Flesch Readability Score: How and why to use it

You have likely come across the Flesch readability score when using the Yoast SEO plugin to analyze your readability. ThisFlesch readability score score shows how easy it is for you to read your text. How is Flesch’s reading ease score calculated? This score is essential for SEO.

How can you use this score to improve your writing? These are the questions I answered in this tutorial.

Did you receive a red flag from the Flesch reading ease assessment in Yoast? You can skip the evaluation and learn how Yoast SEO feedback can help you improve your writing.

What is Flesch’s Reading Ease Score?

The Flesch readability test measures the text’s readability. Two variables determine the readability score:

  • The average length of your sentences, as measured by the number of words
  • The average number of syllables in a word

It then gives you a score between zero and 100. 100 is a score that your copy is easy to read. A score of 0 indicates that your text is completely difficult to read.

Score Notes:

  • 90-100 are very easy to understand, easy for a typical 11-year-old student to comprehend
  • 80-90 are easy to understand
  • 70-80 are pretty easy to understand
  • 60 – 70 Students between 13 and 15 years old can easily understand
  • 50-60 are difficult to read
  • 30-50 are difficult to understand and best understood by college students
  • 0-30 are very difficult to understand and best understood by university graduates

A text with a high Flesch readability score has short sentences and a few two-syllable words. A text with a low Flesch readability score, on the other hand, is composed mainly of long sentences and lots of complicated words.

Yoast SEO’s Flesch Reading Ease Score

Yoast SEO also incorporates the Flesch reading ease score in its readability analysis.

It examines two aspects of your text:

  • How the number of syllables is related to the word count
  • How the number of words and sentences relate to each other

The check will pass if you don’t use too many complicated words and keep your sentences short. If your text scores higher than 60, you’ll get a green light. This number is essential. This is because a 60-70 reading score is acceptable for web copy. This means that a web text should be easy to understand by a 13-15-year-old.

How to Use Flesch’s Reading Ease Score to Improve Writing

Now I have to answer the fundamental question. What can the Flesch score do to help improve your writing? You write for an audience. And you are the one who understands your audience best. Before you begin editing or writing, consider what type of text will appeal to your audience.

Are you selling clothes or organizing workshops in photography? Do you write step-by-step DIYs or blogs about clothes? Your content should be easy to understand since you’re targeting a broad audience.

You don’t have to aim for a high Flesch score. You might write about complicated topics that are relevant to a niche audience. Perhaps you blog about your educational research! It makes sense in these cases if the Flesch score is lower.

No matter what your situation is, concise use of language will always benefit your text. Two things are essential if you want the Flesch reading score to help you.

Why is Flesch’s Reading Ease Score so Crucial for SEO andFlesch score affects SEO Readability?

In line with holistic SEO, it is vital to write easy-to-read texts. Indirectly, readable texts are achieving more rankings, as Google’s algorithm is becoming more human-like and voice search has grown in popularity.

You must write readable content. However, this can be challenging. Readability is dependent on many factors. The Yoast SEO content analysis includes a readability section. This helps you write copy that is easy to understand and read.

Yoast gives you pointers on how to improve your readability as well as SEO.

When writing web copy, it is essential to consider readability. Why? Your audience may have difficulty understanding your text if it is too complex. They might leave your site and search elsewhere for information.

You might experience a high bounce rate, which can result in lower rankings over the long term. This is why it’s essential to be as straightforward as possible when writing.

Are you looking to improve your SEO skills? The advanced text analysis in Yoast SEO premium allows you to write natural flowing texts. Additionally, the internal linking tool and the content filters make it easy for users to find your posts.

The redirect manager makes 404 errors obsolete and social previews allow you to control how your posts appear on social networks.

1. Avoid using complex words

Avoid words with more than four syllables. They are difficult to read.

Try terms such as ‘small instead of minuscule’ or ‘about instead of approximately’.

Avoid using jargon if you want to reach a broad audience. You may be a medical professional and are familiar with terms such as analgesic, intravenous, and oophorectomy. Keep in mind, however, that many people don’t know these terms. If you cannot find an alternative, explain it to others who may not be familiar with the term.

Learn how to create great content that is both SEO-proof and readable.

2. Shorten your sentencesShorten your sentences and don't shout

Long sentences can make it difficult to read your text. Short sentences, however, keep the topic clear. Your readers will be able to absorb your text’s information if your sentences are concise.

They don’t have to work to understand what you are trying to communicate.

This is why I recommend that you break down lengthy sentences. So your text will be easier to understand (less than 20 words per sentence.)

Please don’t believe that using shorter sentences will make your text more boring.

Short sentences are easier to understand. You still give the same information in short sentences as the long sentence. Your readers will be able to understand your information by reading short sentences.


Language is not math. So, it is impossible to increase the readability of a text by using a simple formula. Remember that readability is not dependent on the length of your sentences or words.

This test does not take your writing style and audience into consideration. Be aware that there may be industries where the language used is not what people would normally use. It’s okay. Use the Flesch readability score as a guideline.

By taking note of the suggestions offered by the Yoast plugin you will polish your writing and readability over time.

Please leave a comment and share.

Warm Regards,

Lily Munday

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4 thoughts on “Flesch Readability Score: How and why to use it”

  1. This is a actually the difference between a good article and a great article. It is also the difference between if you will be able to gain traffic to your website or not. I would advice anyone and everyone to use this tool. Just watch how you will be able to drive more traffic to your site. 

    • Absolutely Daniel. You’ve nailed the point about Flesch. It’s a great tool to help you polish the style of your articles to make them easy to read. This will keep people coming back again and again.

  2. I was always curious about the scores. I am so relieved to learn, after reading your article, that my articles are suitable for 13-15 year olds. When I write, I actually use an editing tool. I’ve never been a particularly gifted writer. It is critical that the audience be able to read the article. There is a distinction to be made between a good article and a great article. Thank you for reading.


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