An important target for most charities are so called hard to reach groups. Within that description are those who do not have a strong command of english and those who have limited reading skills. For both these groups the language used on your web site pages could be a barrier. The vast majority of content on UK charity sites is very good. Well thought out, well written, proof read and often peer reviewed. Paradoxically these commendable qualities can result in content that is not accessible to these `hard to reach groups`. So how can you tell if your content is too difficult for your audience ? A quick way is to use Google Reading Level which is part of the regular Google search page.
You can see from the image where to locate it. Once selected it will display the reading level for each page in the SERPS results and the overall level for all results. You can check the reading level of your whole site by using the Site Operator. Syntax: [site:www.example.com] and selecting the Reading Level option will bring up the details as shown. Note that you can check the reading level of any section of your site by using [site:mysite.com/folder1] and indeed you can check individual pages. If a popular landing page or one specifically designed for hard to reach groups has a high bounce rate it is worth checking the reading level to see if things can be improved.
Google explains how the reading levels are arrived at: ” We paid teachers to classify pages for different reading levels, and then took their classifications to build a statistical model. With this model, we can compare the words on any webpage with the words in the model to classify reading levels ” In addition they say ” Roughly speaking, “Basic” is elementary level texts, while “Intermediate” is anything above that level up to technical and scholarly articles, a la the articles you’d find in Scholar. “