Information and content about any topic is easily accessible on internet. CIA’s The World Factbook says that literacy rate of developed nations is 99%. However, not all of them can read and write well. This leads to a question – what percentage of that easily accessible content is readable. Moreover, what readability tests for blogging and content creation can help writers to churn good content on Internet.
It is important for a writer to know reading level of readers and what they want to read. This is where readability comes into picture. Readability is the ease with which a reader can read and understand. This becomes essential in content creation.
Need for Readability Tests for Blogging and Content Creation –
- Reading ease – It results from writing style. Many content writers think that single sentence paragraph makes a great prose. It is true, but how many readers are comfortable with prose? Very few. A content writer has to consider reading ease of the text.
- The quality of written language – The quality of language makes content easy to read and understand.
- Level of difficulty – Use of jargon can be tempting. Content writers need to keep their blog simple to enhance readability.
- Composition – Imagine these points collated in a paragraph using semicolons. It would be difficult to read then.
What Influences Readability?
- How the writer writes – Each aspect in the above section has to be considered.
- The speed of reading – Readability also depends on how fast a reader reads.
- Location – The place where a reader reads (library, cafeteria or during travel) influences readability.
- Source – Paperback book, kindle and phone are some sources of reading that affect readability.
- Experience of reader – A beginner may want to read easy sentences while an experienced reader may be interested in reading prose.
There may be more factors that influence readability. A writer can’t control all the factors. However, you can control the way you write.
Readability Tests for Blogging and Content Creation –
There are standard readability tests. One can use them to practice different writing styles. The following are some readability tests for blogging and content creation –
This is an integral part of most word processing software. It is commonly used in academics and government. They consider average number of syllables per word and average number of words per sentence to determine the score. Recommended score – On a scale of 1-100, 1 is very complicated to read and 100 the easiest. A content writer should look to score around 60-70.
This test is similar to Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease but the results are given as academic grades from 0-12. Recommended score – It depends on audience but 7th-8th grade is considered a good score.
3. Cloze Test
It is based on Gestalt theory of closure. It states that brain tries to fill out the missing pieces and words in a sentence. Online usability expert Angela Coulter recommends 20-25 blanks in a 125-250 words passage. Score is number of correct answers by reader divided by number of blanks. Recommended score – A content writer must look to score 60% or better. Scores in 40-60% mean readers might find it difficult to read the text. Anything below 40% should be re-written.
This relies on average number of syllables. It is measured in terms of grade level. Recommended score – 7- 8 but depends on audience.
It identifies complex words. This also omits Jargon, proper nouns and compound words. It gives grade-level score of 1-unlimted. Recommended score – The ideal score is 7-8 depending on the audience.
6. SMOG Index
Some define it as “Simple measure of Gobbledygook”. They calculate it on the basis of syllables. Take 30 sentences (ten from the starting, ten from the middle and ten from the end). Count the number of syllables. Calculate the square root and add 3. It gives the grade-level. Recommended score – 7-8 based on audience.
It has two variables – characters per word and words per sentence. The score is in terms of grade-level. Recommended score – 7- 8 but again depends on audience.
The graph is obtained by plotting the average number of syllables and average number of sentences per 100 words. Recommended score – This also depends on the audience.
The readability tests for blogging are subjective to the reader or target audience. Writing is all about making a point on a given topic. Using extra words is redundant. Jargon is not necessary unless the writer wants to produce a great work of literature. In fact, even eminent writers use few words to tell a story succinctly. The primary agenda of content writing is to communicate.
Moreover, the readability tests for blogging aren’t mandatory but the best bloggers recommend to create content in alignment with these tests. They give an overview about how a message can reach out to maximum audience.
We, as a team of creative content writers believe in effective communication and providing good reading experience to the readers. Hence, we ensure that the text is easy to read and understand.
At Pixelergy – a digital marketing company in Ahmedabad, we ensure that all the blogs of our clients are SEO optimized and they show best results in the readability tests for blogging.
In our experience as a digital marketing agency in Ahmedabad, we have understood the importance of content and we walk that extra mile to churn out the best content for the social media handles of our clients.
If you want to know more about the art of content writing or have an interesting digital marketing project to discuss, feel free to contact us.