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Can Web Accessibility Affect SEO?

Have you ever met a person who is visually impaired? Consider how using the Internet may be different for them – whether they are low vision, color blind or fully blind. If you closed your eyes, what challenges would you face to interact with the web like you do every day?

Building an accessible website for all is important, and it also intersects with search engine optimization (SEO) practices. The good news is that you can both improve your website’s SEO and make it more accessible. After all the goal is in many ways the same for both search engine bots and assistive technologies like screen readers—content that is readable by machines.

In the past, practices to stuff keywords in content inhibited accessibility, but SEO and accessibility experts now align more closely advocating for appropriate descriptive alt text (or alternative text) and title attributes for content. It is important for descriptive text to accurately identify content for both search engines and screen readers.

What are some ways in which SEO and Accessibility interact?

  • Utilizes alternative text on images and video
  • Uses appropriate heading structure
  • Avoids empty headings
  • Provides a descriptive link text as opposed to terms like “click here”
  • Only uses JavaScript when needed
  • Avoids interaction dependent upon mouse use
  • Uses standards for web formatting
  • Provides a variety of ways to clearly navigate content
  • Provides a consistent page structure
  • Uses text when possible
  • Offers useful resources and links
  • Presents URLs in a readable format
  • Defines abbreviations and acronyms

Combining SEO and Accessibility is an Advantage

While not having accessibility may not affect your search engine rank, it can have inhibit a user from visiting your website and can have legal ramifications. Accessibility should not be considered a separate matter from search engine optimization, but a part of the overall SEO technique. Ensuring that your website has a WCAG-compliant website and is optimized for search is an advantage to you, and your organization or business.

Consider how website accessibility can benefit you. Contact us today for a quote!