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 – 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. 

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

*SMOG – Simple Measure of Gobbledygook