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.

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.

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 66.1.

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