Show the Love with Readability Statistics
This post idea comes from a blog training class and a discussion of readability statistics. Flesch-Kincaid statistics can help you revise and tailor messages in plans, blogs, advertising and other marketing documents. At Vivid Image, we believe in Simpology. This is a simple tool.
Readability statistics measure how easily an adult can read and understand text. Readability statistics are a good predictor of the level of difficulty of documents.
How to display readability statistics in MS Word
- On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
- Select the Check grammar with spelling check box.
- Select the Show readability statistics check box, and then click OK.
- Click Spelling and Grammar on the Standard toolbar.
After MS Word finishes checking spelling and grammar, it displays the reading level information of the document.
Avoid Passive Sentences
The Passive Sentences line measures the readability of your text as the ratio of passive over active sentences. The score is a percentage of passive sentences found in the text. The lower the score, the better; aim for 0%. Active sentences are always easier to read and understand, making a message more persuasive.
The Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level measures text to a grade level. For example, a score of 9.4 indicates the text is understandable to a 9th grade student. Using readability statistics is an eye-opening experience to create materials. You know your product best, but you may use complicated terms that confuse your audience.
These readability statistics do not indicate audience intelligence. The lower the level, however, the faster one can read and comprehend the text. A good level to write for is for 5th-10th grade, like Time magazine. Marketers should step in to make sure text does not go above the audience’s head.
Keep your target audience in mind as you craft messages. It makes your writing easy to read. Are you using readability statistics to create your marketing materials? Using these statistics helps make your blogs, brochures and process documents fun, accessible and reflect your brand personality.
Show your audience some love and look at reading statistics!
P.S. Today’s blog post has a 0% Passive Sentences, Reading Ease of 54 and Grade Level of 8.5.