What Exactly Does It Mean to Say That a Website Is Accessible?
Accessibility, in the context of websites, simply refers to how simple it is for persons with impairments to navigate and use a certain website. This includes being able to view and interact with any section of your website, just like any other able-bodied person would be able to do.
This is a direct result of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was passed in 1990 and signed into law. The Act places an emphasis on ensuring equal access to every individual, regardless of whether or not they have a disability.
Hearing impairments, vision impairments, and various forms of physical disability may all fall under the umbrella term “disability.” In addition to that, it may include mental and emotional handicaps. People of advanced age who struggle with these kinds of disabilities are also included in this group.
Accessing your website may at times be difficult for people with impairments because it requires specific tools, such as screen readers. Taking actions to make your website more accessible will guarantee that these assistive technologies can use it
What Kind of Effect Does Accessibility Have on Optimization for search engine.
It is abundantly evident that the accessibility of your website has a big influence on the rankings it receives. The procedures that are required in ensuring that accessibility compliance are often the same processes that are included in your typical SEO efforts.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that search engine optimization and website accessibility work hand in hand.
1. Improves UX Signals
You should already be aware that the user experience on your website is directly impacted by the accessibility of your website. If you do not install sufficient accessibility safeguards on your website, about one out of every four of your visitors is likely to have a negative experience while they are there.
And would you believe it? The signals provided by the user experience are taken into account by Google’s ranking algorithms as one of the most important elements. These UX indications will hold much more weight once Google rolls out its Page Experience redesign in May 2021; the rollout is anticipated for that month.
The following are some of the most significant user experience cues that Google takes into consideration:
Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit your site just once and then leave without taking any action. A visitor is considered to have “bounced” from your website when they leave without doing anything. If visitors are unable to access your site easily, they will leave instantly, which will result in a greater bounce rate for your website.
Dwell time is the amount of time a person spends on your website before going back to the page that displays the search engine’s results (SERP). If your website has accessibility problems, people won’t stay on it as long, which means your bounce rate will be higher.
Pogo sticking: This concept is comparable to that of dwell time, and it describes the situation in which a user looks for a solution to their query by viewing many sites that are shown on the search engine results page (SERP). If users have trouble accessing your website, they will move on to the subsequent result in Google Search.
Even if you are ranking in one of the top three spots on the search engine results page (SERP), Google will still be able to identify negative user experience signals. Because of this, your ranks will fall at some point in the future.
2. Contributes to an Improved Site’s Readability and Organization
Assistive technology, such as screen readers, are often used by elderly users as well as users who have cognitive difficulties. It is very crucial for a website to adhere to the appropriate structural guidelines in order for users of screen readers to comprehend the meaning of the content on a web page.
The importance of having names that are descriptive, for instance, cannot be overstated for screen readers. This is due to the fact that screen readers examine the title as the very first item when trying to aid individuals comprehend the context of the content of a page. And as you are aware, the optimization of title tags is one of the first steps in SEO.
Users with cognitive impairments who rely on assistive technology should also pay attention to the page’s appropriate hierarchical structure, which should have correct headings, bullets, and numbered lists, among other elements. Another thing that contributes to on-page SEO success is having a page that is structured correctly.
In addition to this, accessibility refers to the process of making the content of your website easier to read. This involves having sentences and paragraphs that are shorter, eliminating the use of superfluous jargon, and writing in a tone that is conversational. These elements contribute to an improvement in SEO by assisting with the optimization of highlighted snippets and voice searches.
3. Makes Use Of An Image Alt Text Optimization
Only via the alt text that you give for the photos on your website are users who have visual impairments able to comprehend what is being shown in an image. This indicates that alternative text that is incomprehensible in any way will not work in favour of accessibility requirements.
Image alt text optimization is required to meet accessibility standards. Your website would not comply with the ADA compliance criteria if you did not provide alternative texts that provide a description of the images on your site.
Image alt texts are also a very important component of search engine optimization. Adding target keywords to your alt texts is an important part of on-page SEO, which will help your photos rank higher on Google. It’s possible that using alt texts can help your photographs be listed in more desirable search results.
Another method that improving accessibility helps with greater search engine exposure is by providing descriptive picture alt texts for online accessibility. When you do this, you will immediately be contributing SEO keywords to whatever you are working on.
4. Includes Video Transcription
Once again, video transcription operates in the same manner as the optimization of picture alt text. Video transcripts are only textual summaries of the content included inside your movies. Screen readers will have an easier time understanding the content of your website if you include transcripts to all of your videos.
The keywords that are located in video transcripts are also used by search engines to rank the content of websites, which is one reason why video transcripts are beneficial to SEO.
5. Requires the Use of the Language That People Actually Use
The primary objective of online accessibility is to facilitate each user’s comprehension of the information included on a website. The use of language as it would normally be spoken is a significant component of this. Content that is written in natural language is written so that it may be readily understood and comprehended by all of us and does not use any words that are not essential.
The same is true for SEO, and it’s helpful. Practices such as keyword stuffing and introducing extra links that do not exist organically in the text are not acceptable in Google’s eyes, and the search engine does not support them. Therefore, utilising natural language is inherently beneficial to search engine optimization (SEO).
Accessibility Boosts for Your Website and How to Implement Them
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can work toward enhancing the accessibility of your website now that you are aware of the significant influence that it may have on your Google results.
1. Obtain Clarification on the Accessibility Guidelines for Websites
It is very necessary to have an understanding of the accessibility problems plaguing your website before you make any attempts to repair them. The majority of us do not know enough about online accessibility, which is the primary reason we do not place sufficient importance on it.
Begin educating yourself and your team using tools such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are available online. Get a firm grasp on what it really takes to make your website fully accessible.
2. Conduct an Accessibility Audit of the Way Your Website Is Currently Set Up
Your website will need to be examined for any accessibility problems as the following step. Even if you have worked on accessibility in the past, you are need to do another round of auditing as a precautionary measure to ensure that you have not overlooked anything.
If you want to gain a decent notion of the markup structure of your site, you may use the Markup Validation Tool that is provided by the W3C. You may also carry out an inspection manually by visiting random pages on your website and analysing the components that make up each page.
3. Invest in an Effective Accessibility Solution for the Website
Accessibility is something that should not be prioritised by your search engine optimization professionals despite the fact that it is strongly tied to SEO. Accessibility on the web encompasses a great number of specialist features that are, for the most part, better left to accessibility experts.
Accessibility on the web is not a one-time, finished-and-dusted item; rather, it is a continuous activity. This is another important point to keep in mind. You cannot be certain that your website will always be fully accessible if you continue to add new pages to it or modify the material that is already there since you will be adding new pages.
Repairing accessibility issues manually may be quite a challenging undertaking, and there is always the possibility that human error will be introduced at some point throughout the process. To protect yourself from potentially costly ADA litigation, it is in your best interest to implement an automated online accessibility solution that is driven by artificial intelligence.
You will never have to worry about accessibility again if you have an AI website accessibility solution like this one. It will automatically check your website for accessibility problems and solve them.
4. Do everything you can to foster an inclusive environment
At conclusion, you should do everything you can to foster an inclusive atmosphere in the firm that you work for. Accessibility on websites shouldn’t be an option but rather a must for all websites. It is a moral obligation that you make your website accessible to all users, regardless of the capabilities or impairments that they may have.
Accessibility will not be incorporated into your day-to-day company operations unless you first promote inclusion and empathy. When accessibility is prioritised from the beginning of the design process for a website, it is possible to solve around fifty percent of the problems that arise.
Beginning the process of making your website more accessible can help you get higher rankings.
You should now have a solid understanding of why it is financially irresponsible for you to overlook the accessibility of your website. Accessibility of your website may have a significant influence on how highly it is ranked in search engines, which is essential for the long-term success of any company.
Do not procrastinate any longer; immediately go to work on the accessibility of your website. In light of the advantages that may potentially accrue to you in the long term, it would be a comparatively little expenditure on your part.