Many organizations and websites claim that adding web accessibility solutions can improve the SEO ranking of the site’s web content. Technically it sounds correct. But you must understand how it actually happens before you take the statement for granted. For the purpose of this post, we will be considering the technical aspects of Google search. There are other search engines that are just as effective. But the popularity of Google as a search engine is unparalleled. The majority of internet searches go through Google.
You meet many SEO parameters when you make your website accessible for people with disabilities. Here are a few practices that improve web accessibility and SEO ranking.
- Adding descriptive link texts to the web content.
- Adding descriptive alt texts.
- Images must not have informational text inside them as screen readers do not read them.
- Screen readers do not recognize abbreviations. Acronyms also hurt SEO.
- The use of clear writing is essential for people with disabilities.
- Descriptive headings are necessary for both parameters.
- Appropriate use of heading tags can benefit web accessibility as well as SEO.
- Adding a description for page titles can be useful.
- Adding descriptions for video content is essential to make a website accessible. They can also improve SEO ranking.
You must adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Develop a strategy accordingly for your teams to improve web content accessibility. As you can see that most of the parameters can automatically benefit your SEOs.
Making an accessible website means you need to add descriptions for everything. That enables screen readers to go through the web content. It also helps search bots navigate through your site and gather all the information. That means these bots will be able to look for the keywords and index your page efficiently. That, in turn, assures that your web page comes up on relevant searches. It also ensures that it does not get featured on irrelevant searches, or that might increase your bounce rate and affect your ranking. But there are certain things that must be kept in mind.
Search bots look for appropriate keywords and their placement in relation to the text. That means it is not adequate that the site contains all the essential keywords. The text in which they appear should be readable too. You have to ensure that language is easily understandable when you make your website accessible to people with disabilities. It will also discourage you from stuffing the content with keywords. However, one should bear in mind that keyword optimization is one of the factors that can affect your ranking. It can take your site from the 20th rank for a search to the 12th rank. But it won’t be able to bring it from 20th place to 4th place. So implementing other means of search optimization is essential.
The search parameters used by Google’s algorithms have transformed over the years. People’s behavior plays an essential role in search ranking. Unlike the last decade, stuffing a website with keywords will not rank it higher in the search. There are several aspects of a person’s behavior that can affect your website’s ranking. If a person clicks on your site and exits soon after, the algorithms take it as a sign that your website is not the optimal choice for the search parameter. On the other hand, if the user spends some time on your website or scrolls to a different section, it tells the bots that your site is relevant to the search. If the person navigates to another page on your site, it improves your ranking further. That will also help your SEOs with similar searches.
If you improve your website accessibility, you increase the amount of time a user will stay on your website which means a lower bounce rate.
Accessibility functions take longer to decipher your website’s contents and relay that to the user. If you add clear and informative content to your website, it will ensure that people feel engaged with your site for longer durations. Make sure that the content is easy to follow and optimally structured for assistive technologies. It helps users with disabilities to follow and use your website. Having an accessible website does not mean you can neglect the other keyword related parameters of improving your ranking. You must include relevant keywords in your meta description and page title.
Accessibility means you will also gain several more customers. It will give you an edge over your competitors who have not optimized their accessibility.