Web accessibility refers to the practice of designing and developing websites that can be accessed and used by people with disabilities, such as visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive impairments. While web accessibility is primarily focused on providing equal access to digital content for people with disabilities, it also has a positive impact on search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing websites to improve their visibility and ranking on search engines. SEO is important for businesses because it helps increase incoming traffic from organic sources, build brand awareness, and drive sales. Web accessibility and SEO are often seen as separate fields, but they are closely related. In fact, performing an accessibility audit on your website can also uncover potential issues with its SEO. Here’s how web accessibility can help your SEO efforts.
Improved Website Usability
Web accessibility is all about making websites usable for people with disabilities. However, the same design principles that make websites accessible also improve their usability for everyone, including search engine bots. When websites are designed with accessibility in mind, they tend to be more user-friendly, intuitive, and well-structured. This makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index the content on your site. In turn, this improves your chances of ranking higher on SERPs.
Higher Click-Through Rates
Web accessibility can also improve click-through rates (CTRs) by making it easier for users to find and interact with your website. For instance, if your website has clear headings, descriptive links, and alt text for images, users with disabilities can navigate your site more easily. They are also more likely to stay on your site longer, engage with your content, and share it with others. When search engine bots see your website is attracting more traffic and engagement, they will see it as a high-authority site, which is a factor in search rankings.
Better User Experience
Web accessibility is all about creating a more inclusive user experience for people with disabilities. However, the same design principles that make websites accessible also make the user experience better for everyone. For instance, websites designed with accessibility in mind tend to have faster load times, cleaner layouts, and better readability. This means users are more likely to stay on your site longer, engage with your content, and return to your site in the future. When search engine bots see that users have a positive experience on your site, there’s a good chance that your website will rank higher in searches.
Accessible Content Is Shareable Content
One of the key factors that influence SEO is the number of inbound links your website has from other sites. When other sites link to your content, it signals to search engine bots that your content is relevant and valuable. Accessible content is more likely to be shared on social media, blogs, and other websites because it is easier to read, understand, and interact with. This means that accessible content is more likely to attract inbound links, which in turn improves your SEO.
Compliance with Web Standards
Web accessibility guidelines are based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are a set of standards created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Compliance with these standards not only improves web accessibility but also ensures that your website is well-structured, semantically correct, and compatible with different devices and browsers. This means that your website is more likely to be indexed correctly by search engine bots.
Good Web Accessibility Makes for Good SEO
Web accessibility is not only important for people with disabilities but also has a positive impact on search engine optimization (SEO). By designing websites that are accessible, you can improve website usability, increase click-through rates, provide a better user experience, create shareable content, and comply with web standards. All of these factors can help improve your ranking and visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs), which is crucial for businesses that want to increase organic traffic, build brand awareness, and drive sales.