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Impact of Website Accessibility on SEO

The main goal of anyone that works online is to ensure that their websites are not only accessible but also usable for everyone.

Website accessibility is usually considered the responsibility of developers and designers.

However,

There are lots of overlaps with the SEO strategies deployed to enhance website accessibility and also make it easy for search engines to understand.

Unfortunately, this is not often discussed in SEO. 

This article will explore what website accessibility is and the role it plays in SEO. It will also shed light on the tips that can be used to improve website accessibility.

 What is Website Accessibility?

The goal of website accessibility is to make your content easy to use for all users, no matter what their needs are.

This is similar to how the goal of search engine optimization is to help potential customers find you when they search the internet.

Website accessibility makes your website usable by everyone, including those with sensory, mobility, or cognitive impairments. The end goal is to create an experience that is as enjoyable for people with disabilities as it is for people without disabilities.

Importance of Website Accessibility

It creates a connection between SEO and accessibility

The release of Google's Core Web Vitals algorithm further emphasizes the company's long-standing stance that website accessibility and usability go hand in hand.

Some on-page SEO features that are considered website accessibility features include sitemaps and/or breadcrumb links, image alt texts, navigation tabs and menus, anchor texts, and header tags.

It improves user experience

If you work to make your site accessible to as many people as possible, you'll also be improving its usability and, in turn, its overall quality.

This will boost your customers’ satisfaction.

If your website is easy to use, fast, and accessible, your audience will also get the impression that you care about them and want to give them the best possible experience with your brand.

It widens your reach

According to WHO (World Health Organization), 15% of the global population is disabled.

Taking into account the ephemeral population of people who experience temporary impairments significantly boosts the population of people who require web accessibility. 

What this means is that website accessibility can help you reach a highly valuable market segment that you might have overlooked. Everyone can benefit from a website that is easy to use, and if you make your website accessible, your business will attract more people and get more leads. 

Legal impact

Some countries have legal mandates requiring websites to be accessible to people with disabilities.

The Americans Disabilities Act, the UK Equality Act, and the European Accessibility Act are just a few examples of such legislation. 

These laws require websites (and other digital products and services) to:

  • Work with assistive technologies
  • Provide content in a format that is accessible to all users
  • Prevent discrimination against disabled people

 

SEO Tips to Enhance Website Accessibility

Improve Page Titles

The titles of web pages are crucial in letting visitors know what the pages are about.

If you’ve opened lots of tabs on your device, the titles can tell you what each tab stands for without actually opening them all. 

Also,

Screen readers use page titles to give users more information about the web page they are navigating.

Use Headings

Heading tags are a crucial part of search engine optimization. When it comes to heading tags, the <H1> tag can only be used once and must have the focus keyword for it to be a good SEO strategy. 

The secondary and tertiary keywords can be used in the <H2> through <H6> heading tags to define the page's structure even more. 

To improve website accessibility, there should only be one <H1> tag with the main keyword, and the other heading tags should only be used if necessary.

Use ALT Text

An ALT text is useful when an image fails to load. In this case, an alt text is displayed rather than a blank white space. 

As a result, the alt text must be accurate and relevant to the image rather than simply containing a slew of keywords stuffed to help the bots. The ALT text is also a popular intersection with SEO and website accessibility that the screen readers read aloud.

ALT text is useful because it can help you gain exposure and clicks from image searches.

Use a Descriptive Anchor Text

Let’s consider the two hyperlinked descriptions below:

  • For more information, click here. 
  • For more details, check our detailed guide on How to Boost Your SEO Efforts with Website Accessibility.

Which of these two options sounds better?

The second option sounds better. This is partly because it contains more descriptive words. Anchor text serves more purposes than simply linking to another page within your site (or an external site). 

An anchor text must be used correctly for SEO and for users to be able to find links. If you want to, you can add relevant keywords and a summary of what the linked page is about. 

Create Sitemaps

The pages and files in a website are cataloged in a sitemap.

This is an important feature for a website that has multiple pages that aren't linked to each other. 

Even though sitemaps help crawlers, their primary purpose is to aid site visitors in finding specific information. 

When designing a website, it is important to keep accessibility in mind. Sitemaps help with that by providing an organized overview of the site and straightforward access to its various sections.

 

Include Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs provide an alternate way for users to return to previous steps in their journey to the current page. It serves two purposes:

  • It allows users to return to the previous page.
  • It directs them to the main content.

Breadcrumbs are somewhat similar to a sitemap. They make the structure of a website clearer to search engine spiders and screen reader software.

Have Well-Defined Website Navigation

Having good website navigation won't matter much if your website only has one page. However, it makes sense to have clear navigation if you have hundreds of pages on your website. 

Your website's navigation should aid not only your users in finding what they're looking for but also search engines and people using screen readers.

Focus on Improving Readability

To succeed as an online content creator, you must give your readers something of tremendous value. When you share good content, it attracts shares and comments, which is great because it means more people will visit your site.

The correct title, the keywords in your H1 tag, the ALT text, the internal and external links, the keyword density, and lots more must all be in place for on-page SEO to be successful.

It's important to keep your content simple because it makes it easier to read for both users and search engines. 

There should also be easy-to-read URLs. Long URLs that are jam-packed with keywords and special characters are not only difficult for humans to read, but they also pose problems for search engine spiders and people who use screen readers. 

Wrapping Up

If your intended audience can't find or access your brand’s web content, it won't do any good. To reach more people and increase your ranks in organic search results, you need to prioritize both website accessibility and SEO. This is what will make your company's online content stand out from the competition.

 

Here at 1stpageKWs, we plan and tailor every facet of your website to your specific business. Our service will improve your search engine optimization, website design, and marketing strategy. 

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