What is content readability and how to improve it

What Is Content Readability And How To Improve Readability Score

Do you wonder why readers immediately skip your online content without reading it? The low readability of content can be a reason for this. 

Most people skip without reading when they find the text hard to understand. If you want more readers to your content, the best way is to improve your content readability score.

The content readability score is measured to analyze how easily and effectively a piece delivers the main idea to the reader. The article is a detailed guide about content readability, its measurement, and tips to make your content more readable. 

Let’s get started and dive deep into the details of how to make your content more readable for the audience. 

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What Is Content Readability:

Content readability is the calculated score of how easy or hard your content is to understand for the reader. In simple words, if a reader can easily understand your content with the minimum level of education, your content is readable content. Alternatively, if a normal reader can’t understand your content, it’s not readable. 

Readability is fundamental in online publishing because people like to read simple and easy-to-understand content these days. If your content lacks in readability, most of the readers will not get the desired outcome, and they will immediately skip it.  

As a professional content writer, it’s your primary job to write content that can be understood by a huge audience without any difficulty. Remember, your readers don’t have vocabulary like you, so use simple and easy language to resonate with the reader.

How Content Readability Is Measured:

Content readability is measured in a grade system, mostly from 1-10 or above, based on the method. This includes checking the used language, words, length of sentences, and the reader’s comprehension level to understand the written content. 

The readability tests are designed to measure the above-mentioned factors and give a rating score to your content. In every method, a low score refers to high readability and a high score refers to low readability of content. 

Some of the most common readability test methods are described below.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Formula:

Flesch-Kincaid is the most common readability testing formula to calculate the readability score of a text worldwide. This formula basically focuses on syllable count per word and average sentence length to calculate the readability score. 

Mathematical Equation = 0.39(Total sentences / total words​)+11.8(Total words / Total syllables​)−15.59

The formula calculates the lowest US education grade level required to understand your content. For example, if the score is 7, it means your content requires 7-grade education to be understood. The best-recommended score for online publications is between 6-8.

Lexile Readability Framework:

The Lexile readability framework is primarily used in schools to calculate the readability of academic content. It helps the teacher and parents to select the most suitable learning material according to the abilities of an individual student. 

Lexile uses a hidden algorithm to calculate the readability score of any given text. It works in two parts, measuring sentence length with word frequency and analyzing the individual’s ability to learn. 

Gunning Fog Content Readability Formula:

The gunning fog formula evaluates the readability of content by complex words and length of sentences. It is mainly focused on calculating hard words containing more than 3 syllables and the average length of sentences. 

Mathematical Equation=0.4averge sentence length + number of words containing more than 3 syllables 

Authors can align their content according to the audience by checking readability with this formula. The ideal readability score is between 7-8.

Smog Indexing:

Smog is the abbreviation of “simple measure of gobbledygook”. It also works in the same manner to calculate average sentence length and usage of hard words. It evaluates 10,10 sentences from the beginning, middle, and end of the content to calculate the results. The ideal score is between 6 and 8.

Mathematical Equation =(number of words with 3 syllable)30.0

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Proven Tips To Improve Your Content Readability:

We are pretty much clear with the details of content readability and methods to measure it. Let’s move to the main point, which is how to improve the readability score of your content and make it easy to understand for a wide audience. Below are some of the proven tips that can help you to improve the readability of your content. 

Use Short Sentences:

Short and concise sentences are always easy to understand and convey the message accurately. Always tend to deliver your message with minimum words, so your reader can quickly read and understand the context. Once you have written your first draft of the content, read and cut down unnecessary words from each sentence.

Write In Simple Language:

Let’s suppose you are reading a piece of content and most of the words are unfamiliar to you, and you can’t understand the content properly. What will you do? Continue reading or skip it? Definitely, you will skip the content and move to any other easily written text that you can understand effectively. 

The same goes for everyone, nobody wants to read content that is not understandable. So, as a professional writer, always write content in simple and easy-to-understand language and words.

For example, don’t use euphoric instead of happy or gigantic instead of big. 

Don’t overuse Adjectives and Adverbs:

Using adjectives and adverbs helps you clearly describe your message. But sometimes excessive use of these can annoy your readers and bore them. As a rule, always use only necessary adjectives and adverbs and avoid overuse. 

Use Active Voice Instead Of Passive Voice:

Using active voice instead of passive is a good way to improve your content readability. Read the examples to understand the difference between active voice and passive voice.

When the subject of your sentence performs some action, it is called an active voice. 

  • She(subject) cooked(action) a tasty dinner. 

On the other hand when the subject of the sentence receives some action that is called passive Voice. 

  • A tasty dinner(subject, receiver) was cooked(action) by her.

Avoid Using Jargon and Industry-Specific Terms:

Any technical or industry-specific language that is not understandable to a common reader is called jargon.  

For example: 

Do you know what the term myocardial infarction means? Most of us don’t! It is a term used as jargon for heart attacks in the medical field.

Now, suppose your content contains any similar terms that are not common to normal readers, they will lose interest in reading. It’s fundamental to avoid the use of jargon to keep the readers interested and achieve a high readability score. 

Divide Your Content Into Small Paragraphs:

Dividing the whole content into small sub-paragraphs brings more clarity and provides a better user experience to the reader. Always try to keep writing in short paragraphs, as a rule of thumb write each paragraph with a maximum of 4 lines in length.

Use Professional Fonts:

Fonts are another important factor that is considered while measuring the readability of content. It’s not recommended to use fancy fonts like Lobster or Pacifica for writing long content. Always use professional fonts like Roboto, Aerial, or Times New Roman for writing long content. 

Break Your Topic Into Subheadings:

Heading(h1) and subheadings(h2,h3) are always helpful in presenting the content professionally by separating the topics. Always break your content into subheadings to effectively describe every single important point about your topic. 

Proper Formatting:

Lastly, formatting is necessary to improve content readability and make your content more readable.  Use lists, numbers, bullets, and proper spacing between paragraphs. Also, you can bold the important words and add backlinks for uncommon terms to give more specific details on any topic. 

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Best Tools For Checking Content Readability:

Final Thoughts To Improve Content Readability:

Readable content is one that is written in simple language and is understandable with a minimum level of education. There are different methods available to measure content readability, such as the Flesch Kincaid formula or Lexile readability framework. 

You can measure the readability of your content using free online tools such as Hemingway Editor and Grammarly. The readability of content can be improved by using simple language, easy words, short sentences, small paragraphs, avoiding jargon, and proper formatting of content  


  1. How can I check the readability score of my content?

You can check the readability of your content by using different online tools like Hemingway Editor and Grammarly. 

  1. What is the best score for good text readability?

There are many methods to check the readability of text, and the score depends on each method independently. But mostly, a grade score between 6-8 is considered best.

  1. Is content readability important for SEO?

Yes, search engines count the readability of content and promote readable content to offer the best user experience to the readers. Also, hard-to-read content can mislead the search engine about the context of the content.


7 responses to “What Is Content Readability And How To Improve Readability Score”

  1. Aiman Fatima Avatar
    Aiman Fatima

    Wow Haseeb. It’s really an informative article. The readability of your own content is also good…
    I really want to appreciate your efforts.. Well done

  2. Sana Mansoor Avatar
    Sana Mansoor

    You’ve done a fantastic job Haseeb! explaining how to make writing easy to understand. Using simple words and making short sentences can help a lot, Your article is the best example for this. Also, avoiding difficult words and organizing the writing nicely makes it more interesting for readers. Keep up 👍🏻 the good work!

    1. Thanks for your brief comment. I am glad you are getting values from my content.

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