What is readability? If you’re a writer looking for a more effective way to reach their audience, then you’re probably asking yourself this very question. And it’s a good one! The readability of your content can have a major impact on how it’s received by your readers. In fact, it’s often the difference between a successful article and a complete flop.
In this article, we’re going to explore readability. We’ll talk about what it is, why it’s important, how you can check for it, and give you some tips on improving the readability of your content.
What Is Readability?
Readability has to do with how easy it is to read a given text. So, if your content has high readability, then it’s easy to read. If it has low readability, then it’s difficult to read.
The readability of text depends on a variety of factors. This includes everything from word choice to sentence length to the overall structure of your content.
Now, this may sound like a lot, but you need to pay attention to all the different aspects of readability if you want to effectively reach your audience. It’s more important than you may think.
Why Is Readability Important?
In a nutshell, this is why readability is important: no one wants to struggle their way through content. And they don’t have to these days.
It’s often easy to find multiple articles and sources covering the same topics online, with new ones coming out all the time. So, if a reader can’t easily read and understand your content, they’ll just hop back on Google and find the information they need somewhere else.
But when you focus on creating readable content, you’ll notice the opposite effect. Readers will stay on your site for longer, and may just click through to your other pages if they like what they see. This can go a long way in building a trusting relationship with your audience, which is key to online success.
How to Check the Readability of Your Writing
Now that you know what it is and why it’s important, you may be wondering: how do I measure the readability of my content? Well, the most common way is to use a readability formula.
Readability formulas like the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease and the Gunning Fog Index have been around for decades, and for good reason: they work. But they work a little differently.
Take the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease formula, for example. It uses the number of words, syllables, and sentences to come up with a readability score between 0 and 100. A high score means that it has high readability.
The Gunning Fog Index, on the other hand, calculates a score from 0-20 based on the percentage of complex words and the average number of words in a sentence. A high score here has low readability.
As you can see, readability formulas and scores can get a little confusing, so it can be difficult to calculate them yourself. But here’s the good news: you don’t have to. All you need is a readability checker.
Originality.AI’s readability checker will run your text through the most reliable readability formulas, and calculate your scores for you. It will also tell you which score you should be aiming for to make your content more readable. Since the formulas use different scoring systems, this can make the entire process less confusing.
How to Improve the Readability of Content
So, after running your content through a checker, what do you do if your readability score isn’t where it should be? Well, there are a few things you can try:
- Use short, common words: Don’t confuse your audience with complex, multisyllable words.
- Writer shorter sentences: A good rule of thumb is to stick with one idea per sentence.
- Avoid jargon and acronyms: If you believe they’re necessary to your content, then at least define them for your audience.
- Write in the active voice: It may not be an issue in everyday conversation, but using the passive voice can hurt the clarity of your writing.
- Keep adverbs to a minimum: Unless they’re necessary, replace them with active verbs wherever possible.
- Use a readability checker: They’re not just for calculating scores. A readability checker will also highlight complex words, long sentences, and adverbs to make improving readability that much easier.
So, what is readability? Well, it’s a measure of how easy it is to read a given text, and an essential part of writing effective content. When you pay attention to the readability of your content, you make it that much easier to build a trusting relationship with your readers. And it's this trust that can really help your work thrive online.
Plus, with tools like Originality’s readability checker in your corner, determining and improving the readability of your content has never been easier. In fact, since it’s free, you almost can’t afford not to use it!