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Many of the recommended practices for search engine optimization and internet accessibility are comparable. Those who offer advisory or other services for both processes should be aware of this specific overlap in order to improve both.

According to the World Bank, one in every seven people, or about 1.85 billion adults globally, has a disability, accounting for 15% of the world’s population. In the USA, the number is substantially higher: One in every four people or 61 million adults live with a disability on a daily basis.

A shocking 73% of people, including friends and family members of people with disabilities, are concerned about accessibility. Can you afford to ignore 73% of your product’s market?

Accessibility and SEO are two important considerations when designing and creating digital content. Here are seven simple tactics that leverage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and accessibility to enhance site traffic and boost user experience.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is the practice of improving a website’s exposure by achieving a high ranking on a search engine like Google.

This boosts the traffic as well as the quality of website visitors. This method might entail improving the presentation of current information or creating whole new content on certain topics.

You may be shocked to find how much overlap exists between SEO and online accessibility.

What components have to be taken into consideration to boost SEO?

Design

Avoid images of text, since search engines like screen readers cannot decode images. They can understand the content of a website by reading the source code.

This means that neither screen reader users nor Google crawlers will be able to read any text on an image.

User experience

UX or User Experience creates digital environments that improves on-page experience and eliminates user discomfort. Google considers the on-page experience when ranking websites; if a website’s visitors find it difficult to navigate or confused, they will quit immediately.

Information hierarchy

A logical information hierarchy makes it easy for humans and web crawlers to access material in the correct order, improving a website’s usability and SEO.

Few myths about SEO and accessibility

MYTH #1: The only purpose of digital accessibility is to increase access for blind people

Although a visual disability is often highlighted when discussing digital accessibility, it is far from the only one that should be considered.

Digital accessibility is also important for those with hearing and cognitive impairments.

MYTH #2: Keyword optimization in content is the only part of SEO

Technological methodologies are one of the many elements that Google’s ranking algorithm takes into account, as was previously mentioned.

Clear navigation

Logical navigation helps visitors and Google crawlers comprehend how the site’s many components interact with one another and where to find particular information.

Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are critical for SEO treatment, a website visitor must always be attentive to where they are on your site and how they got there. It also helps Google crawlers comprehend how each page fits into the larger picture.

Sitemap

Both crawlers and users with impairments may use it to discover material more quickly.

Headers

H1, H2, H3, and other tags have a function! They help everyone grasp the material even if they don’t read everything on the page. They also aid individuals who use screen readers to skip to the particular section.

Alt text

Images without alt text are worthless to Google crawlers as well as to persons with visual impairments. Always provide alt text for images.

MYTH #3: Complete accessibility necessitates strong SEO

Accessibility is just one of hundreds or thousands of characteristics utilized to rank websites. Furthermore, although technically accessible digital content meets WCAG guidelines, it may not deliver a rich user experience.

This is where user testing comes in handy, especially when people with disabilities are included in the testing group. Similarly, it is quite easy to have a website that is very difficult to access and does well in search results or vice versa.

What does it all mean?

Even if there are overlapping characteristics that influence both exceptional SEO and accessibility, having one does not ensure having the other.

Potential conflicts between accessibility and SEO

Is there any possibility that SEO and accessibility will not function effectively together? This article, we feel, has shown this beyond a reasonable question.

There are a few technical SEO standards and recommended practices for accessibility that contradict one another. However, overzealous search engine optimization marketers might sometimes go too far in their attempts to comply with other Google ranking criteria.

Considering that keyword stuffing is out of date, it is still used, especially in anchor text. The thing for consideration is that if someone wants to stuff keywords like there’s no tomorrow, it may not be the most valuable anchor text.

Non-descriptive alt text is a similar circumstance although marketers may be tempted to jam as many keywords as possible into the alt text, this is not the purpose of the alt text.

It is done to make it simpler for screen reader users to fully interpret the material on the page. Use long-tail keywords for a more thorough output rather than basic or non-linear keywords for alt text.

7 Tactics That Leverage Accessibility and SEO

Differentiate between branded and non-branded terms

People searching for your brand or company by name have likely heard of it before through some other marketing channel. The candidate has heard of your brand name somewhere, whether it was on the radio, TV or in online ads.

Those seeking your brand will be able to find you easily with a great natural search strategy. However, the effectiveness of SEO is determined by how many people find you while searching for wide, relevant keywords.

Create calendars

One should review their natural search data on a weekly or monthly basis to detect seasonal trends.

Additionally, integrate the data with a website update schedule, such as:

  • Add vital information
  • Rearrange content
  • Change hierarchy

To determine which changes are having the most impact, compare your site modifications to your natural search traffic trends. It may take two to four weeks give or take for search engines to index modifications to your website. And it will be a few weeks before those changes are reflected in how traffic behaves.

Link keywords to KPIs

Although high traffic and rankings on search engine results pages are important, they are not the end goal of SEO.

Furthermore, traffic is not the main factor of natural search success. Although traffic may be high, it may not be of the desired kind. Alternatively, you may not be properly monetizing the traffic. To optimize the value of your SEO efforts, you must produce the right traffic and monetize it successfully.

Compare search data to overall site performance

Comparing your natural search statistics to your whole site metrics is a good way to assess whether your optimization tactics are working.

For example, if your natural search income is rising 15% year over year while your site’s overall revenue remains stable. This is a strong indication that your natural search program is working.

Don’t forget about offline conversions

The performance of sales leads created by marketers using natural search must be evaluated and regulated keyword by keyword.

It’s easy to monitor how many leads each term creates. However, understanding the eventual conversion rate of such phrases is more challenging – and critical. The only method to evaluate a keyword’s success is to know its conversion rate.

Uncover problems

Avoid becoming so engrossed in the particulars of one sentence that you lose sight of wider trends. However, if you believe that certain keywords should be doing better, go deeper into the data that is specifically related to those keywords and their landing sites.

Watch for major drops in the number of visitors going on to the following round. A big drop in traffic might suggest a problem with the page, such as the design or keyword relevance.

Keep an eye out for linkages

You won’t be able to tell how much money your natural search strategy is bringing in simply by looking at the links that go to your website. However, it will allow you to determine if you need to revise your outreach strategy, which is a critical component of efficient SEO.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, accessibility and SEO are both important considerations when creating digital content. By using semantic HTML, optimizing images, using descriptive link text, creating high-quality and engaging content, using headings and structured data, creating a mobile-friendly website and making use of ARIA roles, you can create digital content that is both accessible and optimized for search engines.

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