SEO and Accessibility – Stronger Together

SEO and Accessibility – Stronger Together

Digital accessibility is required per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but did you know that an added benefit of making a website or other digital property accessible is that it improves SEO? It does! Because accessible means readable, if users can easily read your content, so can search engines like Google and Bing.

Accessibility helps SEO in several ways such as labeling and tagging. These code-level additions to content are used as identifiers for ADA readers. They help these tools know what each section is and does and they also help search engines know what types of content is on a website or in a document. Another major element of accessibility is tagging all images on the page with clear descriptions of what the image is. The alt and title attributes of an image are commonly referred to as alt tag or alt text and title tag – even though they’re not technically tags.

Image search is extremely important for traffic generation. More than 10% of all online traffic is on Google Images. Here are some more interesting statistics about SEO from the marketing consultative agency Impact.

This is important for every business with a digital presence which in effect means all businesses. Having a clearly labelled image or graph on a website, with a description (alt text), can often result in a search equating not only the content but the image as relevant as well.

Successful use of images for SEO enrichment requires some of the following:

  • Use a relevant image that matches your text.

  • Pick a good file name for your image.

  • Make sure the image dimensions match the image size as displayed.

  • Reduce file size for faster loading.

  • Add a caption, if appropriate, for easier scanning of the page.

  • Use image alt text.

Linking is another important feature of accessibility that influences SEO. Proper accessibility means to that links must be descriptive. Buttons or text that simply say “Click Here” are not up to ADA standards because they do not tell the user what the result of “clicking here” means.

As accessibility becomes the new standard if not yet law, it is vital to use it to your best advantage.

SEO, when used with accessibility features helps brands reach consumers, says WebAim, because both “rely on content structure, semantics, and functionality” to either present the most targeted content based on keyword search, or to determine the relevance of content. In other words, following accessibility techniques increases the search engines’ ability to understand website content by “exposing it to their crawlers.”

Make them both work for you. More good information about SEO and Accessibility can be found at Stanford University Digital Services.