A Lifestyle Writer with a knack for research for better flexibility on a range of cross-platform writing styles.
About Flesch Kincaid Readability Rating
SEO writing is becoming more challenging as the major search engines change their algorithms now and then. New parameters are added by the search engines every year, and one of the recent changes is an ease in readability.
Flesch Kincaid has a tool for readability, which is very common in the US. In fact, SEO Yoast, a popular Wordpress SEO plugin, added the Flesch-Kincaid tool in the plugin under the readability section.
You’ll have to meet the minimum level to get all green lights in the SEO Yoast readability section, next to SEO. Most businesses would require a Flesch score of at least 65 and a Flesh Kincaid Grade Level of 8 and below.
The content should be easily readable by young audiences 12 to 15 years of age at this score. If you want to broaden your content's reach to include young audiences, you need to write content with a higher Flesch score and a lower grade level.
By doing so, you will expand your articles' global exposure and make the search engines happy. Thus, giving your website better ranking in the search result pages for your target keywords.
Getting a High Flesch Score
Getting a high score can be quite challenging at first. But as you keep on writing and learning, you will soon get the hang of it and make it your writing standard.
I had a client before with loads of articles for me to do with a simple requirement. The articles should have a Flesch score of at least 65. The Kincaid Grade Level must also be 8 and below.
As simple as it sounds, I was having difficulty during the first week. My output was low at only two to three articles per day at 250 minimum words per article.
But during the first week, I have loads of learnings with significant improvements in my writing styles. I would be happy to share how to write SEO articles with a high Flesch score and a low Flesch-Kincaid grade level. So, let’s dive into this exciting new realm of writing.
How to Get a High Flesch Score Above 65
While SEOYoast only requires a score of 60 for the SEO lights to turn green, it would be best to set the minimum score higher at 65 as what most businesses usually do.
A score of 60 is best for the search engines. But a score of 65 and higher is best for both and the audiences and the search engines.
So, go for it. After all, it’s what’s best for the business and your content. But to get to this level, the following are the few parameters you need to meet.
Write in Active Voice
Start writing an article, and you will soon notice that your content has plenty of passive voice. This is not surprising because you get into this habit from academic writing in school.
But if you are going to do content marketing, the focus is an active voice. The same is true with SEO writing. There are reasons for this.
Contents in active voice are easier to read. They also promote engagement since it gets the readers into the story.
Likewise, the active voice keeps the focus on the subject and its actions. On the other hand, passive voice focuses on the action instead of the subject.
In content marketing, you need to have a call-to-action statement, which is an active voice. The CTA statement persuades readers to make an action by going to where you lead them.
There are cases where a passive voice would look nice on your content. It is okay to use passive voice statements. But keep it minimal. It should not be more than 10%. But if you are struggling with a low Flesch score, getting rid of the passive voice will notably increase the score.
Use More Transition Words or Phrases
Transition words connect two sentences, making it easier to read. These words establish a relationship between two separate lines for smoother flow in reading. It also breaks a long sentence, which is harder to read, into a short one without disrupting the discussion flow.
The use of transition words is part of the readability parameters. To get a green light in SEO Yoast for readability, you need to have at least 25% transitions words in your content. Add more transition words, and your Flesch score will also increase.
How to Get a Low Flesch Kincaid Grade Level Below 8
The grade-level assessment evaluates your content according to the American school grade level of understanding. A lower grade means that a student of lower grade can comprehend your article.
On the other hand, a higher grade means the content is readable for a higher grade level, while those below have difficulty reading the post. Thus, you will have to aim for the lowest score possible in this aspect.
The recommended reading ease grade level is eight and below. The lower, the better. To get a lower rating in grade level, you will have to observe a few parameters.
Keep it Short.
Keeping your sentences short will make it easier to read. Flesch Kincaid will reward you with a lower score for short sentences. The same with paragraphs.
At best, a sentence should not exceed more than 20 words. Paragraphs, on the other hand, should contain no more than four sentences to get a good reading ease score.
If you cannot do away with long sentences, it is okay to have a few in your content. But you have to minimize the use without going beyond a maximum of 25%.
Keep it Simple.
There is beauty in simplicity. In writing, Flesch rewards the use of simple words with a lower grade level and a higher Flesch score.
Keeping it simple means proper use of easy words. Flesch Kincaid measures the grade level, according to syllables.
The more you use words with single syllables, the better the Flesch score. So, keep your words to one up to two syllables for the best result.
But if the keyword already contains a difficult word with three to four syllables, you will have to compensate for their usage with the other parameters.
Flesch Writing in a Nutshell
The Flesch Kincaid assessment is just one of the readability tools to help you improve your content. But do not be conscious of the score. Instead, start writing for the audience.
By taking note of the above tips on how to write with a high Flesch score, you will soon get into the habit of this style of writing without worrying about the score anymore. The reward is - more audience and better visibility in the search engine result pages.