Readability of a website is a critical component of success in winning customers. Complex, jargon-filled sites may appeal to top-end intellectuals, however these people are not the majority.
Of course, there are sites that will need to have their content loaded with jargon, especially contemporary jargon, to meet the needs of their visitors. However, the majority of potential customers are put off by content that is hard to read. Not everyone has high literacy skills, so let’s not penalise them.
Switch on Readability for Your Site
At Webability we spend a lot of time with our customers identifying their target market. Once we have identified the type of people we are trying to attract, we adjust the language to suit.
We use the skills of others to assist in this process, most noteworthy are the talented folks from Yoast. These folk are the global leaders in Search Engine Optimisation analysis and they apply the Flesch Reading Ease Test to all website analysis. This scale will test the Readbility of a block of text and give it a “level rating”.
The level ratings are:
|90.0-100.0||Very easy to read. Easily understood by an average 11-year-old- student.|
|80.0-90.0||Easy to read. Conversational English for consumers.|
|70.0-80.0||Fairly easy to read|
|60.0-70.0||Plain English. Easily understood by 13 to 15 year old students|
|50.0-60.0||Fairly difficult to read.|
|30.0-50.0||Difficult to read|
|0.00-30.0||Very difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.|
As a general rule of thumb, we try and have every page rate at least 60.0, or higher if possible, to ensure that most people can understand the content.
Jargon and tech-speak are for the few expert sites, so the rest of us must make sure customers are not overwhelmed with complex text.
Remember, your visitor wants answers to their questions … and quickly; if it’s taking too long, or if it is too hard, they will move on and take their custom with them
Put the READ-ability stamp on your website