Website Accessibility and SEO4 min read
Your company’s webpage is one of the most important elements of your business. Your website is your virtual address and should be a one-stop-shop for interested customers to find out more about your business.
In order for your site to be successful, it needs to have an intuitive and accessible user interface (UI) and strong search engine optimization (SEO). In any case, many of the features that can optimize your site for accessibility and SEO actually overlap — and both things help create a great user experience and turn potential customers into loyal clients.
Why Is Accessibility Important?
In order to give the best experience to as many users as possible, you should ensure everyone can easily use your site, including those with auditory, visual motor, cognitive, and other disabilities.
Features like keyboard navigation, clear links and text, high-contrast design, and alternate descriptions for images and links that can be read with a screen reader are just a few ways to make your website accessible, as compared to the egregious 90% of websites that are not.
Why Is SEO Important?
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is what gets your website seen. Google and other search engines gather information from websites, put these websites through algorithms, and match the information with search engine queries.
If your website has good SEO, then the chances of it being chosen by Google and bumped to the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) is high. All existing content on your website should be optimized for SEO.
[Related: Three Ways You’re Hurting Your SEO Without Knowing It]
Where Do Accessibility and SEO Overlap?
Evidence suggests that accessibility supports high SEO rankings, and search engines may favor pages with strong accessibility features. Here are some of the features that will help your page become more accessible and rank higher for SEO.
Straightforward navigation with clear headers and well-organized categories that can be explored via keyboard is great for both SEO and accessibility. Good navigation helps Google and other search engines easily sort through your site and index the pages.
Quick Load Times
The speed of your website is important for a variety of reasons.
The longer your page takes to load, the more likely it is that a user will leave. This is called your “bounce rate,” and a high bounce rate reports to Google that your information isn’t useful and won’t rank.
Slow-loading websites also pose a problem for people without access to high-speed internet — so if you want visiting your website to be an enjoyable and successful activity for all, make your site speed a priority.
Title Tags and Headings
Title tags and headings not only organize the content on your website to be easily digestible and readable, they also help people with screen readers organize what content is most important on your page and what to read first.
Quality content that includes title tags and headings is also essential for SEO optimization, since it tells search engines as well as website visitors what the information is about.
Descriptive Image Alt Text
Alt text consists of written descriptions of images on a site. By having alt text, you’re helping visually impaired visitors understand the context of images on the page, and you’re also assisting search engines to crawl through your website to rank it for SEO.
Descriptive Link Anchor Text
Including descriptive anchor text for your links in your website’s content will also help increase your SEO, since it will tell search engines clearly what the link will navigate to. This also helps visually impaired people know where a link will take them via their screen readers.
Since Google and other search engines can’t rank your web page based on the audio from a video, transcriptions of any videos on your website are essential to ranking for SEO. Video transcriptions are also helpful for hearing and visually impaired people to give them the content otherwise only found in the video component.
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