Today, those who work in the online space understand that accessibility on the web should be the primary concern. While a lot of accessibility responsibility is placed on the developers’ shoulders, there is a lot of overlap in the SEO work.
Despite being close to SEO, web accessibility is hardly talked about. So, we took this matter online and asked the experts what they think about web accessibility and whether or not it affects SEO efforts.
Surprisingly, a whopping 58% polled their vote in favor of web accessibility. According to these individuals, web accessibility is something that is a must for the website, especially when more and more businesses are talking about the digital space.
What Is Web Accessibility?
The concept of web accessibility comes from the idea of making your website accessible to every visitor. While every visitor might not be in perfect condition to consume your content, your website must cater to the content in different forms so that every visitor is able to access the content.
With web accessibility, all your visitors are able to consume the content available on your website. Whether the visitors have auditory, physical, cognitive, visual, or neurological problems, with well-established web accessibility, they will be able to perceive, navigate, understand and interact with your website.
Web accessibility has been in the industry for more than a decade; it is now that people are getting aware of it. To know more about web accessibility, seek help from Norfolk SEO Consultants.
Why Is Web Accessibility Important?
We have already talked about what web accessibility is all about. By teh definition, you must have understood the core reason behind web accessibility. It is this core reason to serve all the visitors that make web accessibility important for your website.
What do the Florida Shoe Store and Beyonce lawsuit have in common? Both faced lawsuits because their website violated ADA 1990.
While these types of lawsuits are on the rise and will keep rising, it is just one reason why your business needs web accessibility on the website.
- Enhance User Experience: Most of the practices that are done to comply with web accessibility guidelines ultimately help to enhance the overall user experience. For instance, users get access to easy navigation, legible text, and faster loading time.
- Accurate Page Title Help Screen Readers: Using accurate page titles that reflect the content of the webpage is essential. This is really helpful in the case of visually impaired users because the first thing they will read after landing on the page is the title.
- Good Header Structure Define Clear Content Hierarchy: Having good and well-distributed header tags defines the hierarchy of the content. It also helps users to understand the depth of the content in every section. If the header structure is clear, a user with visual impairment will at least have an idea of what every section talks about.
- Alt Text Improves Page Relevance: Alt text is important if you are using images on your website. In case your images fail to load, Alt text helps users to know what images were used in the content.
- Video Transcription Help In Video Indexing: Web accessibility guidelines make it mandatory to have video transcription for all the video content on your website. This is done to ensure even blind and deaf people can understand what the video is all about.
How Does ADA Affect Websites?
While our SEO work mostly focuses on making the website accessible for search engines, a lot of areas we focus on have to do with the accessibility of the website.
That being said, if you focus on these areas of SEO, you can make your website more accessible to visitors.
- Sitemap: A sitemap is like a log book for all the web pages on the website. It helps the user to find the right page they are looking for. Sitemaps are particularly important for accessibility as they provide an overview of all important pages on a website.
- Alternative Text: This is perhaps the most well-known SEO factor that is perfectly alright with web accessibility. Alternative text is the text that is displayed when the images on the website fail to load. In addition, the alternative text also helps the crawlers to understand the context of images. If crawlers understand the content of the images, the images hold the potential to be shown in image search results.
- Readability: It is important to ensure any content on the website is readable and digestible. Having content that is simple to understand is one of the best ways to cater to the audiences. In order to make your content simple, try avoiding complex jargon, and content should be well structured with titles and heading tags.
- Navigation: A website’s navigation is key to making it accessible for the visitor. The faster users get to the page they want, the better your website’s accessibility. To ensure smoother navigation, try to use only primary pages rather than the entire website. Using the entire website to share information about your business can confuse visitors.
- User Interaction: A website with user interaction gives a positive signal to search engines. This helps the search engine to rank the website better on SERP. You need to create content that interacts with the readers and makes them take action on the web page. And the interaction can be increased if the website is accessible to the visitors.
While there are no regulations to make the website ADA compliant, that WCAG is the reference point for the courts to make any decisions if needed and for companies to make the necessary adjustment for improvements.
Some of these adjustments include –
- Content needs to be robust to the point where anyone can access the content.
- The visual presentation of the text and images needs to follow the contrast of at least 4.5:1.
- Content needs to be coded with audio translation.
- Sites must include accessible drop-down menus.
Today, investing in the necessary adjustments to accommodate those with disabilities is not only ‘just the right thing to do’, but has become a legal requirement.
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