How to Improve Your Readability Score on WordPress

By February 15, 2021Blogging, Content, SEO
how to improve your readability score on WordPress
This entry is part of 5 in the series SEO 101

Improving your readability score on WordPress will also improve your SEO ranking on Google. Attention spans run short on the internet—it’s so easy to scroll for a few seconds and instantly become bored. Google’s search engine loves articles that are easy to read and hold readers’ attention. This is why WordPress encourages users to go for a high readability score before publishing.

There are four simple concepts to keep in mind to improve your readability score on WordPress: keep it short, have a uniform layout, sound human, and use proper grammar.

Sentences or paragraphs that are the right length improve your readability score

The longer a person has to scroll through your words, the higher chance they have of getting bored and clicking away. Keep your sentences and paragraphs at a reasonable length.

Yoast SEO, a WordPress plug-in that rates SEO and readability, measures how easy it is to read your content by using the Flesch reading ease score. It measures the average length of your sentences and the average amount of syllables in each word on a scale from 0 – 100. A low score means only a college grad could understand it. Aim for a score of 60 or higher.

improve readability flesch reading score

A neat, uniform layout improves your readability by making your content easier on the eyes

Stick with only one or two font styles for a clean appearance. For more information about how to choose the best ones, check out this article. Also, break your content into block-style paragraphs and include subheadings for each section (Just like this article does!). However, don’t break out into too many subheading sections; it can look messy and overwhelming. Group them by concept or topic instead.

Sounding human will improve your readability score too

Yes, your sentences and paragraphs should be short, but they should be varied in length and style too. The way you write needs to be just as engaging and interesting as the ideas you’re writing about. Your content shouldn’t be a one-sided lecture or a series of perfectly aligned sentences; it should entertain or provoke thought or action. Use this guide on how to write more interesting content to relate your humanness to your audience.

Basic grammar rules matter just as much to improve your readability score

Of course, bad grammar and misplaced punctuation can make your content harder to read. Here are some simple rules to keep in mind:

  • Use the active voice for clear, concise writing.improve readability score grammar
  • Add transitional words and phrases to guide your reader from one idea to the next.
  • Twelve or 12? Oxford comma or no oxford comma? Write with a style guide in mind, like Associated Press (AP) or Chicago Manual, to be consistent on various writing conventions.

In addition, programs like Grammarly help find mistakes that accidentally slip past you.

Conclusion

There’s no specific formula to improve your readability score on WordPress. It’s all about striking the right balance between length, style, and variety. Using tools like Yoast SEO will give you personalized guidance on finding this balance. This site lists 10 free readability calculators online, along with instructions on how to view readability statistics right in Microsoft Word.

Which technique do you find the most useful for improving readability?

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Chitara Ellis

About Chitara Ellis

Chitara Ellis is a blogger at Seattle Web Search. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Chitara is a graduate of Georgia State University. By working at Seattle Web Search, she is hoping to grow as a writer and expand her knowledge of SEO.