How Readability Score Empowers Content

readability-score

In the digital marketing space, content is king. That is collective knowledge. This position of honor was bestowed upon the written word in the early days of the Internet when AOL was cool and dial up was exciting. As the digital stratosphere, evolved from LiveJournals and MySpace to WordPress and Facebook, content strategy became more sophisticated gaining metrics, followings, and power of influence.

The Power Of Content 

The way marketers produce, and readers consume content has evolved. Brands learned from the growing pains of informational lists and posts to captivate readers with stories. Storytelling became pervasive in marketing, but it is a tactic only as good as the story.

The question remains how to make content that is engaging with a high conversion rate. While marketers have found that producing a mass amount of content creates leverage it does not always translate into performance. As the analysis and targeting of content becomes more intelligent, a well-kept resource remains untapped by smart marketers. 

What is the resource that makes content more effective?

The readability score of the content.

Because there is a difference between content being generated and content that people read. What is readability? It measures how easy it is for a person to read a piece of content. More specifically, a readability score lets the marketer know what grade of education someone needs to understand the content being created.

What makes readability score powerful?

Readability Score 

The average American reads at an 8th grade level.

That’s a groundbreaking statistic to be considered by marketers. Content that is above 8th grade level of education risks to be disregarded and ignored. Why? Because readers are frustrated and bored by what they do not understand.

For example, the average bounce rate is between 41% and 50%. This means that half of visitors landing on websites leave immediately. How much does the readability and engagement of content play a role in that statistic? A study showed that most users read only 20% of a website. A depressing statistic but nonetheless if 1,440 blogs are published every 60 seconds that is a staggering amount of competition for eyeballs.

Elements
Of Good Readability Score 

  • Too much jargon- Jargon is regarded as words or expression by a particular group that is hard to understand to outsiders. Especially, in the proposal management industry, there is a lot of industry specific terminology which may be confusing to the average reader.  
  • Passive voice- Plain language as the standard for readability cautions against the use of passive voice in a sentence. In passive voice, the subject is acted upon by a verb. Active voice is more confident with the subject acting with the verb which provides more clarity for the reader.
  • Long sentences- One thought per sentence is the goal of good readability. Long sentences with convoluted logic and punctuation are frustrating. This syntax often loses the reader before the first comma.
  • Excessive use of adverbs- Adverbs are typically used to express manner, frequency, time, or level of certainty. However, when overly used or misplaced adverbs can comprise the readability of the content.

These are the guidelines from a technical standpoint that enhance readability. However, there is a tangible emotional component to content and how it is read by an audience. According to Neil Patel, online influencer, the marketers need to understand that: “content that people love and content that people read is almost the same thing”.

Content with good readability opens the reader to the story. It is easy to digest, engaging and relatable like a good book. As content scales new heights in sophistication and relevance, the readability score is a hidden metric that can have powerful results on performance.

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