Flesch reading ease score: Use it!

Flesch reading ease score: Use it!

If you use our Content Analysis Tool in the Yoast SEO plugin, you might have encountered the Flesch reading ease score. This score tells you how difficult your text is. How do we measure this Flesch reading ease score? And why is this score important for SEO? In this post, I’ll explain the importance of readability for SEO and how the Flesch reading ease test works.

On the readability tab of the Yoast SEO meta box, we run all kinds of checks to help you write copy that’s easy to read. You’ll find the Flesch reading ease score there, between the other checks.

Why is readability important for SEO?

It is unclear whether readability is an explicit ranking factor. Therefore we don’t know whether Google uses something like the Flesch score (or a variation for that matter) as a ranking factor in its algorithm. Either way, from a holistic SEO perspective, readability is very important.

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If your text is too difficult, the text is too hard to read for your audience. This might scare off your audience and make them search for information elsewhere. A difficult text will result in a high bounce rate, and this will lead to a lower ranking in the long run. So, you should make sure your texts are well written and not too difficult.

What does the Flesch reading ease test measure?

Flesch reading ease measures the textual difficulty of a text in English. Since the release of Yoast SEO 3.5, we also provide reliable scores for several languages.

The lower the score, the more difficult the text is. The Flesch readability score uses the sentence length (number of words per sentence) and the number of syllables per word in an equation to calculate the reading ease. Texts with a very high Flesch reading ease score (about 100) are straightforward to read. They have short sentences and no words of more than two syllables. Usually, a reading ease of 60-70 is believed to be acceptable/normal for web copy.

Score Notes
90 – 100 easily understood by an average 11-year old student
60 – 70 easily understood by 13-15-year-old students
0 – 30 best understood by university graduates

The Flesch Reading Ease Score of this blog post is 66.1.

Read more: ‘SEO copywriting: the Ultimate guide’ »

12 Responses to Flesch reading ease score: Use it!

  1. Abhishek
    By Abhishek on 9 July, 2015

    Honestly, I don’t care for the reading score. I organize the articles in subheadings and sub-section when I feel the need to do so.

  2. Paul Anderson
    By Paul Anderson on 8 July, 2015

    Thanks. I was using flesch reading scores on my ecommerce website earlier. i would like to inquire that should it is necessary on ecommerce as well.

    • Marieke van de Rakt
      By Marieke van de Rakt on 9 July, 2015

      I think that the Flesch reading score is important on every text on your website. Every text should be well readable!

  3. Jigar Patel
    By Jigar Patel on 8 July, 2015

    Thanks for the new updation yoast team. You are always coming with new things which is very helpful for the SEOs. Flesch reading ease score is an important factor in SEO which should be not be avoided. Thanks for sharing such great article with us.

  4. Nigel Abery
    By Nigel Abery on 8 July, 2015

    Great stuff! I am really keen to use the updated plugin!

  5. Ashley Fiddes
    By Ashley Fiddes on 8 July, 2015

    I have been noticing content readability has become part of SEO and having high flesch reading ease score is a good signal to your content.

  6. MBWS Marketing
    By MBWS Marketing on 7 July, 2015

    Nice article, but how does this work with other languages? I always seem to get a hard to read Flesh score when writing articles or pages is Dutch.

    What’s your take on this?

    • Service Laptop
      By Service Laptop on 14 July, 2015

      I was wondering the same. I allways have a bad score at this and after erading this article, one thing got cleared out. It is nor reliable in other languages, thus i won’t take it into account next time a write a post because my language is romanian. Even when i write in blocks with headings and stuff it seems that the etxt is hard to read tough it doesen’t really look like that. Great info because now i can exclude the flesch ease score and focus on more important aspects.

      • Marieke van de Rakt
        By Marieke van de Rakt on 14 July, 2015

        It is too bad that you can only use it in English. We are currently working on some other checks that will be appropriate to use in other languages as well. It will take a little while though!

    • Marieke van de Rakt
      By Marieke van de Rakt on 7 July, 2015

      The Flesch is designed for English. As you can imagine, syllables in English are different from syllables in Dutch. The Flesch in the Page Analysis just does not measure syllables correctly in Dutch. I would not say that the score is completely useless for Dutch texts, but I cannot say what kind of bias it has.

    By on 7 July, 2015

    Thanks for providing us such a great features, It really add the value to this plugins and make us becoming greater royal users.

    I’ve been using Yoast for a very long time and suggesting it for everyone that looks for SEO plugin. Best tool ever! Cheer :)

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