If you are using Yoast’s SEO plugin then probably are wondering if the readability score really affects your site’s traffic. The answer to that is yes, and no. Before we dive into the details, let’s talk first about what readability score really is.
Concept of Readability
Readability generally means how much education one needs to understand a certain article. That being said, readability score rates how well the general public can understand your post. A lot of articles are written to impress. People tend to use acrobatics in the usage of verbs, the order of sentences and idioms. Although some people will like it, it does not mean that they understand fully what you are truly trying to say. This goes with Jargons. If you love to use jargons in your sentences then your readability score will most likely suffer.
How Can It Help Your Site?
Let me ask you something, do you like to talk to someone who always uses slang words and just go around the bush when talking to you? No right? That is basically the idea why readability is important. We all know that a big portion of our viewers come from young ones who are doing research for school or for personal reasons. Many of them cannot understand complex terminologies. If they cannot understand what you are saying in your post then they will most likely find another site where they can derive their own assignments and projects. On the other hand, if they easily understand your posts and find it interesting and educational then they will surely bookmark your site and share it with their friends. A good readability score increases the amount of time spent by the users, on each page of your site. That’s because they will not find your site annoying. The amount of time they spend will signal Google that your site is a credible source of information.
How Can It Not Help Your Site?
Despite its importance in gaining trust from the readers, it won’t help much in your rankings especially if your site is new. This is because, as long as your site has minimal grammar issues, Google will not discriminate you from other sites. Your site will only be categorized as basic, intermediate, or advanced when it comes to reading level. Readability only serves as a guide but it does not mean that your sentences are not written well.
In some of the contents I wrote, I failed in the readability test and got a score just below 60. After tweaking some of it I only got a small increase in the score. Despite that, I cannot find grammar errors that will dramatically affect the reading experience of the user. If I try to change some of the sentences that are highlighted then I will be forced to change my tone and will also change the mood of the content. If you think that readability score is important then it is a good thing to make your contents readable for all types of readers. However, do not force to change a sentence if you think it expresses your thoughts the best.