Ways to Enhance Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Website Accessibility
It’s important to create an enjoyable and equitable user experience for all of your site visitors. To achieve this, it is key to keep in mind search engine optimization (SEO) and web accessibility when creating content. Some of the steps you can take to ensure that your website is discoverable on search engines, may also help assistive technologies (e.g., screen readers) improve the on-page user experience for individuals with disabilities or various limitations.
What is SEO and why is it important?
SEO uses a variety of techniques that are intended to improve the positioning of web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs), as well as increase the amount of high-quality organic traffic to your website.
However, SEO is not only about optimizing for search engines, it can help provide an enhanced user experience for your visitors, too. Creating valuable content will always be at the center of SEO. And with the release of Google’s algorithm updates like Core Web Vitals and helpful tools like Lighthouse, there are even more resources to help make this valuable content easily accessible to everyone.
What is Web Accessibility and why is it important?
Accessible websites help individuals with various disabilities or limitations, easily navigate your website and quickly find what they are looking for.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to provide recommendations on how to ensure content is more accessible on the web. Several of these web accessibility guidelines also overlap with recommended SEO strategies.
The intersection of SEO and web accessibility
Users, search engines, and assistive technologies can all benefit from the following best practices that improve SEO and also increase your website’s accessibility performance:
- Write clear, concise, and compelling content that can be easily understood
- Create consistent and straightforward site navigation that lists your website in a hierarchical order
- Write descriptive metadata including page titles, meta descriptions, and headings to provide meaningful context for all of your webpages
- Use alt text (also known as alternative text) to accurately describe non-text content like images, charts, and graphs
- Write descriptive anchor text (i.e., the clickable text in a link) that is succinct and relevant to the page you are linking to within your article
- Use breadcrumbs as a convenient option to navigate back to a previous page
- Create an overview of all of your important web pages with a sitemap
Summing it all up
Overall, optimizing your website for both SEO and web accessibility can help you better serve your visitors, and the search engines and assistive technologies that they may use.
If you have questions or need additional information, contact Shari White.