The crux to “readability” is writing better and clear content. Nowadays, readability is considered an integral part of on-page SEO.
A new trend has emerged known as Readability SEO.
In fact, “readability” is considered an important signal in ranking a website by most search engines including Google.
So, under any circumstances, one must avoid poor readability level.
Here, we have come up with 6 Best Readability Score Checker that helps you to gauge the readability level of your content.
Once you know the readability score, you can then make necessary improvements in your content so that it is easy for the readers to read and understand your content.
The term “Readability” is composed of two words.
“Read” + “Ability.”
It means the ability to read.
It is the ease of understanding content due to the style of writing.
Moreover, readability is the measure of the accessibility of a text and indicates how effectively content reaches the target audience.
In simple terms, readability is the “easiness” of reading an article. It is the ease with which a text can be read and understood.
Readability is measured by considering the Readability Score.
It is a computer-calculated index which goes on to show what level of education someone will need to read as well as comprehend a piece of content easily.
If a text is too difficult to read then, the audience will fail to understand it. They will not engage with the content.
However, if the content is too easy to read, the audience might get plain bored.
So, readability of a given text determines the extent to which people engage with the content.
The idea of readability originated in the 1920s.
It all started with Thorndike’s (1921) – The Teachers’ Word Book. It listed 10,000 words and assigned a particular value based on the frequency of use. It was meant to be used in teaching so that those words could be included in the vocabulary of students.
This book proved a catalyst for research into readability. By the late 1940s, a number of readability measures had emerged mapping scores to a grade level.
As of now, there are many ways to measure readability score.
Most common readability measures include:
- Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
- Flesch Reading Ease
- Gunning-Fog Index
- Coleman-Liau Index
These readability measurements use a different formula for calculating the readability score.
For example, here’s a description of Flesch Reading Ease score:
- 0.0 – 30.0: Content intended for university graduates.
- 60.0 – 70.0: Easily understood by an average 13 to 15-year-old student.
- 90.0 – 100.0: Easily understood by an average 11-year-old student.
The Flesch-Kincaid and Gunning-Fog Index provide scores directly based on grades, wherein a score of 7-8 is considered ideal.
Why Readability Matters?
Here we list out the reasons why readability should be a prime focus for content editors:
Your audience’s reading age is much lower than you think
Irrespective of the fact that your website is catering to the general public or a specific demographic, it is important to note that your audience’s reading age is lower than you might expect.
Consider this surprising insight from U.S. Literacy Project Foundation.
According to its findings, the average American has a readability level equivalent to a 7th/8th grader who is 12 to 14 years of age. This level is taken as a benchmark for writing guidelines in the medical arena.
Similarly, UK Central Government recommends content writers to go for a readability level of age nine. They have found out that around the age of nine, children don’t read common words and simply recognize their shape. It helps them to read faster.
So, you can improve the readability of your content by using simple words and keeping the sentences short.
Readability takes into consideration web accessibility
When you put readability at stake, you tend to discriminate against users who have learning disabilities. In fact, there are some users who read words letter for letter.
So, when you use complex words and long sentences, you make life difficult for them. It becomes a challenge for them to read your content that has complex words and long sentences.
If you go by WCAG guidelines, it explicitly states that reading texts should not demand a more advanced level than lower secondary schooling.
Pay Attention – Online Reading is Different
Irrespective of the literacy level, online reading is different than reading printed text. Studies show that people go on to scan web pages. They only read as much as 18% of the matter that’s on the webpage. Studies point out that when you convert print text to the web, you should reduce content by almost 50 percent.
Moreover, online users don’t read from top to bottom or word for word. They look for specific information and want to get it fast. They tend to become impatient if it is hard for them to find relevant information and even when the content is too wordy.
As a content editor, you must pay attention to how the text is formulated and what words you use. Online reading requires you to use shorter words and shorter sentences.
It helps to make your content user-friendly. So, you should reduce jargon and other poor readability elements from your content when you publish online.
So, we see that readability is a vital constituent of the overall digital content process. Readability proves an important factor in improving user engagement. Users like to read content that is user-friendly having short sentences and easy words.
Herein, comes the role of Readability Score Checker tools that go on to exhibit the readability score of content. When you know the readability score of your content, you can take evasive actions to improve readability.
As we now know, it is immensely important to have good readability score. We have listed some of the most popular Readability Score Checker tools for you.
So, let’s move ahead and check out this presentation on 6 Best Readability Score Checker Tools.
Here’s the list for you:
6 Top Readability Score Checker
1. Readable.io – Best Readability Score Checker
Readable.io is a leading Readability Score Checker.
It allows you to score any text, from Word docs to websites.
Readable.io makes use of the Flesch-Kincaid algorithm and the Gunning Fox Index for measuring the readability of texts. It also uses algorithms such as Flesch Reading Ease, SMOG Index, Automated Readability Index, and Coleman-Liau Index.
It analyses keyword density, does sentiment analysis, and also calculates typical reading and speaking times for your text. It points out the long sentences and highlights them for you to work on. It even highlights long words. You get to know where you used passive voice. It gives detailed text statistics such as a letter, word, and syllable counts. Plus, composition stats such as noun, adjective, and adverb counts.
Its advanced highlighting engine points out the areas where you can improve readability of your text. For example, long sentences are highlighted in yellow and very long in red.
Readable.io is being extensively used by teachers, accountants, marketers, lawyers, doctors, copywriters, authors, and many more.
2. Readability Test Tool – Best Reading Score Tool
Readability Test Tool by WebpageFX Inc. [US] is one of the easiest tools for testing the readability of your content. It is a quick and easy way of checking the readability score of your work.
It offers three ways to check the readability score of your content. You can test by URL, test by direct input, and test by referrer.
It shows readability score based on Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, SMOG Index, the Automated Readability Index, Gunning Fog Score, and Coleman Liau Index.
Test results are shown indicating the grade level of your page. It includes text statistics such as a number of words, average words per sentence, and much more.
3. Grammarly – Best Grammer and Spelling Checker
Grammarly helps you write at your best. It makes sure that everything you type is effective, clear, and mistake-free.
It’s much more than the basic spell and grammar check built into the word processor.
It’s a tool for error-free writing on Gmail, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and nearly anywhere else on the web.
Add to Chrome. It’s free. In fact, there are millions of happy Grammarly Chrome users today.
Moreover, Grammarly is available for MS Office and includes Plagiarism Checker, as well. You can even go for Grammarly Premium if you want additional features.
Grammarly scans your text and points out complex grammatical mistakes. It checks for subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement. It corrects hundreds of grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. It lists contextual errors, improves your vocabulary, and suggests style improvements. Best of all, it gives detailed explanations for all your mistakes. It’s simply a no-brainer solution.
Grammarly has been built by a team that truly knows and understands the building blocks of the English Language.
So, you can be sure of a good readability score when you use Grammarly for testing the readability of your content.
4. Gunning Fog Index – Reliability Index Tool
It’s a tool for calculating the Gunning Fog Index.
In fact, the Gunning fog index is a readability test for English writing. The index points out the years of formal education a person requires for understanding the text on the first reading.
It was developed by Robert Gunning in 1952.
The Gunning fog index is used to ascertain that the text can be read by the intended audience easily.
The fog index ranges from six to seventeen.
For example, fog index of 6 shows that the text can be easily understood by any sixth-grade student. Whereas, a fog index of 12 shows that the reading level of a US high school senior student (age around 18 years) is required for understanding the text.
Using the Gunning Fog Index tool goes on to show that the text can be understood by anyone who left full-time education at a later age than the index.
5. Automatic Readability Checker
Automatic Readability Checker is a free text readability consensus calculator. It uses seven popular readability formulas for determining the readability level and grade level of your text. It helps to ascertain whether your audience can read your writing or not. You simply have to paste the sample of text in the box and click “Check Text Readability.” The sample can range from 150 to 3000 words.
The readability formula used includes:
- The Flesch Reading Ease formula
- The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
- The Fog Scale
- The SMOG Index
- The Coleman-Liau Index
- Automated Readability Index
- Linsear Write Formula
These readability formulas help you to know the reading level of your text. It determines whether the text can be easily read by the intended audience or not.
6. PerryMarshall – Flesch Kincaid Grade Level
PerryMarshall is a free and easy to use readability score checker. It helps to score the grade level of your text. You simply have to paste the text into the box and click “Check Test Readability.” It uses as much as five readability formula for determining the readability score of your content.
The readability formulas used includes:
- Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
- Gunning-Fog Score
- Coleman-Liau Index
- SMOG Index
- Automated Readability Index
The result shows the readability score (grade and age) by using these readability formulas.
We hope that you would have found the post, 6 best Readability Score Checker, immensely useful. Now, you would face no difficulty in determining the readability score of your content. If you liked the post, don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues. We welcome your comments and suggestions.