Website accessibility is something that every web developer should consider, but surprisingly few do. After all, an accessible website opens your virtual doors to a larger audience, and not just in the ways you’d think. As it turns out, many of the best practices for an ADA-compliant website are also best practices for strong SEO (Search Engine Optimization) design on every page.
Consider what makes a website more readable by assistive technologies such as text-to-speech or a refreshable Braille display. Clear tags, clear content, well-labeled visuals, and captioning your audio are all SEO best practices for website accessibility. Doing this on every single page will undoubtedly strengthen your SERP ranking on technical SEO alone.
Dive in with Dedicated Designs on how your website can win at both 1) an ADA website that is welcoming for all humans and 2) a great SEO strategy at the same time.
Clear and Useful Title Tags
Web crawlers and assistive page readers both love the title tag. A title tag tells readers what the page is about. A long, confusing title is as annoying for your visually or orthopedically-impaired website visitors as it is for normal readers. And a missing title tag is just plain bad for business no matter what you are trying to accomplish.
When building each page, having a clear, useful title tag that aptly describes the page will make your pages more browsable under ADA guidelines and by SEO web crawlers.
Proper Use of Heading Tags
Descriptive page titles and heading tags throughout the page help make the content more organized for the search engines. Headers also make the text more skimmable for those using screen readers, and easier to sort information if they are using a refreshable Braille display – which often has a small display area only a few lines tall.
Clear heading tags allow your readers to skim the content and then choose to narrow down on the details.
Likewise, search engines use heading tags to quickly determine what your content is really about. They also use this to see whether you have the answers that inquiring users are looking for.
Useful Link Anchor Text
When you create links and buttons on your web page, make sure they are named for where they lead or what the button does. A button that says “Click Here” (especially if embedded in a promotional image) is less useful for someone reading a Braille display than descriptive anchor text.
Fortunately, Google also likes a useful selection of anchor text. In fact, Google would much rather your anchor text read “fresh baked bread” than simply “bakery” or “shop now,” so everybody wins.
Descriptive Image Alt-Text
What about images? How does it affect your website accessibility? Using alternative text on every image, you can actually make your visual content available to the visually impaired – with a vivid description. By indicating what is depicted, you let your non-visual readers know what you mean to convey with each image. In this way you are not leaving them out of visual content.
Of course, you’ve probably heard about filling out your alt-text before. This is because it’s an essential SEO strategy that can also get your pages listed on Google Image searches. After all, if you name an image “girl with red ball at the park” and someone searches for “children playing ball at the park” your image may show up as a result, winning traffic through just your image descriptions.
Captions and Transcripts for Video and Audio Content
Publishing captions for your videos and transcripts for your audio content transforms that recorded data into SEO-rich conversations and scripts. Web crawlers cannot read audio content. Additionally, people with hearing impairment can’t access your audio content without it being transcribed for them.
Transcripts and captions are good for video and ADA compliance. Hence, improving your website accessibility. They can also broaden your audience to people who can’t turn their sound up.
Win at Both ADA Compliance and SEO
Upgrading your website accessibility is a great way to welcome a broader audience, boost your technical SEO efforts, and create a better user experience. Contact us today to build an ADA upgrade plan, an SEO plan, or both for your website with Dedicated Designs.