As the rollout of Google’s Core Web Vitals update on the horizon, there’s an increased focus on users’ experience within the SEO world. Although there isn’t a comprehensive accessibility ranking factor in 2021, the growing relationship in the SEO rank factors with accessibility standards indicates that accessibility metrics could be a more significant factor in the algorithms of search engines in the near future. If the increasing overlap between these two fields isn’t enough proof that accessibility metrics will become more important ranking factors, they could be.
Existing Overlap Between Accessibility and SEO
One reason to believe that accessibility will soon have an influence on the rankings of Google or other major search engines lies in the interplay that currently occurs between accessible best practices and rankings signals for engines. Below are a few of the most important factors that influence both rankings for search engines and the accessibility of user experiences.
Metadata can have a similar impact on accessibility. Accurate titles and descriptions are essential to convey the subject matter of a webpage to a person who uses assistive technology, for instance, screen readers, who need to sort through the results of a search. While browsing a web page titles are frequently the first fields to be read by screen readers. If you’re looking to increase the quality and accessibility of your search engine listings and increase accessibility on the web, creating concise, precise, relevant, and keyword-rich metadata is a great starting point.
Image Alt Text
When digital marketers think about the similarities between SEO and accessibility, alt text for images is typically one of the first things that pop into your mind. Alt text (also called alt attributes or alternative text) can be described as an HTML attribute that can be used to define the subject or look that an image displays. It’s especially helpful for people who have visual impairments and depend upon screen reader software. Alt-text is an essential part of web design that is accessible, however, it’s also a ranking factor that helps convey the subject matter of an image to crawlers of search engines.
Link Anchor Text
The art of writing descriptive anchor text for your link is an easy task. It gives assistive technology clearly indicating the topic of the URL and anchor text that is keyword-rich will also assist search engines to comprehend the subject of the page. For instance, the use of ”Download the Accessibility Guide” as the anchor text of a link rather than ”Click Here” is much more informative for assistive technology as well as search engine crawlers.
Accessible Website Design
The real benefit is getting visitors to take action when they visit your site once they’ve landed. Websites with a user-friendly design, such as the size and contrast of text, as well as intelligent internal link structures don’t just improve usability, they also help increase the conversion rate of all users.
Internal linking mechanisms such as HTML sitemaps, breadcrumbs, and compelling calls-to-action are very beneficial for people who are disabled, and they can aid with crawling on search engines and transfer link equity between different pages.
Audio and Video Transcriptions
In the event that audio and video files are automated transcribing through Google as well as other popular search engines, their accuracy isn’t always as good as it could be. Manually transcribing audio and video files will not only provide a better experience for people who are disabled, but it also gives search engines large chunks of text that can be crawled and guarantees that key search terms appear.
Transcriptions and captions provide users with hearing impairments the ability to listen to. They are also useful for people who are unable to utilize audio. If you are looking to increase the reach and effectiveness of search results and the engagement of your video content or podcasts, transcriptions could provide an enormous increase.