Author picture

We hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you need more support why not speak to my team today!

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

Table of Contents

How to Get the Best Yoast SEO Readability Score (WordPress)

What Is the Yoast SEO Readability Checker?

Have you ever written a fantastic blog post, only to see Yoast SEO slap you with a red or yellow bullet for readability? You're not alone. While search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for getting your content seen, it's equally important to make it easy for people to actually read and understand.

This guide dives deep into Yoast SEO's readability analysis and equips you with the tools to write content that scores high on both readability and SEO.

What is Readability Analysis? Why Does it Matter?

Readability analysis assesses how easy your organic content is to understand. It considers factors like sentence length, paragraph structure, and vocabulary.

Here's why readability matters:

  • Search Engines Love Readable Content: Google and other search engines favor websites with content that's easy for users to navigate and understand. A high Yoast readability score can indirectly boost your SEO ranking.

  • Happy Readers, Happy You: Clear, concise writing keeps people engaged and coming back for more. They're more likely to share your content and recommend your site to others.

  • Save Time, Get Results: By focusing on readability, you avoid confusing readers and having them abandon your website. This means you get more out of the time and effort you put into your content.

What Is the Yoast SEO Readability Checker?

It is a feature of the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. As you can guess, it analyzes the readability of your content.

Or how easy it is for people (and search engines) to understand what the hell you're talking about.

The checker uses a set of rules to assess how easy your content is to read and understand.

Following these rules will give you a perfect SEO readability score.

Of course, reaching perfection is not always possible, but the closer you are to it, the better.

The Yoast SEO checker provides feedback on your content's readability.

The feedback is presented as a color-coded score, with green indicating good, orange indicating… meh, and red indicating poor readability.

In addition to the overall score, the Yoast SEO Readability Checker provides specific suggestions for improvement.

The Connection between Readability and SEO

Readability and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are both important factors to consider when creating content for your website.

Google's algorithms prioritize content that is high in quality, relevant, and easy to read.

Users will likely leave your website quickly if your content is difficult to read.

This can negatively impact your website's bounce rate and your search engine rankings.

Yoast SEO Analysis

Yoast SEO Analysis – Source

How to Improve Yoast SEO Readability

Flesch Reading Ease

The Flesch Reading Ease score ranges from 0 to 100.

0 –>being the most difficult to read

100 –> being the easiest.

Aiming for a score of 100 is not necessary and downright counterproductive.

It would require only short sentences and words with two or fewer syllables.

So, it's recommended to aim for a score between 60 and 70.

This scoring range is considered good, and Yoast will give you the green light if you achieve it.


Subheadings help break up your content into smaller, more digestible chunks, making it easier for readers to navigate and understand.

To improve your use of subheadings, here's what we suggest:

  • Use descriptive, concise subheadings that reflect the content of each section.

  • Use H2 or H3 tags for your subheadings.

  • Don't write several long paragraphs without a subheading.

Improve your subheadings
Improve your subheadings – Source

Paragraph Length

Paragraph length is another factor that can impact readability.

Long paragraphs can be overwhelming and difficult to read, while shorter paragraphs are easier to digest.

To improve your paragraph length:

  • Aim for paragraphs that are 2-3 sentences long on average.

  • Break up longer paragraphs into multiple smaller ones.

  • Use white space effectively to create

Consecutive Sentences

Using too many consecutive sentences of the same length or structure can make your content feel repetitive and boring.

Especially those sentences that start with the same word, such as:

This means that…

This also means that…

This explains what…

What to do? Simple

  • Avoid using the same words or phrases over and over again. It can make your content feel…boring.

Passive Voice

Passive voice can make your writing feel weak and sometimes more complicated than it already is.

So, simply use strong verbs that convey action and clarity and avoid the passive voice where possible.

Sentence Length

As mentioned earlier, varying your sentence length can improve the readability of your content.

What to do?

  • Use short sentences for emphasis or to make a point.

  • Mix short and long sentences to create rhythm and flow in your writing.

  • Avoid using overly long sentences that are difficult to follow.


Tips for Improving Your Readability Score

Shorten Your Sentences

Long sentences can be difficult to follow, especially on mobile devices. Aim to keep most of your sentences under 20 words. This helps readers grasp your ideas quickly and prevents them from getting lost.

Use Short Paragraphs

Avoid long paragraphs that can overwhelm readers. Break up your text into smaller, manageable chunks. This makes it easier for readers to skim and find the information they need. Remember, it’s perfectly acceptable to have paragraphs that are only one sentence long.

Minimize Passive Voice

Using active voice makes your writing more direct and engaging. While some passive voice is acceptable, try to limit it to less than 10% of your sentences. For example, instead of writing “The cake was baked by John,” write “John baked the cake.”

Incorporate Transition Words

Transition words help connect your ideas and improve the flow of your writing. Use them generously to guide your readers through your text. Examples include “however,” “therefore,” and “for instance.”

Optimize Subheading Distribution

Subheadings break up your text and make it easier to read. Use H2 and H3 tags appropriately to organize your content. This not only helps with readability but also improves your SEO by signaling to search engines the structure of your content.

Vary Your Sentence Beginnings

Starting consecutive sentences with the same word can feel repetitive and monotonous. Mix up your sentence structure to keep your writing interesting. This will help maintain reader engagement.

Using Yoast SEO Readability Analysis

The Yoast readability analysis in Yoast SEO is available in both the free and premium versions of the Yoast SEO plugin. It evaluates your text based on the criteria mentioned above and provides a color-coded score for each aspect:

  • Green: Good Readability Score

  • Orange: Needs improvement

  • Red: Poor

Real-Time Editing:

Monitor the readability scores as you write, making adjustments on the go.

Post-Writing Review:

Write your content first, then use the readability analysis to make necessary improvements. This approach helps maintain a natural flow in your writing.

We recommend the post-writing review method to separate the creative process from analytical editing.

Final Thoughts

Improving your Yoast SEO readability is an important aspect of creating high-quality content that engages your audience and ranks well in search engines.

By focusing on Flesch Reading Ease, subheadings, paragraph length, consecutive sentences, passive voice, and sentence length, you can create content that is easy to read, engaging, and optimized for SEO.

Remember to keep your writing clear, concise, and well-structured and to always put your readers first.

With these tips, you can improve your Yoast SEO readability and create content that resonates with your audience and achieves your marketing goals.

Looking to Learn more about seo?

Get Content Directly From My Inbox To Yours That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else.

About Chris M. Walker

Chris has been active in the Information Technology industry for over a decade. In 2013 he began working in Search Engine Optimization and internet marketing. He has a proven track record of helping businesses reach their full potential with a combination of SEO, PPC Advertising, Social Media and Reputation Management, Custom Mobile App Development. Turning his clients businesses into Superstars.


Looking to Learn more about seo?

Get Content Directly From My Inbox To Yours That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else.