The SMOG* Test and it is nothing to do with clear air

How much thought have you given to the readability of your website?

Did you know that the average reading age in the UK is 12-13 years and that a significant number of visitors to your website may have English as their second language?

If you haven’t given this any thought then you are probably losing visitors and business because your words could act as an impenetrable barrier and you could be losing custom.

There is a simple tool that you can use to calculate the reading age of your site and you really should apply this RIGHT NOW.

Simply paste the web address for your pages in to and click the “Calculate Readability” button

Readability Test

Your pages will be parsed through 6 different tests [including the SMOG* test] and the individual results will be displayed together with an average. Thankfully mine came back with an average grade level of 7 which is just about OK.


The results are provided in relation to Grade Levels as measured by the American education system and you can find a simple Grade to Age comparison here.

If the test can’t read your content then you simply copy and paste your text in to the “Test by Direct input” box and “calculate readability”.

If your reading age comes out as being too high then you should rewrite – remember, you are NOT looking to “dumb down” your content, just make it more easily readable. Top tips include

  • Write shorter sentences
  • Write shorter paragraphs
  • Only one idea per paragraph
  • Plenty of white space between paragraphs
  • Don’t make your fonts too small
  • Use fewer multi-syllabic words
  • Use the free Hemingway Editor to help

Alternatively you could also try the Drayton Bird test by reading your content out loud. If it sounds like one side of a conversation then you are probably on the right track, if it sounds stilted and disjointed you need to go back to the drawing board!

All of the above will not only make your content easy to read and understand but it will also support your Search Engine Optimisation and if you need any help with your content creation, or editing, your SEO or anything else to do with your website or marketing then just give me a call on 01793 238020 or drop me an email at for a free chat

*SMOG – Simple Measure of Gobbledygook