How Website Accessibility and SEO Go Hand in Hand

Search engine optimization (SEO) and website accessibility are two crucial elements of a well-designed website. While they may seem unrelated on the surface, optimizing for accessibility and search engines often go hand in hand.

After all, SEO aims to bring more visitors to your site while accessibility ensures those visitors have an easy time navigating and using your content once they arrive.

What is Website Accessibility?

Website accessibility refers to the practice of making sure the information on your website can be easily accessed and utilized by people with various abilities and disabilities. This includes people with any limitation in vision, mobility, hearing as well as those with specific cognition and neurological requirements.

Who Does Website Accessibility Affect?

Far more than just blind users benefit from accessible design. Consider:

  • Hearing impaired rely on captions & transcripts for audio content
  • Motor impaired depend on keyboard navigation and focus indicators
  • Cognitive impairments require clear navigation, structure and language
  • Visual conditions need color contrast and text resizing options
  • Seizure disorders require avoidance of flashing imagery
  • Neuro-divergent people may react negatively to moving ads, scrolling banners and auto-play audio/video

What Features Make A Website Accessible?

There are many ways to improve the accessibility of a website but here are a few of the most common adaptations people to offer a more inclusive website.

  • Alt Text: Any image that conveys special meaning or performs a special function on a website (such as an image that’s also a linked button) should include a text alternative to that image in the code.
  • Transcripts: Audio and video content should come with transcripts and/or captions.
  • Resizable Text: Users should be able to easily enlarge text for ease of reading.
    High Color Contrast: A higher color contrast between the text and background of a page makes the text easier to read.
  • Keyboard Accessibility: People with mobility limitations often use screen-reading software to navigate a website. However, if a website doesn’t include code that screen-readers can recognize, the screen-reader won’t be able to efficiently navigate the website or may not be able to navigate it at all.
  • Headings: Headings provide structure and organize the content of your website so that it’s easier to navigate. This is especially helpful for anyone relying on a screen-reader as well as anyone who has a neurological condition that makes sorting through text difficult.

How Does Accessibility Overlap with SEO?

Optimizing for accessibility aligns closely with many essential SEO best practices:

Alt Text for Images

Concise, accurate descriptions in ALT attributes convey an image’s content and context both to blind users and search engines alike.

Page Titles & Headings

Well organized and descriptive headings don’t just make it easier for users to skim through your site and find what they need quickly. Properly coded headings also provide vital information to search engines about which topics are covered on a given page or blog post and which topics are most important. This can help search engines know which of your pages it should recommend to users based on what they’re looking for.

Site Structure

A site that is well structured is easy to navigate. Content is organized in a way that feels logical and intuitive to visitors, users can easily tell if they’re in the right space, quickly find what they’re looking for and intuitively navigate from one section of your site to another.

The benefits to your visitors is obvious but site structure is also an important aspect of your SEO strategy. This is because search engines, like Google, rely on your site structure to determine which pages on your site are most important. By thoughtfully developing your site structure, you’re effectively telling the search engines which of your pages you’d most like to rank for.

Sitemaps

A sitemap outlines the site structure, guides search engines to all pages and indicates how each page is connected to the other. This same architecture assists navigation for disabled users.

Readability

Well written paragraphs, easy to understand titles, and simple language are the essential elements of good marketing. Making sure the text on your site is easy to read and understand is also a great way to improve user engagement and greater user engagement is a positive SEO signal.

In Summary

Crafting a website that’s both accessible and optimized are goals that overlap. Both rely on thoughtful design, good site structure and proper coding to make sure your website can interface well with different technologies.

An accessible site with neatly organized content provides a better user experience for all visitors while more effectively communicating your site’s structure and content to search engines. Prioritizing inclusive design and SEO together makes for happy users, higher rankings and a more successful website.

Make Your Website More Accessible Today

The first step to making your site more accessible is having your website reviewed by a professional developer and find out what changes you may need to make.
At Nine Planets, we offer several accessibility packages to fit your budget and needs.

Website Accessibility Review

Our team of professional web developers will review your website to assess your site’s compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA standards and we’ll provide you with a report of any accessibility issues we detect.

Making Your Website ADA Compliant

We’ll review our findings with you and implement any necessary changes to ensure your website is up-to-date and accessible to people of varying abilities.

Training YOU on Accessibility

Interested in keeping your site accessible while keeping costs down? Nine Planets offers accessibility training to business owners and staff so that you can make edits to your own site while maintaining accessibility standards.

Get started today with a Quick Accessibility Review for only $349!