That's why it's so important that your content is clear and easy to understand. People need to 'get it' and be convinced before the next sales message grabs their attention.

What you may not know is that there is a standardised way of measuring the readability of content. It's called the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level.

It was devised by Rudolf Flesch who was an American readability expert. J. Peter Kincaid contributed the grade level part of the formula later on.

It works out a score for a passage of text with a calculation that considers the number of words, sentences and syllables. The score it provides relates to the US school grade level but if you plus 1 to that, it become our school's "years".

What that means is that a piece of text with a score of 6 means a reader with Year 7 education should be able to read it easily.

So why is it important?

When collecting content from our clients we have found that the average grade is somewhere between 12 and 15. That means that you need to have a college education or better to really get what they're saying!

The solution is simple: write in plain English. Don't try to be clever with big words or acronyms, and don't try to outsmart your customer with your years of knowledge and experience.

Put things as simply as you can. Make it so that after they have read your text they get understand and then - and only then - you can strike for a conversion.

A free simple tool can be found at Paste the text you're writing and look for the "Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level" on the right hand side.

Get your score as low as possible without loosing your meaning - your content will work that little bit better!

Additional Tip

People search Google in plain terms. So if your website uses plain English, then you're more likely to be found as a nice side effect.

Swallowing Our Own Medicine

An average 10 year old can read this blog post. They might not get the value of it - but they'll be able to read it easily.