One of the most important things in building web sites is content. How do you know how readable your content is? If you have Microsoft Word, you can measure it.
Active is better than passive
Your English teacher probably told you to avoid writing in the passive voice. Use the active voice–it’s more exciting to read. How well do you do at that? Use the Passive Sentences Test to find out. For this test, the lower the score, the better.
Long sentences and words with lots of syllables are harder to read
To tell how easy your text is to read, you can use the Flesch Reading Ease score. This test measures how long your sentences are and how many syllables are in the words you used. The higher the score, the better. Aim for something above 60.
Big words take more thought
Similar to the Flesch Reading Ease test, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test gives back something we can all relate to — a grade level, meaning the level of education needed to understand your text. Even if you’re writing for an educated audience, they appreciate having text that is easy to read. Face it; we’re all busy and swamped with so many things trying to grab our attention. We’re more likely to read things that we can easily read. Shoot for a grade level of 8 at the max.
So go find out how to measure your readability. If you’re writing for the web, just copy and paste your web copy into Word and check your readability scores.
Just for fun, here are the scores for this article:
- Passive voice: 0%
- F. Reading ease: 77.8
- F.K. grade level: 5.3