Is your website content being understood?
We are presented with a bewildering amount of data and information, be it visual, audio or written every day.
This is particularly true on the internet, the modern website visitor not only has to decide what pages, sites to visit but often would have to trawl and search multiple pages to find a place where an answer could be found. That could be a website, a video channel, a blog, a forum and so on.
The key here is that once a visitor has taken a particular route and arrived on your webspace…is your message the wonderful things you do being taken in?
In the United Kingdom, 79% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education.
source: OCED Better Life Index
Around 16 per cent, or 5.2 million adults in England, can be described as "functionally illiterate". They would not pass an English GCSE and have literacy levels at or below those expected of an 11-year-old. They can understand short straightforward texts on familiar topics accurately and independently, and obtain information from everyday sources, but reading information from unfamiliar sources, or on unfamiliar topics, could cause problems.
source: National Literacy Trust
So, it would be fairly safe to assume that a large majority of visitors to your website may not have advanced literacy levels?
In 1969 G Harry McLaughlin created the SMOG Readability Formula McLaughlin started his career as a sub-editor of the Mirror newspaper in London, but spent much of his life in Applied Psychology.
The formula measures the educational level a person would need to understand a body of written content, i.e…
This may have a good deal of relevance for therapists highly trained and educated in high-level psychology and clinical understanding of the way we live and function.
To me the question of how one should write content should be determined by who you are writing that content for? In this article I use larger words and occasional clinical, academic terms as this is written for professionals. However if I was writing for the average person I would need to consider the level of understanding required.
So it’s really being aware of avoiding long words, clinical terms and so on.
Here is a very useful online tool you can use to check the readability of your text…
We hope you enjoy using the tool and reaping the rewards of more engaged visitors.
Further articles in this series on content to follow soon.