To maintain a strong SEO strategy, you must be open to learning new best practices and adapting to them to provide greater value to your audience. While some best practices are temporary trends, others remain essential content marketing tools, such as adhering to website accessibility guidelines.
Website accessibility optimization is the process of making web content accessible to everyone. You’re probably ready to implement it on your website if you’re reading this. For some content marketers, it can be difficult to learn and apply accessibility best practices. This is why we created this guide. It will explain web accessibility and provide five tips to help you adhere to the guidelines.
As you go through this guide, we recommend you also explore examples of accessibility-optimized websites to see the real-world application of the tips we provide. It is a great idea to look at lists of the top websites. Morweb’s list of top nonprofit websites will show you a lot of sites that use accessibility widgets or other strategies to make the content accessible for everyone.
- SEO is all about website accessibility. It also has legal implications.
- You might consider investing in a CMS with accessibility tools such as an accessibility widget.
- Headers are used to organize content and provide context for screen readers users who navigate your website.
- Alt text, a single sentence that describes the purpose of an image in your website, should be used for all images.
- Accessibility is best achieved by using easy-to-read fonts, element coloring with high contrast ratios, and fonts that are simple to read.
- Make sure you include captioning and transcripts if you are using multimedia elements such as podcasts or videos on your website.
- Accessibility is the key to connecting a target audience with a business.
What is Web Accessibility?
According to 2020 Search Engine Journal, “Web accessibility” ensures that all users can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with a website. This includes all disabilities.
Search Engine Journal points out that accessibility is also important for people with temporary impairments such as those who have poor internet connections or broken arms.
Accessibility is a great way for customers to see that you care about their needs and it also has important SEO implications. Search engines learn to read web pages the same way humans do. There is a lot of overlap in optimizing for people with different abilities and optimizing search engines.
Accessibility is not only important for SEO but also critical to protect your business. Websites are becoming more “public accommodations” in the United States. This means that they fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In other words, an inaccessible site could be a liability to your business.
Let’s now look at five practical ways accessibility best practices can be applied to your web content.
1. Make sure you choose a website builder who offers accessibility tools.
Depending on which content management system (CMS), your business uses, your ability to make your website accessible can be greatly affected. To access accessibility features on open-source platforms such as WordPress and Drupal, you might need to install a third party plugin. A more specific CMS may already have these features.
You can make accessibility more accessible for your visitors by using the right CMS. This is usually done through an accessibility widget. Accessibility widgets are usually used to allow users to:
- Modify the text size
- Greyscale website color change
- Highlight links
- Change font type to non-serif
An accessibility widget that has these capabilities is great because each user can personalize their experience on your site. While some users might want to utilize all of the functions, others may only need one.
2. Headers should be used correctly.
Imagine this: A blog post is very long. You have only a few minutes left to understand it all before you move on to the next task. You can start by reading the headers. They help to organize the content and make it easier to navigate.
Headers are essential for users who are able to read the content themselves, such as in the above example. Headers are equally important for screen readers users who navigate your content.
Different header classifications (H1, H2, H3, etc.) Different header classifications (H1, H2, H3, etc.) can be used to show screen readers the organization of blog posts. This will help guide users in understanding the information.
These are some ways to use headers in your content.
- You should ensure that every web page has only one H1. This should be the page’s primary title.
- To visually offset regular text from the header levels, make sure that each level has its own font style.
- Headers should be used in descending order (i.e. from H2 to H3).
- Don’t skip a header level (i.e. Go from H2 toH4 — This indicates to screen readers, even if the information is correct, that it is missing.
Headers are beneficial for everyone who interacts in any way with your content. Headers are a way to make sure your content is logical and organized for all who may be reading it.
3. Images can be given alt text.
Images are an integral part of engaging content. When it comes accessibility, you need to consider whether everyone who visits your content can view and understand what your images mean.
A potential customer may find themselves in a situation where some of your images don’t load properly on the page that they are viewing with their mobile device. A visitor who uses a screen-reader might feel a gap in their experience due to an incomplete image not being prepared for “read” by the screen reader.
Alt text is the solution. Alt text is one sentence that describes an image to a website visitor who cannot see it. Alt text is often mistakenly viewed as a way to keyword stuffing by some marketers. This is a mistake. Instead, focus on alt text that is truly helpful to website visitors. Your overall strategy will be more effective if you build rapport with your audience through providing them with useful alt texts than by using your keyword unnaturally a few times more.
4. Be careful when choosing fonts and colors.
Did you know that accessibility can also be affected by the fonts and color scheme you choose? You need to choose your fonts and colors carefully. Let’s take a closer glance to see why.
Some fonts are more difficult to read than others. A calligraphy-inspired font that has swooping lines or curls can look sophisticated and elegant, but it can be difficult for website visitors to understand your content. Most people who visit your website to read a blog or purchase a product don’t expect or want to understand each character. Let’s just leave this up to archaeologists who study Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Choose a font that is easy to read and takes the guesswork out of the visitor’s experience. Because of their simplicity, we recommend sans serif fonts to improve web accessibility.
It’s fun to use colors on websites. They can also be a part of branding and storytelling. For example, an environmentally-focused nonprofit might naturally lean toward green and blue hues for their color scheme because of the nature of their work, or a blog focused on breast cancer awareness might rely on the use of the color pink.
Colors are important for accessibility. Use colors with a high contrast ratio to ensure that all elements are easily read by people with low vision. While black and white offer the best contrast, we recommend that you use dark colors with a light background.
A CMS with an accessibility widget is a great way to empower website visitors to change the page elements that are not inherently accessible. You might find it more cost-effective to modify your CMS than your entire brand. So, think carefully about your options.
5. Multimedia elements can be enhanced with captions and transcripts.
Multimedia content can make your website more interactive for your audience. These elements may not be accessible to everyone, so it is a good idea to add captions and transcripts to audio and video.
Captioning for videos, transcripts of audio clips and podcast episodes, as well as alt text, ensures that all website visitors can access the information they require. A school booster club might have a video explaining their goals and how donations can help them achieve them. The video is likely to be an important part of convincing parents and community members to give. A booster club might also include captioning to the video to make sure that everyone can hear their goals for the year, regardless their auditory processing abilities.
Web Accessibility: It’s all about Connection
Website accessibility serves the primary purpose of connecting your business with a wider audience. If you make the effort to add alt text or an accessibility widget to your site, you are opening up the possibility of building stronger relationships with everyone who may come across your brand. This makes web accessibility guidelines more of a gift than a burden.
This guide has covered a lot, but there’s still much to be learned. You can find more information about web accessibility and its importance at the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. The introductory guide includes explanations, examples and tips for accessible web design.
Marketing Insider Group published the post 5 Ways to Follow Web Accessibility Guidelines.
By: Guest Author
Title: 5 Ways to Adhere to Web Accessibility Guidelines
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/5-ways-to-adhere-to-web-accessibility-guidelines/
Published Date: Mon, 16 May 2022 09:00:18 +0000