Web accessibility is hardly a new topic. It has been debated and legislated for years, mainly to protect disabled web users. However, accessibility is making a comeback in a new context: digital marketing.
It turns out, making your website more accessible may not just help you meet legal standards, and it may boost your optimisation efforts as well. Read the article below for more information:
What is Accessibility?
Accessibility in technology is an umbrella term that refers to making certain content easier to access and use, particularly for those with disabilities. If you use a Windows computer, you may notice that you can access tools like a digital keyboard and voice typing. These features are mainly intended to aid those with disabilities and elderly who use computers.
Web accessibility refers to basically the same thing. It allows people, mainly those with physical or cognitive impairments, access online content. For example, videos may have transcripts so those with auditory impairments can understand the things heard in the content. Reading text out loud will help those with visual impairments access the net.
Most countries have legislation that makes certain accessibility features mandatory. In the U.S., the Americans with Disabilities Act demand that websites make content accessible to those impaired in certain ways. The Australian government takes things a step further. Here, online content must be accessible to those with cognitive impairments. Meaning, the information presented must be simple and easy to understand for everyone.
Not following these accessibility rules could land your website in legal hot water. Recently, a number of prominent websites have faced a series of lawsuits for violating the ADA by not making web content accessible to people with disabilities. Legality, however, is not the sole reason a brand should invest in accessibility. It can, in fact, be important for digital marketing as well.
Why is Accessibility Important in the Digital Marketing Context?
Exactly how making content simpler to read would or more audible be beneficial to digital marketing? Certain aspects of accessibility, it turns out, has a major benefit on the SEO services front.
For example, consider designing transcripts to accompany videos to help the hearing impaired understand what’s in video content. It meets the legal standards. In addition, transcripts also help search algorithms understand what’s in a video.
Unlike with text, search algorithms cannot crawl video pixels to look up keywords or phrases to generate results. Instead, algorithms look up the title and description of videos for relevant search content. When you have an actual video transcript, an algorithm can actually scroll through the audio content of a video. That means more key phrases that may become relevant to certain searches. In other words, a video transcript enhances the chances of a video showing up in a search result.
Consider making language in content easier to read. Activists recommend making content well organized and simple enough to assist cognitively impaired understand what’s presented. This same technique works with search algorithms as well. If your information is cluttered, complex, and littered with jargon terms that no one types into Google, the search ranking opportunity is arguably low. But when the content is well organized and presented with key phrases in the right places, it instantly becomes well optimised.
Therefore, making a website accessible inadvertently makes it more SEO friendly as well. Accessibility could boost your digital marketing efforts as well. Plus, an accessible website is something to boast about as well, giving your brand a public relations boost as well.
Making Websites Accessible and SEO Friendly
Making websites accessible is surprisingly simple. As mentioned above, start with the content presented. It should be properly organized and presented in an easy-to-understand manner. You can insert key phrases in quick-read content to improve search rankings. High-quality content would also contribute toward better search rankings.
Do add transcripts to all videos and audio content, which could can further optimise with keywords. Fill out alt headlines and tags in web pages. Search engines crawl through such content first to determine what’s on your website. Keyword optimisation of this content would definitely help boost rankings.
To make content easier to understand for software that reads typed words, it’s recommended to use American-style punctuation, particularly for abbreviations. These abbreviations also make certain terms easier to understand for Google.
Also, on web applications or mobile formats, enable voice search if it’s an options. The visually impaired are likely to use it. It’s another way to boost marketing efforts with keyword optimisation.
There are other techniques you can use to boost accessibility of a website and thus page rank optimisation. Invest in better accessibility to implement more complex procedures to benefit optimally.