E-comprehension: Evaluating B2B web sites using readability formulae
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
The Internet has often been referred to as an “infocentric” medium. Information abounds on topics, people, products and companies. With the multiplicity and diverse variety of web pages containing information, comprehension becomes a critical issue, and a major facet of comprehension is readability of content. The study described in this paper examines the readability of the text on business-to-business (B2B) websites. First, the paper presents an overview of readability formulae. It then applies selected readability formulae to web pages in the semiconductor industry. The study explores how readability formulae can provide quick feedback to web marketers based on key indicators such as sentence length, proportion of difficult words and frequency of polysyllabic words. It also demonstrates how the relative readability of a company's web pages can be evaluated against those of its competitors. In closing, the paper considers the managerial implications associated with the use of readability formulae and offers directions for future study in this relatively under-researched domain.