Writing for Readability
Writing fresh blog posts and adding new web pages is one way to build SEO. Simply adding content for the sake of search rankings ignores a major factor: how you engage your target audience. Every business brand has a unique voice, using tone and word choice to tempt a prospect to read on and potentially convert into a lead. Yet how do you know if your content is readable? In this post, I’ll explain three different content analysis methodologies.
Why Use Content Analysis Tools?
It may seem an obvious question, however, we’ve found that many brands don’t actually use a content analysis tool to evaluate if their copy is written in a way that appeals to their target audience. Also known as language analysis, content analysis is a way to grade your web copy based on reading abilities. If you write above an audience’s reading comprehension, you’ll most likely to quickly lose them (and negatively affect your website’s bounce and conversion rate).
Flesch Reading Ease
The Flesch Reading Ease breaks up by age level. This content analysis tool uses a formula to calculate how easy the copy is to read and comprehend. Here’s the breakdown of the scoring system:
- 90 – 100: easily understood by the average 11-year-old student
- 60 – 70: easily understand by 13- to 15-year-old students
- 0 – 30: best for a college graduate
Overall, the simpler the sentences and use of monosyllabic words, the higher your content analysis score. Depending on your customer personas, you should know where to aim your content, but in general, it is best to keep things as simple as possible. Typically website readers won’t take the time to struggle through convoluted prose when they’re looking to make a purchase.
Cliff Note: The higher the Flesch Reading Ease score, the easier it is to read.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
An alternative content analysis tool, the F-K Grade Level test, is used extensively in education. It translates a score to U.S. grade levels, making it easier for teachers, school administrators, librarians and parents to judge the reading level in books for students.
Cliff Note: Use the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level content analysis tool if you provide materials used in schools or for students.
Grammarly is a spellchecker and grammar correction tool that will work in your browser (note, it won’t work with Google docs sadly). Grammarly is more sophisticated than the default spell checker in Google Chrome and can save you some embarrassing mistakes by making things clear and easy to read.
Cliff Note: Grammarly is free, but you can pay for an upgraded version of the product if you think it’s useful.
Content Analysis In The Real World
Each content analysis tool has its pros and cons. I’ve come to terms that Mr. Flesch doesn’t give me high scores. He routinely dings me on writing to college graduates. As an online marketer, I’ve made the decision to “agree to disagree” with the content analytics assessment. My rationale? Our audience is marketers and individuals responsible for managing online marketing. It’s a complex and complicated job. There are several moving parts, some of which are extraordinarily technical. Plus, I’d like to think my audience is savvy enough to appreciate my vocabulary. The Flesch score for this post was 54… perfect for high school graduates and those with a bit of college. So take that Mr. Flesch.
Do you use content analysis tools for your web copy?
How can we help?
Need help creating engaging content on a regular basis? Not sure how to dig into your Analytics to find nuggets about your readers’ behavior?
We are The Spectrum Group, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss how to leverage customer testimonials.