what is flesch reading ease

If you use Yoast SEO or any other popular SEO plugin on your WordPress blog, you may already be familiar with those plugins’ readability analysis. However, you might be wondering: what is Flesch reading ease, and what can I do to improve it? 😎

You’re not alone. Many WordPress users find themselves asking what is Flesch reading ease. Luckily, this metric is very straightforward. Basically, it tells you if your text is easy to read (or not). Plus, it’s not so difficult to get a good Flesch reading ease score when you implement a few good writing practices.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at 🔎 the Flesch reading ease score and why it’s important. Then, we’ll share a few tips to help you improve your score. Let’s get started!

📚 Table of contents:

What is Flesch reading ease score?

The Flesch reading ease is a metric that measures the readability of a piece of text. It’s named after the writer who created it, Rudolf Flesch.

This readability test is often used in education to judge the difficulty level of books. It takes two factors into consideration when determining the score of a text:

  • the average length of sentences (measured by the number of words)
  • the average number of syllables per word

👉 A high score (60-100) suggests that the text is easy to read, while any score lower than 60 means that the content is difficult to read and understand. Here’s a complete breakdown of the scores:

  • 90-100: The text is very easy to read and can be understood by an 11-year-old student.
  • 80-90: The content is written in conversational English and is easy to read.
  • 70-80: Overall, the text is fairly easy to read.
  • 60-70: The text is written in plain English and can be understood by 13 to 15-year-old students.
  • 50-60: The writing is fairly difficult to read.
  • 30-50: The text is difficult to read and is best understood by college graduates.
  • 0-30: The content is very difficult to read and is best understood by university graduates.

As you can see, the scores are based on the level of education. However, the Flesch reading ease test can also be applied to web copy and other forms of online content, like articles.

In fact, several SEO plugins like Yoast use it to determine the difficulty level of a blog post:

Yoast Flesch reading ease score.

Any number above 60-70 is considered a good score. It means your text is written in clear, easy English and can be understood by almost everyone.

Why is Flesch reading ease score important?

Now that we looked at what is Flesch reading ease and how it’s measured, let’s discuss its importance.

As we have seen, a good score (60-100) suggests that your content is easy to read and understand. Even if your blog targets a fluent audience with a high level of education, your posts should still be readable.

It’s important to remember that a large portion of your site visitors will be viewing your content from a mobile device. If they’re met with large chunks of text and lengthy sentences, they may easily feel put off by all the scrolling and wordy language. This can lead to a higher bounce rate, as many people will likely exit the page before they finish reading the post.

Additionally, around 73% of people will just skim through your blog posts [1]. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that your content is not just readable, but also skimmable.

Aiming for a high Flesch reading ease score can help you increase engagement on your site. If a visitor finds your content interesting and easy to read, they may decide to check out other posts on your blog.

A high engagement rate will show Google that your site offers valuable and relevant content. This may in turn help improve your rankings in search engine results.

Plus, if your content is easy to understand, users are more likely to read a post till the end. They might even click on your affiliate links, leave a comment, or share your post.

Therefore, a Flesch reading ease score can help you publish engaging content. You can use it to determine the readability of your posts and make the necessary adjustments to improve the text.

How do you improve the Flesch reading ease score?

Now, let’s look at a few tips to help you improve your Flesch reading ease score. As mentioned earlier, this metric is based on the average length of sentences and the number of syllables per word.

Therefore, if you have a lot of long sentences in your content, you’ll likely get a low score. Likewise, a post that contains many difficult words will not fare well in the Flesch reading ease test.

Fortunately, if you’re using Yoast on your site, the plugin will tell you if a post contains a high percentage of long sentences:

Long sentences warning in Yoast SEO.

If you click on the eye icon, it will even highlight these sentences for you. Then, you can simply rewrite them so that they’re shorter and easier to read.

Yoast also recommends using fewer difficult words. This is particularly important if you want to reach a broad audience.

For example, if you write troubleshooting guides for website owners, you’ll want to avoid using technical jargon. Many readers will be unfamiliar with these concepts. Plus, they likely want someone to explain the problem in simple terms.

As you’re writing your post, you’ll want to keep an eye on your Flesch reading ease score. Otherwise, you might get to the end, find a bad score, and have to rewrite the post.

If you use Yoast, select the SEO tab and then locate the Insights section:

Yoast Insights.

Click on it and scroll down to your Flesch reading ease score:

An example of a bad Flesch reading score in Yoast SEO.

Here, you’ll also find the average reading time of your post and the word count. If you have an unsatisfactory score, Yoast will suggest using shorter sentences and easier vocabulary.

Conclusion 🧐

The Flesch reading ease score is a metric that measures the readability of a text. A high score (60-100) indicates that the content is easy to read and understand. This can make your posts more engaging and lead to better rankings in search results.

Some SEO plugins like Yoast will include this metric in their analysis. To make your content more readable, you’ll want to use shorter sentences and avoid difficult words. Overall, you’ll need to aim for simple and concise language.

💡 Now that you understand what Flesch reading ease is, check out some more WordPress SEO tips to boost your search rankings.

We did our best to answer the question “what is Flesch reading ease?” and how to improve it, but if you still have some questions, please let us know in the comments section below!

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