores are calculated with an average audience in mind.

A score of 65 means you’re writing in plain English. That’s good for SEO and rankings. You should aim to make this your minimum score.

Basically, you’re aiming for two ideals. One, use short sentences. The best way to do this is chop up longer ones whenever possible. Short sentences are easier to scan. They speed up your reading. People on the Internet like that.

The other ideal is to avoid big words. Using plenty of words with one or two syllables will boost your Flesch reading ease score. Using words with three or more syllables will hurt it.

All of this might sound simple, but it can be hard to master. That’s where the Yoast plugin really helps. If you don’t have as high a score as you’d like, go back and make changes. Over time, the way you write will transform.

To be honest, nobody knows if the Google algorithm uses the Flesch reading ease score. It may or may not. Regardless, the readability of your website affects reader behavior, which influences SEO. This makes knowing and improving your scores invaluable.

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