In today’s episode we’re talking about making your website accessible to all users. Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans have some type of disability? So making your website accessible to everyone will open up your products and services to more of your potential customers and can also lead to significant enhancements in the SEO of your website as well. Hear all about it!
Links in this episode: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines: What They Are and Why SEOs Should Care
Welcome to the Get Digital Marketing Results podcast where we give you information and actionable tips to grow your organization.
Bob: Hi, I’m Bob Clark.
Donna: And I’m Donna Botti. We’re with Delos Inc and we make the web work for you.
In today’s Tech News Tuesday episode we’re talking about making your website accessible to all users. The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA was passed to prevent discrimination against disabled individuals, and even though websites weren’t prevalent at the time, it now includes websites as well.
Bob: Making your website accessible to everyone opens up your products and services to more of your potential customers. Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans have some type of disability? Making your website accessible can also lead to significant enhancements in the SEO of your website.
Donna: That’s right Bob, I like to think of the search engines as a sight-impaired user who visits your website and needs it to be accessible in order to understand what your business is all about.
For example, search engines aim to promote pages with content that is clear and correctly ordered. Similarly, people using assistive technology to read the page for them need clear outlines to understand the order of importance. So following accessibility guidelines on using Headings correctly helps both of these. Now Web Page heading tags range from H1 to H6, so what this means is when you’re creating your page you don’t want to jump from H2 to H4 for example. The page title is generally H1, then your subsections are all H2. If there are further sections with the H2 sections they would be H3, etc.
Another example is using ALT text, or alternative text for images. This text describes the content of a picture for sight-impaired users and for search engines as well.
Bob: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), are widely accepted as the benchmark for digital accessibility today. The WCAG sets out four main principles to follow in designing your website. The first one is that all the information contained on a website and all the features in its user interface — such as links, text boxes, and buttons — must be presented in ways so that all users can perceive them by at least one of their senses. No content should be hidden for any user.
Donna: The next principle has to do with navigation and interacting with the website through a form for example. All users should be able to interact with and successfully navigate your website.
The third principle has to do with the user interface. Web pages should appear and operate in predictable ways, and users should be protected against making input errors on pages that cause a legal commitment or a financial transaction to occur.
Bob: The final principle is that the content on your website should be device and user agnostic. For instance, both standard web browsers and assistive technologies such as screen readers must be able to access a website. The content must also continue to be accessible as assistive technologies evolve.
Donna: Digital accessibility is a huge topic, but there are numerous resources to help as well as automated tools to help you find and fix accessibility issues. However, If you’re using a platform like WordPress or Shopify for example, choosing a theme that is already optimized for accessibility will make your life a lot easier. Not only will you reach more of your audience, you’ll improve your visibility to search engines like Google too.
Bob: That’s it for today’s episode. You can find a link to the Moz.com article and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and a transcript of today’s podcast, at DelosInc.com/193.
And don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss out on our actionable digital marketing tips to grow your organization.