Improving your website’s accessibility brings various kinds of advantages for your business. The most important one is the increase in traffic to your website which also boosts your SEO. This means that people will be able to see your site on the list when they google a certain keyword. Moreover, accessibility also means making your site usable by everyone, regardless of their age, education or ability. So, if you learn how to incorporate different kinds of practices to improve accessibility, the results will surely follow. Here are some easy ways to do so:
Choose Your Colors Wisely
If you want to make sure that everyone is able to see and distinguish the colors easily, they need to contrast each other. People who are color-blind shouldn’t find it difficult to understand why certain text is in darker or lighter colors. Try using contrasting colors for texts and their backgrounds. If your foreground and background have sufficient contrast, you’re on the right path. If you’re putting the text and its background in different shades of the same color, avoid shades similar in saturation and hue. You can make sure that you’re color combinations are good by testing them with online tools. You can find many kinds of tools and see how effective your choices are when it comes to improving accessibility.
Improve Accessibility by Adding Alt Text
Alternative text is a very important part of every image you put on your website. You can notice it below the caption and is equally as beneficial when it comes to accessibility. Alt text is actually a replacement for the image if the site has trouble loading it. In that case, people can read the alt text that describes the picture. It will help you improve your SEO while also giving your guest some context in case of a missing picture. If you have a picture of a house, you can put “a house” as the alternative text. This counts as one of the advanced SEO strategies you should adopt.
Being one of the most important accessibility needs, alt text also provides context for the visually impaired people. Thanks to the screen reader tools, every user is able to understand the intended meaning and context.
Make All Content Easily Accessible
Easily accessible content on the website can sometimes be an issue in cases where there’s a lot of dynamic content. When used properly, some of its benefits are the following:
- offers a user-friendly experience
- it can help increase return visits and bounce rate
- can be seamless without messing up the page
If you’re not familiar with the term, it means adaptive content that serves to deliver a satisfying experience online. So, in order to achieve this, dynamic content varies depending on the user’s data as well as the time of access. If used properly, it can attract a lot of people and make them want to revisit the website. However, try not to overdo it. Think of visually impaired people and their experience. The screen reader won’t be able to pick up on that additional content since it can only read the site as it is when it first loads. You can try to adapt it by announcing the shift so that all users can pick up on it.
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Don’t Forget to Use Headers
Headers are important because they help to structure all the content correctly and neatly. They improve the flow and the whole content will therefore be a lot simpler to understand. Screen readers can easily interpret your content and pages once you have clear headers. So, don’t forget to add some for your website. Just remember that H1 for example, should only be used for the page title and therefore, you need one per page. Then you have H2, used for subheadings and so on. Just don’t forget the order they go in and that is all.
Once you’ve added headers, they should do the following:
- follow a logical order
- no sections are skipped
- accurately and precisely describe the content
Improve Accessibility by Making Your Site Keyboard-Friendly
If your website can work without using a mouse then it really is accessible. Keyboard-only navigation is what most assistive technologies use nowadays so allowing this for your website is an important step.
The most common website navigation via keyboard is with the tab key. It jumps on the areas on a page that have “keyboard focus”. These can be buttons, links or forms. Moreover, people with disabilities rely on the keyboard navigation whereas some other uses just prefer keyboard over mouse. It is more efficient for many and therefore advisable that you allow it on your website to improve accessibility.
Avoid Automatic Navigation or Media
There’s nothing more annoying than automatically-playing music or video files when you first enter a website. Therefore, avoid putting these on your site since it is also an accessibility issue. Namely, the user has to figure out how to turn them off when using a keyboard to navigate. These files can be a source of confusion and fright caused by a sudden noise.
Now that you know how certain content can be harmful to your website’s reputation, choose and create content while having accessibility in mind. Paying attention to details and combining good design with content is the best way to go. Always think of ways to make your website even more accessible to all kinds of people visiting it. Your users will thank you and surely re-visit. That is how you know that you have done a great job of improving accessibility and boosting your SEO as well.