SEO

Accessibility and SEO: Where They Overlap and How To Optimize For Both

The general perception is that website accessibility often hampers the SEO tactics. However, it is not completely true in-fact if we carefully look at the accessibility standard and approach and major SEO design tactics, they go complement each other.

The amount of momentum online world and digital marketing have gained unimaginable. With growth comes a higher level of expectation from users. Initially, the website acted as a virtual banner for your business which tells custom what they can get from the actual store and expectation was basic. However, now accessibility has become a bare minimum expectation.

Your website’s online content has to be accessible all the time literally to everyone and it’s not just about content. All the relevant functions should be working. Let’s say everything is working on your site; however, user faces issue while buying a product. It is an accessibility issue, although the content is available and updated. Buying functionality is down and here goes the user experience for a toss.

You can understand the criticality by the fact that many users have sued the companies for websites being not accessible. Google always stands with the user and has clearly defined guidelines for website accessibility to enhance user experience. No wonder site accessibility is a key area to consider for digital marketers.

Website Accessibility Can Improve SEO

Digital Marketers need to take website accessibility seriously just like website security and technical aspects of SEO. Let’s take a look at how web design based on accessibility factors can improve SEO as well. For more information, you can contact an SEO company.

Clear and Logical Structure

Just like SEO, Site accessibility is based on the fact that both website and pages should have a clearly defined structure which is logical and user friendly.

1. Website Structure should include clear navigation, usage of breadcrumbs for users, and well-defined site maps. Thankfully this is the need for a good SEO strategy. They provide easy content navigation for the users and also lets the search engine bots crawl through and understand the structure. If you are a WordPress user Yoast plugin provides options of using breadcrumbs in your site.

2. Page-level Structure: Now, if you look at the page level structure. The intent is to improve readability, that is, structure should allow screen readers to navigate easily.

  • Meaningful Subheadings
  • Content should be clickable and take you to specific subheadings

3. Now From SEO standpoint above two points are of great help. 

4. Using keywords within headings and subheadings improves content visibility and helps in page ranking.

5. The use of internal links in Table of Contents (making them clickable) automatically generates jump to links in the snippets which helps in increasing the click-through rate. (CTR)

6. There are various plugins available to assist you in creating clickable TOC.

7. Having a structure is also helpful in site readability in mobile devices and we know mobile usage is way more in few segments than other devices.

Readability

Your site content should be clear and concise. There are some basic rules which can help you achieve that like using simple and short words, write short sentences, avoid using slangs or abbreviation without their description. These rules also help in better optimization as the readable text gets featured more on search results and stands a definite chance in better ranking when it comes to voice search. While creating content keeps these small things in mind and it will help you with both accessibility and optimization.

Alternative Text (Alt Text) for Images

As part of the SEO strategy, you need to optimize your visual content by adding target keywords in the Alt text. So, Google can understand more about the image and they find a place in search results. This is also applicable to accessibility. However, a small difference is that instead of only focusing on keywords. Alt texts should be sensible, they should add context to the usage of the image. Not just what is the image, but what it is trying to convey. This is a must considering users who have visual difficulties, use various technologies to access web read the text. However, if images don’t have alt text. It will impact readability.

You may use a snippet tool or other various plugins available to see if your website has missing alt texts. This gives you a snapshot of each page. For a larger website where there are tons of images, you may use AccessiBe, which is an AI-based tool, and automatically generates relevant alt tags by analyzing the pictures saving you a lot of time and resources.

Transcripts for Videos

Just like Alt tags, Video transcripts are important for people with hearing difficulties. It is a required factor for accessibility. From an SEO perspective, Google considers text context important and it helps to rank. If you look at YouTube videos, their descriptions along with snippets appear on the search page. There are many tools available to help you in the creation of transcripts.

Any website should provide the user with easy navigation and content which makes sense. Coincidently, this happens to be the goal of both accessibility and SEO.

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