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How Useful Are The Yoast Seo Readability Scores

The Yoast SEO plug-in is one of the most endearing WordPress features. Having been around the block since 2008, it has steadily grown and currently boasts of about 5 million installations. As the rave reviews show (the plug-in has a 4.9/5 star rating from 26,000 reviews), many people are happy with the services.

The green, amber, and red colour system used by the Yoast SEO plug-in are one of the most creative ways for notifying bloggers to make changes to their postings. Given the ease of use and direct navigation system, both professional WordPress SEO Consultant and even non-SEO experts can quickly navigate the page.

SEO Score

In 2019, we got updates to a new system of SEO analysis which reviewed much more than just the metadata. The new set up currently looks at the configuration of alt attributes, h1 tags, outbound links, and many more.

Having revealed this, it’s important to note that one of the factors considered for SEO Score is keyphrase/keyword density. For proper computation, you’re required to first provide a focus keyword which enables the tool to find its locus.

While keywords are essential in establishing your brand, you should not put all your sweat and tears into enhancing your SEO score. Instead, you need to focus on developing the right content and then narrowing down to the specifics. Once you have your keywords aligned, you can use synonyms in some instances to avoid redundancy.


Truthfully speaking, readability isn’t accounted in Google’s search ranking algorithm. Still, it’s a powerful indirect ranking factor that could have a massive difference in your SEO strategy.

Scientifically speaking, readability is usually measured after a number of factors are taken into account. These include:

  • Reading speed
  • Speed of perception
  • Perceptibility at a distance
  • Visibility
  • Eye movements
  • Reflex blink technique
  • Fatigue in reading
  • Perceptibility in peripheral vision

One of the best ways to measure readability is by estimating the average grade of students who can understand a text. While it’s true that most people can easily read through a grade 9 text, you should try to optimize your texts to be 2 grades lower. By doing so, you’ll be making the written text great for leisure reading.

Yoast SEO plug-in has developed its readability score after conducting research on some 75 articles on the web. By embracing the Flesch reading ease score, they’ve tailored their system to consider the number of syllables in a word and the amount of words in a sentence when measuring readability. Essentially, this means that you need to use short words and short sentences if you’re looking to get a good readability score.

The Hemingway App is another popular option for writers who’re looking to come up with content that engages the masses. Once you’re able to register text that ranks between grades 7-9, you’re going to be in good books. That said, you shouldn’t strain too much should you realize you’re unable to hit a perfect score.

Difficulty Reading Content

Depending on how your website is structured, you may find yourself experiencing some difficulty working with the Yoast SEO plug-in. This usually happens when you’ve heavily customized your website to conform to your specific preferences.

The green, amber, and red bullets are crucially important if you’re unsure on how to implement your SEO strategy. Still, you need to first focus on developing content for the page first and everything else will follow. As you draft up your ideas, make sure that you keep in mind your buyer personas and the sales funnel.

Once you have a clear mental picture of what you want, you can then proceed to check out the readability score to identify opportunities for improvement. It’s important to remain objective, there’s really no need to worsen your content as you aim to fit in “x” percentage of keywords. If you’re able to provide value to readers, then you have all you need to keep pushing forward.

Why Readability Matters

Traits like page on time, bounce rate, exit rate, and social signals are usually representative of just how pleasing a webpage is to users. By improving readability, you’ll effectively be able to enhance the behaviour of humans on your page.

Many people usually exit a page after only reading a couple of sentences because the text was too complex. The idea is to develop content that resonates with the masses and informs them. If you’re able to do so quickly in a simply more, you’ll find yourself making traction in the market.

Readers are more likely to spend longer times on a webpage if they find the page has good readability. With an impressive bounce rate and exit rate, your SEO initiative will start heading in the right direction.

Improving Content Readability

1 - Short and Sweet

There’s no reason to persist with long and complex words when short and simple words can get the message across. No one want’s a show-off, therefore, avoid dishing out English lessons in your blog posts. Aim to share information. If possible, break long sentences into several smaller sentences.

2 - Conversational Tone

If you really want your message to hit home, you need to imagine that you’re having a one-on-one session with your readers. This approach makes readers feel connected to what you have to say.

Using words like “you” and keeping the written text short and simple ensures that you’re able to maintain a conversational tone.

3 - Font

Importantly, you need to select a text that’s easy to read. While fancy fonts are okay for the header and subheader sections, you need to go for something different when penning the body of your text. Since blog posts usually pack plenty of words in one paragraph, you need to choose texts that are well spaced and easy to read even from afar.

Once you master your On-page SEO strategies you’ll be able to spend the remainder of your time on Off-page strategies such as high-quality link building.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.