Readability for Marketers

The challenge

You have a product or service that you want to sell. But in order to make sales you need potential customers to engage with your message about that commodity. Without engagement the potential customer is not going to click through and purchase what you have to offer. So, how do you write copy that people engage with, thus leading to better conversion rates?

What is the relevance of readability scores to marketers?

It may seem obvious but if a reader is to engage with your text about your product, they must first be able to understand it. This is where readability scoring comes in. Readability scores are one way in which you can measure whether written information is likely to be understood by the intended reader. generates readability scores on a range of readability formula including grade level. Text aimed at the general public should aim for a readability grade level of around 8. Measuring the readability of your text will allow you to see where text may be too difficult for the intended audience. If text is not easy to understand then the reader is less likely to engage and thus less likely to buy whatever it is you want to sell.

As well as telling you what the readability of your text is, also generates a range of metrics about your text. These include key word density, text statistics, and longest words and longest sentences. These metrics will allow you to spot where you have overused words or perhaps not used a key word enough. Also, by highlighting long sentences you can easily see where changes need to be made. Other useful metrics include underlining use of adverbs and instances of passive voice. By making yourself aware of instances of passive voice and adverbs you can ensure that each instance in intended and appropriate.

What’s the evidence?

Guidance for writing good copy increasingly includes recommendations for the use of readability scoring to make writing easy to understand. Further, there is evidence that readability is associated with Google search engine results pages (SERP) with higher ranking sites tending to have lower readability grade level values. This implies that websites that are easier to read are more likely to rank highly and so be accessed from Google SERPs. So, readability can play a role in getting people to your site and give you confidence that they can understand what they read when they get there. This is pretty crucial given that getting to your site and being able understand your content is essential for engagement and, hence, conversion rates!

What value can readability scores bring to the picture?

You know your product and your intended audience. What can do is provide a tool to highlight potential areas of concern and improvement and help you see what you might change. By increasing your awareness of the writing devices that you use, can help you communicate your message in a clear and engaging way you customers will respond to.

Ruth Colmer

Ruth is a freelance writer, researcher, and lecturer. She likes reading, cooking, writing stories, travel, and human beings.


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