Search Engine Optimization: Does Readability Score Matter?
The following topics will be discussed in this post.
For most online users, search engines are the gateway to the Internet. Even for leading social media platforms and video streaming sites, search engines are the go-to tool that most individuals use to navigate the domain.
Whether you are looking for answers, entertaining yourself, or merely looking for something to distract yourself with, you cannot deny that search engines have a good influence on our lives.
Search engine optimization has always been a booming business in the content marketing industry.
Although most individuals will usually be going to social media platforms to interact and message their friends and co-workers, the Internet will always be used for its most primordial design: a source of information. Billions of users access the Internet every day to answer their queries and concerns.
How do these users find information? Usually, it is using keywords, or an intricate algorithm that weighs in on what you search on your browser to give you the right advertisements.
For instance, if you search for "What is mandatory evacuation?" you will be directed to a site that will explain and answer your question. The search engine recognizes that it is a question and will find an answer to that question.
Of course, there should always be an answer; that's where articles, blog posts, and other forms of media come in. If you have ever used content management systems (CMS), you might be familiar with readability scores.
Readability scores are typically designed to help ensure that readers quickly go through the text through different rules while writing. But other than regulations on how you should write, what are other practical uses of the readability score?
Why Does Readability Score Matter?
There are a variety of applications, CMS, and editing software that incorporates readability scores. Free-to-use applications like WordPress are known for being customizable, and domain owners will use plug-ins like Yoast SEO.
Software like Grammarly is also useful for offline programs like Microsoft Office and your standard browser.
Naturally, it is easy to read content that isn't a long line of text, but there's a systematic way of looking into the readability of a text. The Flesch-Kincaid readability score is a tried-and-tested method of determining the format of a document.
Based on the Flesch-Kincaid readability score, the following factors will affect readability:
- Word count of the sentence
- If there are too many short sentences, this can lower the readability score.
- Too many long sentences can be hard to read and will put off most readers.
- Can the text be scanned easily without having to read everything?
- Proper use of headers
- The length of each paragraph; nobody wants to read walls of texts
- The unique use of vocabulary
- Repetition of words
- The average amount of characters in each word
- The use of active and passive voice (active voice being preferred)
- Proper punctuation and mechanics
It's important to note that the readability score does not necessarily judge the quality of the work. While most applications will usually "measure" the quality of your work, the algorithm is still limited.
For instance, a plug-in that will determine the readability score will weigh-in on the amount of grammatical and syntax errors there is, but it won't necessarily have the means of determining the context of the text.
If this is the case, it might suggest substitution to words that might not fit the context well.
Thus, it is essential to discern and edit the text with human interaction rather than rely on plug-ins to help with the 'quality' of the work. Although these applications help with subject-verb agreements, the writing style, and the formatting of the text, human supervision is still needed.
To make the long story short: incorporating too many keywords, using highfalutin, or merely writing without considering your work's format are just some things that can be detrimental to SEO score.
So, whether you're using Yoast, Grammarly, or your company's very own content management system, it's essential to take your time and go through your works and work on them organically.
Readability score and SEO score go together in getting your page to the top of search engine results. When it comes to managing content and ensuring that your client's website will be reeling in potential customers, it can be more challenging than usual.
But with the help of content management systems and software like Grammarly and Yoast SEO, it can make the work of content creators much easier.
Even though most of the Internet is automated and most search engines follow an algorithm, there's not a single application and software that can beat the ingenuity of the human mind.
As content moderators, editors, and writers, it is our work to ensure that our readers will leave your domain with new-found information that will help them in their daily lives.