Readability Checkers Can Give You a Bot’s Perspective on How Easy Your Content Is to Read
Google is constantly updating its algorithms to assess how relevant a given web page is to a given search query and how easy it is for a human user to find the required information on the page. Of course, “easy” is a subjective term, and not only do search engine bots lack human empathy, but it only takes them a few milliseconds to read the amount of text that would take a human reader, even one who had taken a speed-reading class, a whole day to read. Therefore, they can only use mathematical formulas as a proxy for the reaction a human reader is likely to have to the content. Readability checkers are available on downloadable apps and free websites, but they can only give you a numerical perspective on how likely readers are to get all the way to the end of your blog post and on what features might cause them to give up and click away before they finish reading. In the end, it takes human expertise to compose and evaluate legal blog content.
What Readability Checkers Do, and What They Don’t Do
Kristi Hines of Search Engine Land lists various readability checkers that can help content writers identify aspects of their writing that might yield them a lower SEO ranking. These are some of the most popular readability checkers she lists:
· WebFX Readability Test – This free website lets you paste your content into its readability checker. It then assigns a score based on five widely used metrics for assessing the difficulty of a text, such as Flesh-Kincaid, Gunning-Fog, the SMOG index, the Coleman-Liau index, and the Automated Readability index.
· Datayze Readability Analyzer- This is also a free website where you paste your content. In addition to the well-known readability metrics, it lets you know the average length of your sentences and the percentage of words it considers difficult.
· Hemingway App – This tool has a free online version and a downloadable desktop app for $19.99. It highlights difficult sentences, very difficult sentences, passive voice, unnecessary modifiers, and unnecessarily difficult vocabulary.
· Readable – This app is available by subscription. In addition to assigning a letter grade corresponding to the difficulty of the reading level of your content, it also checks keyword density, thereby helping you avoid keyword stuffing.
Formatting Affects Readability, Too
Word choice and sentence length are not the only factors that make content easy or difficult to read. Layout counts for a lot, too. This is why SEO experts recommend keeping sentences and paragraphs to a manageable length and using subheadings. You should also ensure that your web pages format correctly on mobile devices, where most searches for law firm websites take place.
Readability Checkers Are No Match for Human Intuition
The professional legal content writers at Law Blog Writers base their choice about paragraph length and level of diction on their professional experience writing law firm blog content that keeps readers coming back for more.