Flesch reading ease score: Use it!

If you use our Content Analysis Tool in the Yoast SEO plugin, you may have come across the Flesch reading ease score. This score tells you how easy your text is to read. But how is the Flesch reading ease score measured? 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.

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

Why is readability so important for SEO?

It is unclear whether readability is a specific ranking factor. Therefore we don’t know if Google uses tools like the Flesch score (or a variation of it) as a ranking factor in its algorithm. However, we do know that, from an holistic SEO perspective, readability is very important.

If your text is too complicated, the text will be too hard to read for your audience. This might scare them off and make them search elsewhere for information. Impenetrable text will result in a high bounce rate, leading to a lower rank in the long run. So, you should make sure your articles are well written and not too difficult to read.

What does the Flesch reading ease test measure?

Flesch reading ease measures the complexity of an English text. But since the release of Yoast SEO 3.5, we also provide reliable scores for several other languages too.

The lower the score, the more difficult the text is to read. The Flesch readability score uses the average length of your sentences (measured by the number of words) and the average number of syllables per word in an equation to calculate the reading ease. Text with a very high Flesch reading ease score (about 100) is straightforward and easy to read, with short sentences and no words of more than two syllables. Usually, a reading ease score of 60-70 is considered acceptable/normal for web copy.

source: Wikipedia.com

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 72.6.

Read more: SEO copywriting: the Ultimate guide »

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12 Responses to Flesch reading ease score: Use it!

  1. Abhishek
    Abhishek  • 4 years ago

    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
    Paul Anderson  • 4 years ago

    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

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

  3. Jigar Patel
    Jigar Patel  • 4 years ago

    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
    Nigel Abery  • 4 years ago

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

  5. Ashley Fiddes
    Ashley Fiddes  • 4 years ago

    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
    MBWS Marketing  • 4 years ago

    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
      Service Laptop  • 4 years ago

      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

        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

      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.

  7. SocialMediaMarketing.tips
    SocialMediaMarketing.tips  • 4 years ago

    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 :)

    • Marieke van de Rakt

      thanks! keep posted for the upcoming updates!